Remarkable new transoceanic maritime reconnaissance occurred between 1450 and 1750. Official Chinese maritime activity expanded into the Indian Ocean region with the naval voyages led by Ming Admiral Zheng He, which enhanced Chinese prestige
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
Official Chinese maritime activity expanded into the Indian Ocean region with the naval voyages led by Ming Admiral Zheng He, which enhanced Chinese prestige
Portuguese development of a school for navigation led to increased travel to and trade with West Africa, and resulted in the construction of a global trading-post empire.
Spanish sponsorship of the first Columbian and subsequent voyages across the Atlantic and Pacific dramatically increased European interest in transoceanic travel and trade.
North Atlantic crossings for fishing and settlements continued and spurred European searches for multiple routes to Asia.Trading Empires: Ming China
Based on these images, which culture do you think would dominate the seas? Explain your reasoning.
Zheng He is wrongly labeled by many as a Chinese Columbus, or as an
explorer. He was not exploring the unknown. Rather, he was on diplomatic & economic voyages to lands that China wished to profit from and add to itssphere of influence. China at this time was ruled by the Ming Dynasty – the lastgreat native Chinese imperial dynasty beginning in the 14th century.
After their defeat of the Mongols, the Ming wished to reassertChinese traditional cultural and political influence throughout Asia.
of the Ming
China expected all
and rulers to pay
tribute to the golden
throne – thus acknowledging
the superiority of Chinese
Zheng He’s voyages were
one method for the Ming
emperor to exclaim his greatness
and convince others to pay
tribute to China.
In his voyages, Zheng He would give gifts and extracttribute.
Tribute:ZhengHe’s giraffe given by an
East African ruler as tribute. It was
believed to be the mythicalquirin, ki-lin, or ch'i-lin – the “Chinese unicorn.”
Gifts:Chinese porcelain – valued the world over for its quality, relative durability, & beauty.
Current historical debate centers around further voyages
that might have gone to Australia and the Americas.
Why did the Chinese not dominate the world since they seemingly had a 50-100 year head start on European exploration (Columbus & Vasco da Gama are in the 1490s)?
What do you see in the center of this world that is
critical to the European perception of their heritage?
Christianity was to actively spread its message.
to spread the faith, among
inquiry into the
What do you observe about the rest of the world in relation to China?
(hint: it’s in the center)
As the “Middle Kingdom,” China was the cultural and political centerof the world. All outsiders were barbarians. Little of value was seen to exist abroad.
“Zhong guo” -
What about the beliefs of Confucius support the conclusions from the previous slides? Recall your knowledge of Confucianism.
Confucius – 5th Century BC
Founder of Confucianism: the belief system that willdominateofficialcircles in China for thousands of years.
Traditional interpretations of hisbeliefs are seen to:
1) Discourage travel/lifeabroad.
2) Stigmatize the career of merchants.
Chan, Jonathan, “Confucian Business Ethics and the Nature of Business Decisions”, Hong Kong Baptist University, http://www.stthom.edu/cbes/oje/articles/chan.html, accessed 6 June, 2003.
Thomas Mun (1571-1641) was one of the directors of the British East India Company, one of the largest companies engaged in colonial trade. His England's Treasure by Foreign Trade, written in the 1630s, but not published until 1664, was a classic statement of the economic doctrine know as mercantilism.
The Qualities Which Are Required In A Perfect Merchant Of Foreign Trade
“The love and service of our Country consisteth not so much in the knowledge of those duties which are to be performed by others, as in the skilful practice of that which is done by our selves; and therefore (my Son) it is now fit that I say something of the Merchant, which I hope in due time shall be thy Vocation: Yet herein are my thoughts free from all Ambition, although I rank thee in a place of so high estimation; for the Merchant is worthily called The Steward of the Kingdoms Stock, by way of Commerce with other Nations; a work of no less Reputation than Trust, which ought to be performed with great skill and conscience, that so the private gain may ever accompany the publique good. And because the nobleness of this Profession may the better stir up thy desires and endeavors to obtain those abilities which may effect it worthily, I will briefly set down the excellent qualities which are required in a perfect Merchant.
1. He ought to be a good Penman, a good Arithmetician, and a good Accomptant, by that noble order of Debtor and Creditor, which is used onely amongst Merchants; also to be expert in the order and form of Charter-parties, Bills of Lading, Invoices, Contracts, Bills of Exchange, and Policies of Insurance.”
Fourth Ming Emperor bans further foreign travel
1492 – Columbus “sails the ocean blue”
1498 – Vasco da Gama reaches India
1511 – the Portuguese seize Malacca, an area that during the
time of Zheng He,paid tribute to the Ming
Europe, due in part to their attitudes towards foreign travel
and trade, and due to the absence of a formidable naval rival in the seas of Asia, quickly begins to build an oceanic empire in areas briefly under the influence of China.