Bound Feet and Western Dress China has sustained its unique tradition for hundreds and hundreds of years. They held their culture in such prestige that they tried to isolate themselves from the outside world. They restricted trade with other countries in fear that their culture would be tainted by anyone other than those from Chinese decent. However, this sheltered land’s development in weaponry and advancement into “modernizing” along with the rest of the world hindered their prestige and power. Great Britain forced China to open its gates to other countries to trade and diplomats to reside in this mysterious land.
Adler College Gurabo, PR U. S. History Essay I Angel R. Pérez 11-1 Professor Ruiz August 27, 2013 The opening to China 1839 – 1844 The opening to China symbolized the U. S.’s attempts to expand westward. The opening itself was very dissimilar to the Japanese, since the Chinese were willing to do so. But it wasn’t only the Americans, the British and other European powers sought China for products because of their great deal of products to choose from. The Chinese on the other hand, were getting less interested in western products as westerners to Chinese products. This disinterest led to a chain of events that led the U. S. to gaining power in China.
The arrival of Euorpean traders in the 1500's made the Chinese government nervous and as a result, isolated the people for fear of cultural changes. However, because of the high demand for goods, trade continued to take place illegally. When the dynasty collapsed and the Manchus took over, trade was controlled overseas. In the Qing Dynasty, trade made for a huge population growth in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Trade with America caused this growth through their introduction of new crops to China.
• Divisions within and between local societies provided allies for European invaders. • European germs and diseases to which Native Americans had no immunities decimated society after society, sometimes in advance of the Europeans’ actual arrival. 2. What large-scale transformations did European empires generate? • European empire building caused the demographic collapse of Native American societies.
Several Chinese products, such as silk and porcelain, were in high demand in Europe, but the most popular trade item in the early 1800's was tea. The British East India Company, desperate for something to fix the trade imbalance, found solution in opium, which not only upset China's balance of trade, but the stability of its whole society. Two other factors revolving around the differing moral outlooks of these two cultures added to the growing tensions. First of all, they had two very different attitudes toward trade. The Chinese government viewed trade as a monopoly controlled through its agents, in this case the co-hong.
Diseases were spread on the Silk Road as well and usage of over sea travel and animal overland travel just helped spread of bubonic plague, which originated from the Mongols. The bubonic plague spread on the Silk Road to Europe, wiping out one third of Europe’s population. Different religions also were spread throughout the Silk Road. Buddhism was highly influential for the Chinese because it appealed mostly to the lower rank because it rejected social hierarchies. Islam was spread on the Silk Road as well; however it was not spread through missionaries, but by Islamic merchants.
The conflict between Britain and its American colonies was greatly affected by the French and Indian War. During the war, the British did not want the New England or Middle colonies to export any supplies to anyone but them or the West Indies. The British felt this way because the American shippers liked this way of trade because they were able to get things the West Indies and Britain could not offer them, and Britain did not want to lose money that the American colonies brought in for them. Thus said, economics was a major origin of the Revolutionary War. There were many economic reasons why there was turmoil before the Revolutionary War, which ultimately helped lead to the war.
The new foods allowed for better agriculture that led to large increases in population. The population growth was offset slightly by disease, which was a negative part of the Columbian exchange. It was mostly the indigenous inhabitants of the New World who suffered, but the Europeans were also given diseases. European sailors returning from the Americas brought back diseases such as syphilis, which the European populations had no developed defense. The appearance of the new viruses that were completely unknown in the Old World society caused some outbreak problems for the Europeans because they were not easily treatable.
In China and the Middle East, politically Mongol rule effected who did the governing, and Mongol rule at first disrupted economies before facilitating trade on a large scale, and effected whether or not they converted to the Mongol-style nomadic economy. In China, the Mongols didn't trust the Chinese, so they got a lot of foreign peoples to come and do the governing. The great khans also dismantled the Chinese traditional Confucian way of government. In Persia, the situation was very different; the Mongols took the highest positions of government, but still gave the lower government positions to Persians. The Mongols didn't dismantle the Persian government; instead they used it to their own advantage.
But the expansion of land weakened China’s ‘central government’, and made it vulnerable against any disloyal citizens. Because of this, the Zhou began to promote the idea of cultural and linguistic unity. Although a single language was established and cultural creativity flourished throughout, the dynasty was not united enough to prevent the development of independent armies and was eventually overthrown. The Zhou dynasty was followed by the Qin dynasty, which managed to significantly strengthen the weakened government and establish a new form of protection against intruders. The power of the central government increased tremendously when a national census was ordered, giving the government more information concerning tax revenue.