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Asian Transitions in an Age of Global Change. Chapter 22 EQs: What was the nature of the relationships between Europeans and isolated Asian empires? How did Europeans attempt to control Asian markets? Why did Asian nations become isolated?. Themes.

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asian transitions in an age of global change

Asian Transitions in an Age of Global Change

Chapter 22

EQs: What was the nature of the relationships between Europeans and isolated Asian empires? How did Europeans attempt to control Asian markets? Why did Asian nations become isolated?

  • 1. Asia was only marginally affected by European interaction between 1500 and 1700
  • 2. Asian empires had policies of isolationism
  • 3. Asians did not convert to Christianity in large #s by any means
  • 4. Asian states were powerful and could repel force of Europeans…many maintained/developed new powerful dynasties
  • 5. Europeans made efforts to undermine economic and political instability wherever they could interact in order to gain control over Asian empires
the asia sea trade network
The Asia Sea Trade Network
  • Divided into three main zones
    • 1. Arab – glass, carpet and tapestry products
    • 2.India – cotton trade and textiles
    • 3. China – paper, porcelain (Ming), silk textiles
    • Peripheral regions like Indonesia, Japan and East Africa provided raw materials only
  • The vast extent of this trade was relegated to following coastal routes (NO OPEN SEA SAILING)
  • Two critical characteristics
    • 1. Central control by the Arabs
    • 2. military/naval force was all but absent
the european coming
The European Coming
  • The first Portuguese arriving in India in the 1500s discovered their products, apart from gold, were too primitive for profitable exchange for Asian goods
  • They saw Islam as a blockage to commerce and spread of Catholic Christianity
  • They also saw that political divisions divided Asians who did not understand the threat posed by their presence
portuguese force
Portuguese Force
  • Since they did not have acceptable goods, the Portuguese decided to muscle their way into the Asian trade network
  • They took advantage of political divisions where found and vastly outgunned the only viable navy (Chinese)
  • They constructed trading forts (similar to their African slave forts) at Ormuz, Goa and Malacca
  • Their aim was to control the Asian sea trade monopoly on spice trade while attempting (failed) to control sea vessel traffic in the Indian Ocean
rise of the dutch and british companies
Rise of the Dutch and British Companies
  • Portugal’s East Asian network lasts very briefly, as the nation had neither the manpower or number of ships to maintain its control…and several outposts ignored the crown and became corrupt
  • By the 1600s, the Dutch and British dominate sea trade
  • The Dutch capture Malacca and build their own fort at Batavia in Java and focus SOLELY on controlling spice trade…rather than applying constant force, the Dutch realized that peaceable exploitation rather than “guns blazing” trade was the way to go…when spice trade declines, they simply make money off of port fees, tariffs and trading goods from one Asian port (society) to another (society)
  • The British followed the same suit, however, were limited to India (both sides) and China
the european tribute system
The European Tribute System
  • Remember, Europe now controlled the seas but had little inland dominance in this era
  • Despite have the technological advantages, the vast number of Asians was overwhelming…so Europeans accepted the power of Asian rulers in return for trading rights
  • War with Asian populations only occurred in a few places
    • Sri Lanka, Java and the Philippines
  • The tribute system established mirrored the Spanish system in Latin America…the indigenous peoples lived under their own leaders while paying tribute in manufactured products to Europeans (like sweatshops)
spreading the faith in asia
Spreading the Faith in Asia
  • Protestants did not use the missionary clause in Asia like the Spanish and Portugal did in Latin America
  • Though both Portuguese and Spanish tried (Francis Xavier), their conversion success was minimal as Islam and Hinduism proved to be strong foes to Christianization
  • Those pesky Jesuits attempted conversions in India, using the di Nobili method of blending in culturally with your converts (with success in the highest castes) and in the Northern Philippines (limited as converts generally kept indigenous ways)
ming china
Ming China
  • Ruled from 1368 – 1644
  • Best organized government in the world and strongest military of its day
  • Re-established the examination system ensuring the revitalization of a strong, educated elite in China
  • First emperor was Zhu Yuanzhang (later took name of Hongwu)…was a peasant military leader who helped to force out the Mongols
the scholar gentry revival
The Scholar Gentry Revival
  • Though Zhu (Hongwu) was suspicious of the scholar-gentry, he recognized that they were necessary for reviving Chinese civilization
  • He made sure that despite the fact family connection was still vital in establishing membership in the scholar gentry, that all persons took/passed the required exams in seeking advancement
  • This made sure that only the most talented individual gained a high place in Chinese bureaucracy
hongwu s reforms
Hongwu’s Reforms
  • Aside from making sure the scholar gentry had only the most qualified bureaucrats, Hongwu made every attempt to limit their power
  • He took over the role of chief minister and took on more powers personally…officials who failed their tasks were publicly beaten…imperials had to choose wives from humbler families (attempt to limit rivalries)…writings that displeased Hongwu were censored
  • Later Ming rulers lapsed some of these rules
ming growth
Ming Growth
  • The early part of the dynasty saw massive economic and population growth (by 1800 there were 300 million Chinese)
  • Products from Columbian exchange arrived in China (as well as Spanish silver) and expanded agriculture into areas previously thought as unfertile
  • The Ming opened Macao and Canton to European trade…a merchant class emerged, gaining significant wealth
  • Ming arts became desired worldwide…paintings, novels (thanks to the innovation of woodblock printing) and vases
the journey s of zhenghe
The Journey’s of Zhenghe
  • Under the orders of Emperor Yunglo in 1405, a treasure fleet sailed from Ming China under the command of Zhenghe
  • This fleet sailed and made stops in SE Asia, Persia, Arabia, E. Africa (and other places according to legend)(1421: The Year China Discovered the World)(
  • This was a limited attempt by the Chinese to expand into new territory, by the 1430s the Ming withdrew into isolationism…the main argument, resources were better spent defending the borders rather than expanding territory
ming retreat and decline
Ming Retreat and Decline
  • The Ming instantly isolated themselves by 1430 (the first edicts calling for isolation were established in 1390, before Zhenghe even sailed)
  • Europeans attempted to gain in-roads into the Ming via the entrepot ports…those pesky Jesuits again attempted conversions amongst the elite groups (scholar gentry and nobility)
  • Jesuits scholars Matteo Ricci and Adam Schall used technological knowledge and know how to try to gain influence…they portrayed themselves as “handymen” fixing calendars, clocks and wowing many with their acute intellects…however, the Chinese saw them as gruff barbarians with their bearded faces and large noses
  • Ming decline, same old story, weak rulers, corruption…though many promising public works experiments failed causing starvation then rebellion…the Jurchens/Zhurchens conquered the Ming in 1644, establishing China’s last imperial dynasty, the Manchu (Qing)
rise of tokugawa japan
Rise of Tokugawa Japan
  • In the late 1500s, the fierce daimyo Nobunaga used firearms he procured from Portuguese traders to contest for power in Japan…he succeed in overthrowing the last Ashikaga Shogun in 1573, but was killed himself in 1582 before solidifying power
  • Nobunaga’s general Toyotomo Hideoyoshi continued the struggle and became master of Japan by 1590...he died in 1598
  • Tokugawa Ieyasu took up the struggle and was eventually named supreme Shogun by the emperor in 1603…his family would rule Japan from Edo (Tokyo) for the next 250+ years
  • Tokugawa singled handedly from his centralized point at Edo (Tokyo) ended the years of civil war that had plagued Japan…he mainly reorganized the land holdings of daimyo and put the outlying provinces of Japan under a watchful eye
the european challenge and isolation
The European Challenge and Isolation
  • Europeans were frequently visiting Japan in the early 1500s (before isolation)
  • The vast exchange of goods included firearms, clocks, printing presses for silver, copper and locally manufactured goods…Christianity snuck in as well (those pesky Jesuits gained many converts)
  • Fear of Europeans began to consume the mind of Hideyoshi…during his rule strict measures was put in place to limit the influence of Europeans and Christianity and open persecution of Japanese converts began…Christianity was later banned by Tokugawa in 1614
  • By 1616, the merchant class was confined to few cities (Nagasaki being one)…by 1630 Japanese ships were not allowed to sail overseas…by 1640, trade from Europeans was limited to exchange at Deshima Island (Nagasaki)…despite this isolation, some Japanese elites still managed to make intellectual contact with traders at Nagasaki, bringing in some western ideology into Japanese daimyo nobility
this week
  • Tuesday: Compare/Contrast Activity -European/Western Tactics in Asia vs. Africa
  • Wednesday: Conflict Analysis – Japan vs. the West
  • Thursday/Friday – Unit 3 Exam
    • Chapters 16 thru 22 only
    • Notes for Chapter 22 due Friday