ChAPTER 27 -- Part 6: Asian Transitions in an Age of Global
China received more American silver from European merchants than any other country in the world during the Early Modern period, because they were allowed to trade single society in the world economy.
Europeans were allowed to do business in China.
China contributed to trade in China despite restrictions on contacts with foreigners.
Their gains were transferred to the state in the form of taxes and bribes for official favors.
generous patrons at court and among the scholar-gentry class were reflected in the fine arts.
The simplicity of the work of earlier dynasties was maintained by the ink brush paintings of artists, but much of the output was more colorful.
Scenes of court, city, and country life were more prominent.
The Chinese continued to delight in depicting individual scholars or travelers contemplating the beauty of mountains, lakes, and marshes that dwarf the human observers.
Major innovation was occurring in literature compared to the painters who focused on developing established techniques and genres.
The Chinese novel had its beginnings in the writings of the Yuan era.
The novel form was given a boost by the spread of literacy among the upper classes.
The spread of woodblock printing from the 10th century onward resulted in the growing availability of books.
The energy of the Chinese in the early years of their rule drove them far beyond the traditional areas of expansion in central Asia and the regions south of the Yangzi.
In the reign of the third Ming emperor, Yungle, a series of expeditions had no precedent in Chinese history.
One of Yongle's most trusted sub ordinates, the admiral Zheng He, led seven major expeditions overseas between 1405 and 1433 The voyages were prompted by a desire to explore other lands and proclaim the glory of the Ming empire to the world.
Southeast Asian seas and kingdoms were the focus of the early expeditions.
The last three traveled as far as Persia, southern Arabia, and the east coast of Africa, which would be covered by the Portuguese in their early voyages around Africa.
The rule is called the ming rule.
A seago ing ship might be fitted with 1000 KILOMETERS size and number of masts.
The view of the standing priority of defending against nomadic Zheng He expeditions shows the distances traveled as well as the fact invasions eventually left China and the Ocean world as a whole.
Christian mission aries tried to gain access to the court in order to curry favor with the emperors.
While religious orders such as the Franciscans and Dominicans worked to win converts and make modest progress that could be counted in the tens of thousands, the Jesuits adopted a top-down strategy that di Nobili had pursued in India.
The rulers and their chief advisors became the targets of the Jesuit mission in China due to the fact that a single person, the Ming emperor, sat at the top of the social hierarchy.
Some Chinese scholars were interested in Christian teachings and Western thinking.
The Jesuit missionaries who made their way to Beijing knew that their scientific knowledge and technical skills were the key to maintaining a presence at the Ming court.
They were able to astound the Chinese scholar-gentry with their accuracy and ability to predict eclipses.
They won converts among the elite.
Most court officials were suspicious of these "barbarians" with large noses and hairy faces, and they tried to limit their contact with the imperial family.
The Jesuits were hostile to some at the court who were humiliated by the foreigners.
Despite serious harassment, the later Ming emperors were still fascinated by these very learned and ablevisi tors that they allowed a few to remain.
When the Jesuits were able to maintain, even increase, their influence with the Qing emperors who succeeded the Ming in the middle of the 17th century, the enter prising missionaries came to believe that China was on the verge of being converted to Christianity.
The Jesuits believed in the best way to convert a great civilization.
The issue of whether Chinese converts should be allowed to continue the ancestral rites that have been central to its elite was critical.
Since ancient times, the scholar-gentry elite had been to Chinese family life.
They brought the rest of China's vast population into fierce debates with rival missionary orders.
The Jesuit scholar in court of the Ming emperors was a skilled scientist and won few Ming Decline and the Chinese Predicament converts to Christianity.
The political structure that had been in the court of the Ming emperors was run well by able successors such as Yongle, who became a major liability scientist, and won few converts under mediocre or incompetent men.
In the early modern era chinese ships for canal, river, and rival Europeans deployed in their voyages of exploration ocean transportation improved significantly and their numbers and discovery improved from the 15th through the 17th.
They did it many times.
The size of the Arab dhows that plied some of them had increased dramatically by the first decades of the Ming dynasty.
The impres vessels the Chinese became for much of the fifteenth century sive series of expeditions that were led by the eunuch Zheng He a dominant force in Asian seas east of the Malayan peninsula gave rise to this trend.
Peasants were reduced to eating bark from trees or the feces of wild geese.
Some peasants sold their children into slavery to keep them from starving, while others cannibalism.
Local landlords built huge estates by taking advantage of desperate peasants.
As in earlier phases of decline, farmers who had been turned off of their land and tor tured for taxes, or had lost most of the crops they had grown, turned to flight, banditry, and finally open rebellion to confiscate food and avenge their exploitation by greedy landlords and corrupt
Chinese mariners demonstrated their capacity to mount large expedi tackle such ambitious undertakings in the early years of the 14th century.
There were impres tions for overseas exploration.
The explanation for the Chinese refusal to commit to overseas ties is as complex as the socie.
Expansion can be best understood if they are contrasted with the groups pushing for expansion within each civilization forces that drove the Europeans with and the needs that drove them into increasing determination into the outside world.
Portugal, Chinese, and European nations had the ability to expand on Spain, Holland, and England.