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Chapter 21. Reaching Out: Cross-Cultural Interactions. Patterns of Long-Distance Trade. Silk roads Sea lanes of Indian Ocean basin Trans-Saharan caravan routes Development of trading cities, emporia Nomadic invasions cause local devastation but expand trade network

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Chapter 21
Chapter 21

  • Reaching Out: Cross-Cultural Interactions

Chapter 21

Patterns of Long-Distance Trade

  • Silk roads

  • Sea lanes of Indian Ocean basin

  • Trans-Saharan caravan routes

  • Development of trading cities, emporia

  • Nomadic invasions cause local devastation but expand trade network

    • E.g. Mongols in China, 13th c.

Chapter 21

Marco Polo (1253-1324)

  • Traveled to China, enters

  • service of Mongol KhubilaiKhan

  • -increases European interest/contact in China

Chapter 21

Diplomatic Travelers

  • IbnBattuta (1304-1369)

    • Islamic scholar & qadi great access to Muslim Areas

    • N. Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, SW Asia

    • Significant detailed historical records left behind

Chapter 21

Missionary Travelers

  • Sufi missionaries travel throughout new Muslim territories, 1000-1500 CE

  • Christian missionaries accompany, follow Crusaders

    • Roman Catholic priests travel east to serve isolated communities

Chapter 21


  • Gunpowder, navigational, paper, printing technologies spread extensively during the perio

  • Cultural Exchange -Narratives, Stories, philosophy, scientific thought

Chapter 21

Spread of Crops

  • Citrus fruits, Asian rice, cotton

  • Sugarcane

    • Demand increases rapidly leads to the emergence of sugarcane plantation

      • Catalyst of Trans-Atlantic slave trade

Chapter 21

Bubonic Plague

  • The Little Ice Age, c. 1300 CE

    • Decline of agricultural output leads to widespread famine

    • Bubonic Plague spreads from south-west China

  • Mongols, merchants, travelers spread disease west

  • spread across Europe (1346-1352)

Chapter 21

Social and Economic Effects of plague on Europe

blamed stars, God’s anger, Jews etc

  • Massive labor shortage/Demand for higher wages

  • Population movements

  • Reduced power of feudal lords

  • Increased criticism of the church

Hundred years war 1337 1453
Hundred Years’ War 1337-1453


French King Charles IV died in 1328 w/ no male heir.

Both England and France claim throne.

Changes in Warfare

-Longbow eliminated the advantages of armor

-cannons could blast holes in castles

-armies made up of paid common people

Chapter 21


Feudalism comes to an end in France

People more patriotic & devoted to the monarch rather than feudal lord.

Monarchs built up huge armies w/ taxes they collected-reduced the power of nobles

Chapter 21

Recovery in China & Western Europe

  • China: centralized Empire (Ming)

  • Europe: regional states

  • Europe develops new taxes or bonds

  • Establish large standing armies

Chapter 21

The Ming Dynasty

  • Yuan dynasty collapses 1368, Mongols depart

  • Hongwu becomes emperor

  • Proclaims new Ming (“Brilliant”) dynasty, 1368-1644

Ming centralization per 2 5
Ming Centralization per 2/5

  • Reestablishment of Confucian educational system

  • Direct rule by Emperor

  • Reliance on emissaries called mandarin & eunuchs

Chapter 21

Economic Recovery

  • Conscripted labor to repair, rebuild irrigation systems

  • Promoted manufacturing of porcelain, silk

  • Cultural revival

    • Attempt to eradicate Mongol legacy by promoting traditional Chinese culture

    • Emperor Yongle commissions 23,000-roll Encyclopedia

Chapter 21


  • Ferdinand of Aragon marries Isabel of Castile, 1469

  • Major political and economic alliance

  • Completes Reconquista

  • Fund Columbus’ quest for China

Chapter 21

The Renaissance, 14th-16th centuries

  • “rebirth” of classical culture

  • Work with real human anatomy

    • Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

  • Architecture: domed cathedrals

    • Imitation of Roman domes

Chapter 21

Causes of the Renaissance:

  • Rise of wealth and merchant class in Italy

  • Opening up of culture via Crusades

    • Lorenzo De Medici promoted trade, banking, the arts, scholarship, and civic pride

    • Rediscovery of Roman Law and Writing

Chapter 21

Study of Humanism:

  • The worth of the human being

  • Humankind is God’s greatest creation

  • The ability of Humankind was recognized

  • Optimism

Chapter 21

The Humanists

  • Humanities: literature, history, moral philosophy

  • Renaissance humanists deeply devoted to Christianity

    • Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) greatest humanist thinker

  • Also devoted to rediscovering classical Latin texts, often ignored in monastic libraries

Chapter 21

Humanist Moral Thought

  • Rejection of monastic lifestyle in favor of morally virtuous life while engaged in the world

    • Marriage, business

  • Reconciliation of Christianity with rapidly changing European society and economy

Chapter 21

Exploration and Colonization

  • Emp. Yongle→ Admiral Zheng He to mount seven massive naval expeditions, 1405-1433

  • Placed trade under imperial control

  • Demonstrated strength of Ming dynasty

  • Successful, but aborted as Mongols presented new threat in the north & domestic problems

Chapter 21

European Exploration in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans

  • Motives: profit, missionary activity

  • Portuguese early leaders in Atlantic exploration

  • Search for sea route to Indian Ocean basin

  • Prince Henrique (Henry the Navigator) seizes Strait of Gibraltar, 1415

  • Begins encouragement of major Atlantic voyages

Chapter 21

Indian Ocean Trade

  • Attempt to avoid using Muslim/ Italian middlemen in trade with east

  • 1488 Dias sails around Cape of Good Hope

    • 1497-1499 Vasco da Gama sails this route to India and back

  • Portuguese attempt to maintain trade monopoly

  • Beginnings of European imperialism in Asia

Chapter 21

Christopher Columbus

  • Search for western sea route to Indian Ocean

  • departs in 1492

  • Makes landfall in San Salvador

    • Believed he had reached islands off coast of Asia