for profitable exchange for Asian goods. Muslim traders dominated Indian Ocean and southeast
Asian commerce, and Islam blocked the spread of Catholic Christianity. The trading network
stretched from the Middle East and Africa to east Asia, and was divided into three main zones:
an Arab division in the West, India in the center, and China in the East. Also, there were
peripheral regions in Japan, southeast Asia, and east Africa. Most of the trade passed along safer
coastal routes, converging in vital intersections at the openings of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf,
and the Strait of Malacca. The system had two critical characteristics: central control and
military force were absent.
Therefore, the Portuguese used force to enter the network. Their superior ships and weaponry
were unmatched except by the Chinese. Taking advantage of the divisions between Asians, the
Portuguese won supremacy on the African and Indian coasts. The Portuguese aimed to
monopolize the spice trade.
The Portuguese lacked the manpower and ships necessary for enforcement. Many Portuguese
ignored their government and traded independently, while rampant corruption among officials
and losses of ships further hampered policies. The Dutch challenged the weakened Portuguese in
the seventeenth century. The Dutch captured Malacca and built a fort at Batavia in Java in 1620.
They decided to concentrate on the monopoly control of some spices. The Dutch trading empire
resembled the Portuguese, but they had ships that were better armed and they controlled their
monopoly with ruthless efficiency. The Dutch discovered that large profits came from peacefully
exploiting the established system. For example, when the spice trade declined, they relied on fees
charged for transporting products from one Asian place to another.
European technological and organizational advantages. Europeans were forced to accept the
power of Asian rulers in return for permission to trade. The Europeans established tribute
systems resembling the Spanish system in the New World.
Portugal and Spain were, but success in Asia was minimal. The world religions of Islam,
Hinduism, and Buddhism made it difficult to find converts. Conversion occurred only in isolated
regions like the northern Philippines.
the name of Hongwu. He was suspicious of the scholar-gentry class; however, he realized that an
alliance between himself and the scholar-gentry class was a necessity. Hongwu reinstated and
greatly expanded the civil service examination system. By reinstating this exam system and
Confucian ideas, Ming rulers were embracing the Han dynasty.
In 1390, the first decree limiting overseas commerce appeared, and the navy was allowed to
decline. Europeans exacerbated the situation by being drawn to the great empire. Missionaries
sought access to the Middle Kingdom.
overseas expansion, Tokugawa concentrated on consolidating power in Japan. He was granted
the title of shogun, which formalized rule by the Tokugawa shogunate. This action led to the
consolidation of power being granted from the daimyos. The Tokugawa shogunate brought an