Chinese and European Exploration

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China looked inward, a devotion to past ideas, respect for authority and a suspicion of new ideas. Believed they had nothing to learn from the “barbarians”. China was a single nation.
What is China’s culture of complacency?
Economic – Boost China’s economy. Forged international alliances to create more markets for their goods.
Economic reasons for Chinese exploration:
Political – Spread Chinese culture. Tribute system – give exotic gifts in return for Chinese protection.
Political reasons for Chinese exploration:
Social – Let the world know China is back. Shows the rest of the world how powerful and wealthy China was.
Social reasons for Chinese exploration:
1. Zheng He’s fleet included 28,000 sailors on 300 ships, the longest of which were 400 feet. They could have 7 or more sails. They had double hulls that provided further support from sinking.
2. Columbus in 1492 had 90 sailors on three ships, the biggest of which was 85 feet long.
3. Chinese technology was far more advanced than European technology at that time.
What are the differences between Zheng He and Columbus’ armada?
“Catastrophic missed opportunity”
Asia’s retreat into relative isolation after the expeditions of Zheng He amounted to a catastrophic missed opportunity, one that laid the groundwork for the rise of Europe and the West.
Reasons for the Chinese ending exploration
1. The Chinese government had an inadequate system for collecting taxes. The spending of Yung-Lo’s government greatly exceeded the tax revenue that could be collected. Debt is occurring because Yung-Lo is building a massive fleet of ships.
2. Northern nomads like the Mongols threatened China’s security. They needed to fund the Great Wall instead
3. Neo-Confucian scholars held many important government posts. Neo-Confucian philosophy advocated the suppression of desire for worldly things. Trade was held in contempt. Particularly after Yung-Lo’s death, the influence of the Neo-Confucian scholars grew.
4. The Chinese believed that each person had a duty to care regularly for the tombs of his ancestors.
5. Most Chinese believed that their civilization was superior to all others, that foreign goods were inferior to Chinese goods, and that there was little to be learned from foreigners.
Southeast Asia, Arabian Peninsula, East Africa, Indian Sub-Continent
What regions did Zheng He visit?
Country that pays tribute in the form of gifts (valuables) to another empire as acknowledgement of that nation’s control or as payment for protection
Castrated males who worked in China’s royal court, as high ranking government officials, military leaders and ordinary servants (especially in harems).
Low bow expressing respect and submission to the Chinese emperor
Middle Kingdom
Chinese believed that China was the “Middle Kingdom” located between the Heavens and the Earth. They were above all earthly kingdoms.
Based on Confucianism, but with major revisions. What was practiced by scholars during the Ming Dynasty.
Judging other cultures by the standards of one’s country. “Most Chinese believed that their civilization was superior to all others, that foreign goods were inferior to Chinese goods, and that there was little to be learned from foreigners.”
Indian Ocean Trade Network
Facilitated trade among E. Africa, Persian Gulf, India, S.E. Asia and China. Zheng He traded in this region.
Ming Dynasty
Chinese Dynasty that drove the Mongols out of China. Ruled China from 1368-1644.
Zheng He
A eunuch of Muslim descent, led seven expeditions that reached as far as Persia, Arabia, and eastern Africa. The fleet grew to 62 ships and as many as 28,000 men. It was a feared fleet throughout the China Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Yung Lo
(Ming Dynasty emperor of China known as Yongle Emperor). It was during his reign that Zheng He’s voyages took place. Emperor (1403-1424) maintained China’s military position and extended the empire’s strength to include a powerful navy.
1. Gold: Reach the spice lands faster and cheaper, establish trade routes
2. God: Spread Christianity to the world
3. Glory: To seek fame and fortune
The 3 G’s:
1. New Products (acquire new spices like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon)
2. Gold and Silver
3. Better trade routes
4. Improvements in technology
Economic motives for European exploration:
1. Create larger empires
2. Nationalism, show a nation’s power
Political motives for European exploration:
1. Adventure and curiosity about exotic lands
2. Religion – Spread Christianity to new populations
Social motives for European exploration:
1. Diseases were contracted from other sailors and ports while the crew were on shore leave. Food poisoning was common as was scurvy.
2. Suffering from malnutrition, malaria, and the flux after returning home.
What were some hardships faced by sailors on explorations?
European ships traveled around the world to search for new trading routes and partners to feed developing mercantilism in Europe. Encountered peoples and mapped lands previously unknown to them.
What is the Age of Exploration? Early 1400s-1600s
1. Europeans colonized the Chinese did not
2. Chinese expected tribute
3. Europe continued to explore, Chinese stopped exploring after Zheng He
4. Size of fleets, Chinese technology was superior at the time.
5. China wanted to show the world how powerful it was
6. Europeans wanted to spread Christianity
7. Europeans wanted to find products (Spices, etc.), Gold and silver.
Compare and Contrast European and Chinese Exploration:
Cost effective to sail to Asia for goods. Time is money.
Why did Europeans benefit by using sea rather than land trading routes?
1. Cartography – latitude and longitude introduced
2. Ship building – Smaller, faster, easy to maneuver. Could take advantage of winds no matter which way it blew.
3. Navigation tools – Compass and astrolabe
4. Weapons – Cannons, horses, guns, armor
What made these explorations possible for the Europeans?
In the past used in navigation or calculating latitude
The 3 G’s
Gold, Guts, Glory
Portugal, Spain, England, France. Invest in exploration and military through more taxes. Sovereign state whose citizens are relatively homogenous in factors such as language or descent.
Added to a country’s territory – opened new markets and more natural resources and wealth.
Person who enters a different culture to spread the tenets of his religion
Science of drawing maps
Fever transmitted by mosquitoes
Lack of vitamin C in diet
Lack of proper vitamins in diet
A country’s economic strength depended on increasing gold supply by exporting more goods than it imports.
Control by one country of the political, economic, or cultural life of another country or region.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa
Discovered the Pacific Ocean
Christopher Columbus
Discovered the Americas. His voyages paved the way for European exploration
Amerigo Vespucci
First to reach continental lands in Americas
Vasco de Gama
Discovered first sea route to India
Ferdinand Magellan
First to sail around the world
Categories: Chinese