And The Golden Lotus

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Chapter 22 (Asian Transitions in an Age of Global Change)


Asian sea trading network:





Treaty of Gijanti (1757):



Francis Xavier:

Robert Di Nobli:


Macao and Canton:

The Water Margin, Monkey, and The Golden Lotus:


Matteo Ricci and Adam Schall:




Toyotomo (as earlier) Hideyoshi:

Tokugawa Ieyasu:



School of National Learning:




Dutch trading empire:


  1. Describe the nature of the Asian sea-trading network.

When the first Europeans arrived in Asia they discovered that their products were too primitive

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.

  1. Describe the Portuguese discoveries at Calicut and their response to those discoveries.

The Portuguese did not have commodities that were acceptable for profitable trade with Asia.

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.

  1. Trace how the Dutch displaced the Portuguese and compare their participation in the

Asian trading network with that of the Portuguese.

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.

  1. Define the origins of the European tribute systems.

Europeans were able to control Asian seas but not inland territories. The vast Asian armies offset

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.

  1. Trace the success of the European Christian missionary efforts.

The Protestant Dutch and English were not much interested in winning converts. Catholic

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.

  1. Trace the Ming restoration of traditional Chinese forms of government.

Zhu Yuanzhang, a military commander of peasant origins, became the first Ming emperor, with

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.

  1. Trace the Chinese withdraw from commercial expansion.

The Chinese, 50 years after the last of the Zhenghe expeditions, developed a policy of isolation.

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.

  1. Describe the steps which led to the restoration of the Japanese shogunate.

Tokugawa Ieyasu rose to power from a minor daimyo house in Japan. Instead of seeking

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

end to a century of civil war and led to political unity in Japan.

  1. Why did the Japanese resort to isolation as a response to European expansion?

Fear of subversion of the existing order by European missionaries was the main reason for the

self-imposed isolation.

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