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Evolution of China 1500-1700

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    Posted: 06 Jul 2009 at 10:07
One period of Chinese history that I find intriguing is from the Ming to early Qing dynasty.

It was the time when European nations such as Spain, Portugal, and Holland were building colonies everywhere in the New World and in Asia.

China was by large, at the time still a formidable power in every sense: economical, military, cultural, and technological, yet its modernization rate was already considerably slower than that of Europe.
Whether China could be considered as technically "ahead" or "behind" Europe from 1500-1700 is a highly subjective issue.
While more tradition Euro-centric historians claim that the age of European world supremacy began in the 1500s, other historians have argued that China up until 1700 still had a more advanced economy and a more sophisticated administration, production, and economic system than most European nations; and that a Chinese peasant living during the reign of Kangxi was better fed and more resourceful than a peasant living in Spain, France, or the Netherlands.

I'd like to open a discussion into analysing the social, economic, political, scientific, and technological advancement from the Ming to the early Qing dynasty.

Was it an era of advancement, stagnation, or decline?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2009 at 14:39
in re:  "It was the time when European nations such as Spain, Portugal, and Holland were building colonies everywhere in the New World and in Asia."

And some Chinese, notably Zheng Cheng-gong in Taiwan, and Mac Cuu in Lower Cambodia (today Ha Tien Vietnam) were building colonies of their own.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2009 at 19:04
The comparative development of China and Western Europe during the centuries inmediately prior to the Industrial revolution is a very debateble subject.
 
Some historians, such as Angus Maddison, claim that Western Europe had already surpassed any other region of the world in GDP per capita by the late Middle Ages, while other historians such as Max Webber and Jonathan Spence claim that China and Europe had more or less the same GDP per capita up until the year 1750; nevertheless, China's productivity had been relatively high since the Middle Ages, while Europe's productivity had steadily increased since the 1400s; and after the Industrial Revolution, managed to shoot ahead of China and the Middle East.
 
The case is, western European nations established the trans-Atlantic trade; while China established a tributary system across a wide geographical range in East Asia and had a complex system of canals that assisted in the shipping and exchange of goods.
 
Did China's economy grow from the period of 1500-1700? did it stagnate? Or was it already in decline?
 
With what factors do these historians measure the level of "advancement"?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2009 at 21:51
Here's a hint: Europe had no export of any interest to the Chinese state save one: silver! One can more or less safely posit that during the period concerned China's economy was entirely dynamic and self-sufficient and drained a significant percentage of Western specie recall that even in the first quarter of the 19th century, Europeans had to "mint" the Spanish peso in order to engage in the China trade--Chinese merchants were entirely uninterested in anything else offered.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2009 at 14:28
Good point. The colonial expansion to Asia and also the Industrial Revolution were pushed in a large degree for that lack of goods to sale to China. Europe, in theirs need to achive the production levels of China resorted to authomatic machinery to produce textiles in large quantities for foreign trade. It also resorted to science to replicate goods such as silk and particularly porcelain.
Colonial expansion in Asia and Africa was pushed because the necesity of having captured markets that consumed goods of the metropolis. Even the sadly famous War of Opium with China started because the necesity of the Europeans to have a better way to trade with China. Opium was easier to obtain than Silver. 


Edited by pinguin - 12 Jul 2009 at 14:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2009 at 20:29
In re: "Here's a hint: Europe had no export of any interest to the Chinese state save one: silver!"

True, but a more nuanced observer would have noted that Europe certainly was ahead of China in the development of armaments, particularly artillery, which the Chinese may have had before the Europeans, and military science. But apparently the Ching believed they were invulnerable. In the following centuries, that turned out to have been a fatal miscalculation. In the meanwhile, Europeans found a product that the Chinese did want, Opium, and launched one of history's first examples of Technological espionage, Robert Fortunes clandestine trip into China to purloin the secrets of the Chinese tea industry, to create what became the Indian tea industry, keeping some of that silver in British hands, Captain Lipton and Lord Twining's among them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2009 at 23:40
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

...In the meanwhile, Europeans found a product that the Chinese did want, Opium, ...
 
Curious. That's the same argument Colombian drug lords use in theirs deffense. That they sale a product Europeans want, cocaine ConfusedConfused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2009 at 16:09
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

...In the meanwhile, Europeans found a product that the Chinese did want, Opium, ...
 
Curious. That's the same argument Colombian drug lords use in theirs deffense. That they sale a product Europeans want, cocaine ConfusedConfused
 
Absolutely correct, Pinguin, and if we are addressing formal trade, the Chinese state wanted no part of the product offered. Not only was the opium proscribed but its consumption and distribution within the empire became a capital offense. However, please note, that under no circumstances should the material presented by Wiki on the Opium Trade be accepted as accurate--for goodness sakes it has the Spanish introducing opium to China! Obviously, the dolt who added such information probably desired to deflect attention from the purely British connection and did not know that it was the Chinese merchant who traveled to Manila and not the Spanish who went to China during the epoch of the Manila Galleon!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jul 2009 at 17:03
I think that when Zheng He's vayages were recalled is when China as a global super power began to change. Just after the Yuan fell, wasn't there a call to erase all that was not considered "Chinese traditional" which included hegemonic definitions of what the Mongols had adopted culturally from the Chinese in the first place? And many of the technological innovations (like the 9 mast ships) were subsequently destroyed.. also, the resources were used for China's defense rather than to focus on new innovations.
 
China then began to become extreme isolationists--only allowing a few ports open to other polities for trade (export)..Before this though, China was way ahead technologically, at least in respect to maritime technology.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2009 at 00:58

I disagree...the Chinese military faced different circumstances and needs during the course of the Ming Dynasty, hence the idea that China was vulnerable prior to the 18th century is more speculative and certainly such an enterprise as its conquest as much a pipe dream then as it was when the subject was broached by the Jesuits to Philip II. As for a summary there is a handy reference that provides a good intro as well as dispells certain myths--such as the absence of gun technology.

Needham, Joseph, and Robin D. S. Yates. Science and Civilization in China, Volume 5: Chemistry and Chemical Technology VI: Military Technology. London: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2009 at 05:07
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

...Absolutely correct, Pinguin, and if we are addressing formal trade, the Chinese state wanted no part of the product offered. Not only was the opium proscribed but its consumption and distribution within the empire became a capital offense. However, please note, that under no circumstances should the material presented by Wiki on the Opium Trade be accepted as accurate--for goodness sakes it has the Spanish introducing opium to China! Obviously, the dolt who added such information probably desired to deflect attention from the purely British connection and did not know that it was the Chinese merchant who traveled to Manila and not the Spanish who went to China during the epoch of the Manila Galleon!
 
Well, perhaps Spanish merchants may have smuggled some drugs into China... I won't believe it was much because Spain always depended on the Silverfrom Bolivia to pay for most Chinese goods they bought. I really don't know.
 
What do I know is that the British transformed systematically India into a large scale opium producer with the clear purpose in mind of get a large population of vicious people in China, so they ballanced the trade. And when the Chinese goverment refused, British simply crashed the navy.
 
So, the really first important drug cartel was Britain ConfusedConfused
 
That's as far as I know about this curious case....
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2009 at 00:19
With respect to "Spanish" trade in the Far East, we can not pull the tail of the lion with regard to opium during the years of imperial hegemony. First, because the trade enclave in China proper during the 16th century--as well as the years of the united Iberian monarchy (1580-1640)--was viewed as appertaining to the Portuguese kingdom. Second, the nature of the trade (transport and goods) was in the hands of Chinese merchants themselves, it was they who brought the goods to Manila itself so as to secure silver coinage and ingots. Opium as "merchandise" was unknown in the Philippines until the 19th century, when thanks to the British, it had become ubiquitous in the South China Sea. In fact, the China trade based in the Spanish colony itself caused concern by the last decade in Philip II's reign and led to stiff regulation both in the Philippines and at Acapulco so as to limit the exchange to a single annual vessel. How this factor led to the building of the largest merchant vessels afloat during the 17th and 18th centuries is also an interesting narrative.
 
By the way, Indian opiates also found their way to the United States, which by 1898 already had its own drug problem. So much so that the the first American Episcopal bishop of the Philippines, Charles Henry Brent, instituted a moral crusade in the US against opium between 1902-1918.


Edited by drgonzaga - 15 Jul 2009 at 00:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2009 at 05:27
So, would it be political incorrect to say that Britain founded the international drug trade?
 
With respect to the large Manila Gallions, perhaps the largest of theirs time, it is even more curious is that they were build in the East, and not in Mexico or Europe.
 


Edited by pinguin - 15 Jul 2009 at 05:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2009 at 14:33
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

in re:  "It was the time when European nations such as Spain, Portugal, and Holland were building colonies everywhere in the New World and in Asia."

And some Chinese, notably Zheng Cheng-gong in Taiwan, and Mac Cuu in Lower Cambodia (today Ha Tien Vietnam) were building colonies of their own.
 
Well, at least the Chinese built their colonies closer to their homeland than did the Europeans. And at least Zhen Cheng-gong did not build his colony just for profit but as a refuge from, and a base for his continuing battle against, the Qing.
(He just had to oust the Dutch, under their Swedish born governor Fredrik Coyet, first)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2009 at 15:44
Carcharodon, REference your "at least ...not only for profit" above. Colonies have been established for various reasons, not always "only for profit". And they were not always established by states, but by private companies and private individuals. And not all colonial experiences were negative. Certainly the aboriginal peoples of Taiwan could argue that colonialism marginalized them, though they weren't really "swamped" by ethnic Chinese until the Nationalist Government fled there in 1949. Colonialism and Empire have many common characteristics, and at times it is amusing to hear proponents of empire, or of retaining the fruits of empire, argue against the "colonialism" or neo-colonialism of others".
 
drgonzaga has already replied to Pinguino's aside on Spanish opium being introduced into China. I would have added that it is irrevelent who introduced opium, which does have medicinal uses, into China. The historical record is clear as to who made opium a major export there, and who fought a military campaign to keep that market open. The British were not alone, and opium traders included French and Amercan merchants, in the latter case, some from "fine old New England" families. And, of course, the California gold strike of 1849 brought tens of thousands of Chinese miners flooding into California, at the height of opium trading in China. What goes out has a habit of coming back. But bear in mind that in the age of 19th Century homeopathic medicine, i.e., not based upon science, the effects of narcotic medicines in the U.S. was dimly understood. Opiates were widely used as pain killers in the U.S. Civil War, as cocaine was shortly thereafter, and both of those resulted in initial U.S. "waves" of drug addiction. The Americans, by the way, never officially participated in the Opium Wars, but on one occasion the Commander of the U.S. "Far Eastern Squadron", a future Confederate admiral, sent the U.S. squadron to fire on Chinese forts and thereby cover the withdrawal of a hard pressed British naval squadron.  The U.S. was thus allowed a "seat at the table" in the treaty negotiations that ended the second Opium War, and thereby obtained admission to the ports and concessions being opened to European nations.
 
More to the point of this thread, i.e., 1500-1700, the defeat of the Ming by another barbarian people, the Manchu (Qing), had repercussions for 19th and 20th Century Vietnam, and 20th and 21st Century Taiwan. Without Mac Cuu, the Mekong Delta would have remained in Cambodian hands, likely to be later replaced by Thailand, making Vietnam just another Chinese territory, or small pro-Chinese neighbor.  Taiwan, whose return to China was a direct result of U.S. sponsorship of Nationalist China in WWII,  currently has a treaty with the U.S. which obliges the latter to come to Taiwan's defense in case of attack by China.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2009 at 17:35
Pinguin wrote:
"With respect to the large Manila Galleons, perhaps the largest of their times, it is even more curious is that they were built in the East, and not in Mexico or Europe."
 
Not so curious, and a subject that intersects the other thread on "immigrants". Among the first European immigrants to the colonial world in the late 16th and early 17th centuries were the craftsmen and artisans required for the maintenance of naval contact. Interestingly enough, in 1696 one of the major components of the last "flota" were the naval artisans and chandlers of the Canary Islands, who moved wholesale to the Americas once the archipelago became irrelevant to the Americas trade. In fact, it would be difficult to find a port town without a resident "Real Carpintero" plying his craft as well as training the locals to supply the naval needs of the state. Little wonder that Colaptes melanochloros, received the name carpintero real in the Americas. Save for the willful destruction of old Manila in the 1940s (the Intramuros), a resident of 17th century Havana would have felt just as home in that city.
 
It would be fair to say that a very large percentage of vessels in the Spanish carrying trade had "colonial" origins, including many naval craft as well--the guarda costa for example.


Edited by drgonzaga - 15 Jul 2009 at 17:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2009 at 19:39
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Carcharodon, REference your "at least ...not only for profit" above. Colonies have been established for various reasons, not always "only for profit". And they were not always established by states, but by private companies and private individuals. And not all colonial experiences were negative. Certainly the aboriginal peoples of Taiwan could argue that colonialism marginalized them, though they weren't really "swamped" by ethnic Chinese until the Nationalist Government fled there in 1949. Colonialism and Empire have many common characteristics, and at times it is amusing to hear proponents of empire, or of retaining the fruits of empire, argue against the "colonialism" or neo-colonialism of others".
 
The main reason for Zheng Chenggong to go to Taiwan was to set up a base for further warfare against the Qing troops that were taking over the mainland.
 
As for other colonies I can agree that the motifs in creating such has varied but profit (private or for a state) has mostly been involved.
 
And about how colonialism and similar has been referred to by different actors, it is maybe so that oneself are building an empire or spreading civilisation while others are indulging in colonialism and robbery.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lance Armstrong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 22:19

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Here's a hint: Europe had no export of any interest to the Chinese state save one: silver!

In what way does this constitute a hint? Since European seafarers controlled maritime world trade since 1500, that is trade across the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, trans-Pacific and largely the Indian ocean, you are effectively claiming that China had no interest in the goods of the world. Which may be well be true, but ultimately was China's problem, not that of the world, proven by the subsequent course of history.

As it was the China trade was only of secondary importance for European traders. Much more important were the SE Asian spice islands and India. And this trade in turn was of secondary importance to the Atlantic economy, not to mention intra-European trade on the North and Baltic Sea as well as the Med which may well have been still larger.

Actually, if you look at it from another perspective, Chinese economy, which lacked any noteworthy gold and silver production, was utterly dependent on European bullion for its monetarization. This was even more crucial for maintaining its functioning, since the Chinese economy had a long tradition of being undermonetarized beginning with the Han economy which hampered its eonomic development (see Walter Scheidel's comparison between the Roman and Han levels of monetarization).



Edited by Lance Armstrong - 21 Jul 2009 at 22:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lance Armstrong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 22:26

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

The colonial expansion to Asia and also the Industrial Revolution were pushed in a large degree for that lack of goods to sale to China.

The Eastern trade was actually driven by the prospect of spices in India and the Indies (=Indonesia). Colombus went westwards in the search for India and found 'Indians', not Chinese.

In the Far Eastern theatre, China was actually of secondary importance even  to Japan until the expulsion of all Westerners there in the 1630s. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2009 at 23:08
Well, Lance, one has to measure lack of actual knowledge prior to 1500 and the final realization that there was no "Great Khan" in Asia as Columbus thought but instead a rather formidable state with secure frontiers. The consolidation of Portugal's Estado da India between 1500 and 1555--really a series of entrepots astride the traditional trade routes of South Asia--did have two foci, Goa in the Indian Ocean and Macau in the South China Sea. Not that the Portuguese did not soon have a confrontation with the Spanish in "the Moluccas" during the 1570s. However, by the close of the century Macau was the central point for Portuguese activity northward and even the incursion into Cipangu was Macao based. True, lacking the wherewithal in specie held by the Spanish, the Chinese trade at Manila eclipsed activity with the Portuguese at Macao, however the purpose of Portuguese strategy was control over the carrying trade westward and not access to Chinese markets, since these were, as stated previously, principally self-sufficient. After all, as with their successors (the Dutch and later the English), they really had nothing to offer China.

Edited by drgonzaga - 21 Jul 2009 at 23:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lance Armstrong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 00:39

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

After all, as with their successors (the Dutch and later the English), they really had nothing to offer China.

You simply assert that, but where is your proof? That the Ming declined to buy goods from the world market was not the fault of the world market which offered all imaginable goods. All the world traded with European merchants and European merchants traded with all the world.

Instead of trying to sell the idea that the world market had nothing to offer China, it may be much more worthwhile asking what factors led China to isolate itself from the international stream of goods.

Actually, European traders had all kinds of precious goods to offer such as

- spices of unrivalled equality from India and the spice islands

- dear skin from Taiwan or frurs through the Siberian trade

- coffee from the Arabian peninsula

- cotton products from India

- all goods from the Americas

- timber

- European manufactured products such as weapons, clocks, furniture, parfume, gold and silver ware etc. etc.

The world market offered more than enough goods, the real reasons for China standing apart on the maritime world trade were to a large degree home-grown, that is its policy of self-isolation and the almost total lack of maritime engagement or even understanding in imperial Confucian circles. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2009 at 02:39
Are you kidding me or do you understand that Chinese merchants were active on their own and needed no European to serve as carriers of anything. The internal markets and commercial networks and roads in China dwarfed those in Europe, and as stated long before the merchants of Southern China traded in Manila for but a single item specie. Coffee from Arabia, Starbucks no less.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tradition Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2009 at 18:43

China so-called capitalism germinated in Qing Dynasty turned Ming Dynasty three times,

Qing Dynasty's knowledge is called the sinology(hanxue), has overthrown the Song and ming dynasty Neo-Confucianism comprehensively.Also is called China's Renaissance time
The Qing Dynasty has realized the agricultural reform, The Qing Dynasty firearm assembly achieves 50%
 
 
but while the great qing was a failure in the 19century?
 
 
bec 1,China ancient times technology long-term advanced, but has not appeared the empirical science, the West has advaced  in the scientific method,
The Song and  ming dynasty"s Neo-Confucianism has hindered the Chinese science development
 
 
2,Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty although the trade is developed, but the merchant is only like slaves under the imperial authority slave, has not formed the European similar free city and the independent bourgeoisie strength
 
3, when  european countries changes from the the feudal fission to the nation-state unification , the imperial authority despotic stage is very short, because the bourgeoisie and the free city strength already were at the rise stage.But China has founded the perfect despotic imperial authority system unification big empire in the qin dynasty, all trades and the independent breath are devastated all
 
4,China is an agricultural country for a long time, therefore lacks the power which the sea expands.Adopts the maritime restrictions in the Ming Dynasty to close up, when implements the despotic dictatorship control to in, China already fell behind in fact in the  mid and later ming period than West.But skinny the camel is bigger than the horse, may  
Continues to the 18th century
 
 
5,China has also carried on the thought revolution in the 18th century, carries on reconsidering to the Confucianist theory, but because in the Chinese culture did not have the ancient Greek logical and democratic idea, so he fail


Edited by tradition - 15 Aug 2009 at 04:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2009 at 21:41
I think we have problems in translation...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2009 at 23:24
Originally posted by Lance Armstrong Lance Armstrong wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

After all, as with their successors (the Dutch and later the English), they really had nothing to offer China.

You simply assert that, but where is your proof? That the Ming declined to buy goods from the world market was not the fault of the world market which offered all imaginable goods. All the world traded with European merchants and European merchants traded with all the world.

Instead of trying to sell the idea that the world market had nothing to offer China, it may be much more worthwhile asking what factors led China to isolate itself from the international stream of goods.

Actually, European traders had all kinds of precious goods to offer such as

- spices of unrivalled equality from India and the spice islands

- dear skin from Taiwan or frurs through the Siberian trade

- coffee from the Arabian peninsula

- cotton products from India

- all goods from the Americas

- timber

- European manufactured products such as weapons, clocks, furniture, parfume, gold and silver ware etc. etc.

The world market offered more than enough goods, the real reasons for China standing apart on the maritime world trade were to a large degree home-grown, that is its policy of self-isolation and the almost total lack of maritime engagement or even understanding in imperial Confucian circles. 

 
Drgonzaga is absolutely correct. European trade had nothing to offer to China except opium. All the other goods were complitely out of the interest of Chinese.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2009 at 03:44
drgonzaga, There was a fair amount of Western and Japanese trade with China through the Nguyen port of Hoi An. See "Nguyen Cochinchina" by Li Tana. But, of course, the majority of products traded to China through Hoi An would have been eaglewood, mandarin grade birds nests, and other SEA products. China did have a need for sulpher-nitrate for the production of gunpowder, and got that from Taiwan (see "Out of China: Or Yu Yonghe's Tales of Formosa" translated by Macabe Keligher (SMC Publishing, Tapiei, 2003)). As I mentioned previously, they certrainly could have purchased cannon from the Portuguese to upgrade their artillery. Their decision not to do was shortsighted. (The Nguyen did, and found their Macau manufactured guns handy in their war with the Trinh.) So it is more of a case that the Qing felt that there was nothing the West produced of interest to them, rather than "need", and they were wrong. Ergo, China's backwardness in Defense.

For the poster who mentioned these: Regarding deer skins, these were also obtained in great quantity from Taiwan (per Yu Yonghe), I presume from Chinese settler/traders, so there was no need to purchase them from westerners. As for coffee, there is not much interest in China for coffee today, and it had to be zero back in the 1500-1700 period. Tea was their great drink, and a real money maker, until Robert Fortune made his clandestine trip in 1800s (a case of Western industrial espionnage). Should that change in the near future, Vietnam, now the world's #2 coffee producer, is likely to be the beneficiary until the Chinese get their own industry started.


Edited by lirelou - 16 Aug 2009 at 03:53
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tradition Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2009 at 06:12
zhenchenggong attacks and occupies Taiwan mainly is in order to resist the Qing Dynasty to establish the base ,not like Westnation is equally establishes the colony for the export of capital
 
 IF zhenchenggong has the opportunity to seize the mainland,he will turn  agricultural oriented in the same old way , this is decided by the Chinese society ,they donot like west style ocean expansion,they think it is waste money and energy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2009 at 16:43
Well, Lirelou, I adhered to the time frame provided, which essentially encompassed the Ming, and not the Qing, since even there the early policies of the new dynasty were much different from the course followed later.
 
Now, to the Marxist turn introduced by our Chinese member. First of all Chinese traders had long established commercial links throughout the South China Sea (and many were so downright capitalistic, that piracy became a common norm) during the early Ming (many were actual extensions of networks under the Yuan). As for the wish to transfer the term "slaves of the emperor" into a connotation invoking institutional slavery as set in the West, that's a no-go. After all, were not the early colonial ventures by the merchants of London undertaken under royal authorization as "servants" of the monarch? No permission or license made you a pirate, it's as simple as that!. Likewise, when discussing weaponry much of the conclusion presented here suffers for a maritime fixation or to cite Sun Laichen: the maritime mentality. In this respect, one had best read this interesting essay:
 
Sun Laichen. "Military Technology Transfers from Ming China and the Emergence of Northern Mainland Southeast Asia" in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 34:2003
 
Likewise, accepting the thesis of Hu Qiuyuan without full familiarity with the Ming Shi-lu is extremely hazardous given the flux in nomenclature, specially when it comes to identifying "Japanese" pirates. These chronicles are on line:
 
 
Chinese treatises dealing with firearms in this period are also must reads--the Ji Xiao Xin Shu for example--and one can intimate the point made here by perusing this site:
 
 
Further, I must disagree with tradition and his use of the term "colony" in his argument. We do not call the presence of first Portuguese and the later Dutch entrepots in Japan "colonies"; hence, the similar phenomenon in Guangzhou or Taiwan during the 16th century must give one pause if viewed as "colonies"--they were not. In fact, the only example of "colonization" at this time in the South China Sea can only be the Spanish on Luzon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tradition Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2009 at 17:12

why could not use the word colony? chinese always called The dutch who  seizes Taiwan colonizer.In fact,chinese colonized taiwan early than dutch.do you know the man call yan si qi?taiwan is the Chinese first overseas colony which yan si qi built.and zhen chenggong is second one.before zhen,Taiwan's  inhabitant always occupies the population overwhelming superiority,zhen changed that, just like spanish kill ameirca native people.,and made the colony

 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2009 at 17:37
It were the Dutch who actually started to bring Chinese to Taiwan to cultivate local lands. Before the Dutch Taiwan. wasn't of any interest for the Chinese at all despite the fact, that it is very close to the Mainland.
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