Japanese ReunificationCivil War and the Invasion of Korea and Manchuria, 1500–1603 In the twelfth century, with imperial unity dissolved, Japan came under the control of a number of regional warlords called daimyo Each daimyo had their own castle town, a small bureaucracy, and an army of warriors, the samurai A long civil war would bring the separate Japanese islands under the control of different warlords
Warfare among the daimyo was common,and in 1592 the most powerful of thesewarlords, Hideyoshi, chose to lead aninvasion of Korea
After Hideyoshis death in 1598, theJapanese withdrew their forces and, in1606, made peace with Korea
The Tokugawa Shogunate, 1603– 1800After Hideyoshi’s death, Japanese leadersbrought civil wars to an endA more centralized government would beestablishedA new shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, broughtall the local lords under the administrationof his military government the TokugawaShogunate in 1600.
Japan and the EuropeansJesuits came to Japan in the late 1500sThey had limited success in converting theregional lords, however, they did make asignificant number of converts among thefarmers of southern and eastern JapanA rural rebellion in this area in the 1630swas blamed on ChristiansTokugawa Shogunate responded withpersecutions, a ban on Christianity, and, in1649, the closing of the country
The closed country policy was intended toprevent the spread of foreign influence, but notto exclude knowledge of foreign culturesA small number of European traders, mainlyDutch, were allowed to reside on a small islandnear NagasakiJapanese who were interested in the Europeanknowledge that could be gained from Europeanbooks developed a field known as “Dutchstudies.”
The Late Ming and Early QingEmpires, The Later Ming Empire, to 1644 Some of the problems of the late Ming may be attributed to a drop in annual temperatures between 1645 and 1700 This may have contributed to the agricultural distress, migration, disease, and uprisings of this period Climate change may also have driven the Mongols and the Manchus to protect their productive lands from Ming control and to take more land along the Ming borders.
The flow of New World silver into China inthe 1500s and early 1600s causedinflation in prices and taxes that hit therural population particularly hard.
In addition to these global causes of Mingdecline, there were also internal factorsparticular to China.These included disorder and inefficiency inthe urban industrial sector (such as theJingdezhen ceramics factories), no growthin agricultural productivity, and lowpopulation growth
Ming Collapse and the Rise of the QingThe Ming also suffered from increasedthreats on their borders:To the north and west, there was thethreat posed by a newly reunified Mongolconfederation,In Korea the Ming incurred heavy financiallosses when it helped the Koreans todefeat a Japanese invasion.Rebellions of native peoples rocked thesouthwest, and Japanese pirates plaguedthe southeast coast
Rebel forces led by Li Zicheng overthrew theMing in 1644, and the Manchu Qing Empire thenentered Beijing, restored order, and claimedChina for its own.A Manchu imperial family ruled the Qing EmpireHowever, the Manchus were only a smallproportion of the population, and thus dependedon diverse people for assistance in ruling theempire. Chinese made up the overwhelming majority ofthe people and the officials of the Qing Empire
Trading Companies and MissionariesEuropeans were eager to trade with ChinaEnthusiasm for international tradedeveloped slowly in China, particularly inthe imperial courtOver the course of the sixteenth century,the Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutchgained limited access to Chinese tradeBy the seventeenth century, the DutchEast India Company had become themajor European trader in the IndianOcean
Catholic missionaries accompaniedPortuguese and Spanish traders, and theJesuits had notable success convertingChinese elites.The Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) usedhis mastery of Chinese language andculture to gain access to the imperial court
Emperor Kangxi (r. 1662–1722) Kangxi (r. 1662–1722) took formal control over his government in 1669 (at the age of sixteen) by executing his chief regent Kangxi was an intellectual prodigy and a successful military commander who expanded his territory and gave it a high degree of stability.
During the Kangxi period the Qing werewilling to incorporate ideas and technologyfrom Mongolian, Tibetan, Korean, andChinese sources.The Qing also adapted Europeanknowledge and technology—mapmaking,astronomy, and anatomical andpharmaceutical knowledge—taught by theJesuits who frequented Kangxi’s court
The Jesuits were also affected by theircontact with China.They revised their religious teaching inorder to allow Chinese converts to practiceConfucian ancestor worshipThey transmitted to Europe Chinesetechnology including an early form ofinoculation against smallpox and themanagement techniques of the hugeimperial porcelain factories
Chinese Influences on EuropeThe exchange of ideas and information betweenthe Qing and the Jesuits flowed in bothdirectionsThe wealth and power of the Qing led to atremendous enthusiasm in Europe for Chinesethings such as silk, tea, porcelain, otherdecorative items, and wallpaper.Jesuit descriptions of China also led Europeanssuch as Voltaire to see the Qing emperors asbenevolent despots or philosopher-kings fromwhom the Europeans could learn
The Russian EmpireIn the 1650s the expanding RussianEmpire met the expanding Qing Empire inMongolia, Central Asia, and along theAmur.Treaties between the two powers in 1689and 1727 had the effect of weakening theMongols and of focusing Russianexpansion eastward toward the Pacificcoast and across to North America
Russian Society and Politics to 1725As the empire expanded it incorporated adiverse set of peoples, cultures, andreligions. This often produced internaltensionsThe Cossacks belonged to close-knitbands and made temporary alliances withwhoever could pay for their militaryservices
Despite the fact that the Cossacks oftenperformed important services for theRussian Empire, they managed tomaintain a high degree of autonomy
Threats and invasions by Sweden and Polandand internal disputes among the Russianaristocracy (boyars) in the seventeenth centuryled to the overthrow of the old line of Muscoviterulers and the enthronement of Mikhail Romanovin 1613. The Romanov rulers combined consolidation oftheir authority with territorial expansion to theeast
As the power of the Romanov rose, thefreedom of Russian peasants fellIn 1649 Russian peasants were legallytransformed into serfs
Peter the Great ( 1689–1725)Peter the Great fought the Ottomans in anattempt to gain a warm-water port on the BlackSea and to liberate Constantinople (Istanbul)from Muslim rule, but did not achieve either goal. Peter was more successful in the GreatNorthern War, in which he broke Swedishcontrol over the Baltic and established directcontacts between Russia and Europe.
Following his victory in the Great Northern War,Peter built a new capital, St. PetersburgThis was to contribute the Westernization of theRussian elites and demonstrate to Europeansthe sophistication of Russia.The new capital was also intended to help breakthe power of the boyars by reducing theirtraditional roles in the government and in thearmy
Peter wanted to use European technology andculture in order to strengthen Russia and tostrengthen the autocratic power of hisgovernment;He was not interested in political liberalization.As an autocratic ruler, Peter brought the RussianOrthodox Church under his control, builtindustrial plants to serve the militaryHe also increased the burdens of taxes andlabor on the serfs, whom the Russian Empiredepended upon for the production of basic foodstaples of Russia
Consolidation of the EmpireRussian expansion in Alaska and theAmerican northwest was driven by thesearch for furs, which British andAmerican entrepreneurs had also beeninterested in.Control of the natural resources of Siberiaput the Russians in a position to dominatethe fur and shipping industries of the NorthPacific.
During the reign of Catherine the Great (r.1762–1796), Russia was the world’slargest land empire, built on an economicbasis of large territory, agriculture, logging,fishing, and furs.
Political ComparisonsBetween 1500 and 1800, China andRussia grew dramatically, both in territorycontrolled and population.In comparison to Russia and China, theseaborne trading empires of thePortuguese, Dutch, French, and Englishhad less territory, tighter administrations,and much more global sweep.
Despite being headed by an emperor,Japans size, homogeneity, and failure toadd colonies disqualify it from being calleda true empire.Japan and Russia made greater progressin improving their military than did theChinese.Of Japan, Russia, and China, Russia didthe most to build up its imperial navy.
Cultural, Social, and Economic ComparisonsAs they expanded, both China and Russiapursued policies that tolerated diversity, whilepromoting cultural assimilation.While both Russian and Chinese leaders werewilling to use foreign ideas and technologies,they tended to see their own culture as superior.Both China and Russia had hierarchical andoppressive social systems.Merchants occupied a precarious position inboth China and Japan.