Chapter 20: Northern Eurasia 1500-1800
- Japan: Similarities to China and Russia
- Military conflicts (internal and external)
- Political growth and strengthening
- Expanded commercial and cultural contacts
- Japan: Differences with China and Russia
- culturally homogenous population
- natural boundaries
- process of political unification much shorter
- responses to European contacts
When Japan’s political unity disintegrated in the 12th century, the country was controlled by:
- Numerous warlords named daimyo (DIE-mee-oh)
- Each had his own castle town, a small bureaucracy, and an army of warriors called samurai
- daimyo pledged allegiance to the military leader, the shogun, as well as the emperor, but neither had real political power.
- Warfare among the daimyo was common, leading to civil wars.
- The most successful of these warlords was Hideyoshi.
In 1592 after years of civil war, Hideyoshi
- Launched an invasion of the Asian mainland
- He intended to conquer Korea and China
- Korea, influenced in many ways by China, employed their military technology, including “turtle boats”.
- Hideyoshi was able to get past Korea into the Chinese mainland, but after his death was pushed back out.
One of the consequences of Japanese aggression was
- Korea was severely devastated by the invasion.
- The most dramatic consequences were in China—battles in Manchuria allowed Manchu opposition to grow stronger and eventually take possession of Beijing.
After the period of civil wars ended in Japan
- A more centralized government was formed
- A new shogun named Tokugawa established a military government known as the Tokugawa Shogunate.
- They created a new capital at Edo (now Tokyo)
- Trade promoted economic development, which is what the Tokugawa government is known for.
Japanese manufacturers in the 1600s and 1700s made beautiful
- Pottery (mostly porcelain)
Despite government efforts to curtail merchant independence, Japanese merchants:
- Amassed large family fortunes
- The samurais well-being was threatened as they became dependent customers of merchants goods. That is why the gov’t tried to regulate the merchants—unsuccessfully.
European contact with Japan resulted in “opportunities and problems” such as
- Japan gained Western weapons, launching the first East Asian “gunpowder revolution”
- New trade with merchants from Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and England (gov’t closely regulated)
- Hostility eventually surrounded the Christian presence in Japan, including violent persecution against Christians.
Japanese response to the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits was
- Mixed response: many ordinary Japanese found the religion appealing, but many of the elite thought it disruptive and foreign
- Many converted, and a daimyo gave a port city to the Jesuits, many required conversion of Christianity for their subjects.
Eventually, what was Japan’s response to European trade and Christian influence?
- The fractious politics of Japan plus the larger suspicion about Europe’s larger goal in Japan caused the shogun to be hostile toward Christians.
- A decree ordered that Christians were overthrowing truth, changing the gov’t, and seizing land caused many Christians to leave, but others to go underground.
- Violent persecutions of Christians began
- Then in the middle 1600s more decrees ended European trade, forced people to prove their Buddhist orthodoxy, and their loyalty to Japan.
- Only the Dutch were allowed to trade, though it was limited.
What factors led to Tokugawa Japan’s instability?
- 1700s—population growth put a strain on well-developed lands
- the shogunate’s inability to stabilize rice prices and halt the economic decline of the samurai
- Tokugawa gov’t followed Confucian idea that agriculture should be basis of gov’t not merchants
- Its decentralized gov’t limited its ability to regulate the merchants & actually stimulated their growth
What was the fate of the samurai of the Forty-Seven Ronin incident?
- 1701-1703, displays the change from a military gov’t to a civil one
- They were allowed to commit ritual suicide
Later Ming and Early Qing
- Like Japan, China experienced civil wars and foreign wars after 1500, but on a larger scale
- By 1800 China had an expanded economy, and many doubts regarding the importance of European trade and Christianity
European visitors to Ming China in the 16th century were
- Astonished at their imperial power, exquisite manufactures, and vast population.
- They bought so much blue on white porcelain, all fine dishes became known as “china”
During its decline, what was experienced by the Ming?
- Climate change called the Little Ice Age in 17th century dropping temps leading to agricultural decline and famine
- Declines in local populations resulted
- Rapid urban growth in the trading economy, coupled with the influx of American silver caused inflation
- Corruption in gov’t, workers’ strikes
- Japanese attacks in late 1500s harmed the Ming and strengthened their opponents, the Manchus
Which empire replaced the Ming Empire of China?
- Qing Empire, headed by a Manchu family
- The Qing/Manchus were a minority population among ethnic Chinese and had to adopt Chinese traditions eventually
Although European enthusiasm for Chinese trade was high, how did the Chinese feel about Europeans?
- The Chinese were much slower to embrace European trade—suspicion
Merchants from which country were the first to arrive in East Asia?
- Eventually expelled from the country, later allowed to trade. Spain and the Dutch were allowed to trade from Taiwan briefly.
The VOC (Dutch East India Company) representatives gained the favor of the Chinese Emperor by
- They performed the ritual of “kowtow”, which was an acknowledgment of the emperor’s moral superiority.
- The visitor to the emperor hit his head on the floor repeatedly while crawling to the throne.
What European organization was a transmitter of science and technology to China?
- Society of Jesus, or Jesuits
- Far more successful than in Japan (at least for now)
Who was Matteo Ricci?
- A Jesuit missionary who introduced European technology to China
- He was permitted to stay in China as a Western scholar
The Qing Emperor’s desire for security of the northern border led to
- An intense struggle with Russia
- They feared an alliance between Russia and the Mongol state
What was the Treaty of Nerchinsk?
- Fixed the northern border of China along the Amur River
- the border has endured since then
To gain converts, the Jesuits made what compromises?
- They tolerated Confucian ancestor worship
- Caused controversy between the Jesuits and their Catholic rivals in China—the Franciscans and Dominicans and between Jesuits and the pope.
- Kangxi (emperor from 1662-1722) wrote the pope declaring his support for the Jesuits
- Eventually Christians were persecuted rather than supported by the emperor
During the Qing Empire, what new items or ideas did Europe gain from China?
- An early form of inoculation
- Silk, porcelain, tea
- Room dividers, painted fans, carved jade and ivory
- Poetry—expressing political ideas that struck a chord with European intellectuals who were questioning their own political philosophies
Europeans were permitted to trade only at
What were Britain’s motives for becoming China’s biggest European trading partner?
- China’s large population made it a potential market for European goods
- Tea became a fashionable drink in Europe
- They needed a new market after the loss of the American colonies
- The desire to end the English trade deficit in China—they were pouring silver in to buy Chinese goods but weren’t selling anything to China
What problem did the British face with Chinese markets that they called the “Canton System?”
- China didn’t buy British goods
The British Macartney Mission was an attempt to
- Persuade China to revise its trade system
- 1792, Britain sent Lord George Macartney went to China with many scientists, artists, and translators to show the Qing how interested England was
- Macartney refused to perform kowtow, and the Qing refused to revise the Canton trading system.
Population growth in China in the 1700s led to
- Severe environmental problems
- Increased demands for building materials depleted the forests, which accelerated wind and water erosion, which increased flooding…
- Dams were not maintained, and the Grand Canal was nearly unusable
- The empire became too vast for the Qing and decline set in.
The princes of Muscovy organized a movement of conquest and expansion against the
- Golden Horde—Mongols had ruled Russia from 1200s to 1480
- Under the Golden Horde Moscow had become the most important city.
Russian rulers were called:
- Tsars (caesars)
- They believed they were the 3rd Rome.
The motivation for Russian expansion in the east was
- Availability of fur pelts which provided revenue to access European technology
How did the growth of a centralized Russian Empire affect the peasants?
- Peasants became serfs, people who were tied to the land
According to the Russian census of 1795, over half the population were
The greatest Romanov tsar was
One result of the “Great Northern War” was
- Russian access to the Baltic Sea
The new city that was to be Russia’s “window on the West” is
- St. Petersburg, modeled after French buildings