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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 28 Asian Transitions in an Age of Global Change Chapter Summary: East and Southeast Asian early modern trends were highly diverse. Most Asian peoples, except in island Southeast Asia, were only marginally affected by the European arrival. India, China, and Japan were not fundamentally reshaped by the West. The peoples of East Asia developed new political and social strengths while following a policy of isolation in response to global trends. Vasco da Gama's voyage to India had opened the way to the east for Europeans, but it soon became clear that Europeans had little to offer Asians in exchange for their desired products. Asians were not interested in converting to Christianity. Asian states were too strong to be conquered by Europeans, but the latter's seapower allowed control of spice exports and regulation of some parts of the Asian trading network. The Europeans participated in the existing economic and political system rather then attempting to capture it. The Asian Trading World and the Coming of the Europeans. The first Portuguese arriving in India discovered that their products, apart from bullion, were too primitive for profitable exchange for Asian goods. They saw that Muslim traders dominated Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian commerce and that Islam blocked the spread of Catholic Christianity. They also saw that political divisions divided Asians who did not understand the threat posed by the new intruders. Bonds of Commerce: The Asian Sea-Trading Network, c. 1500. 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 offered glass, carpet, and tapestry manufacturing. In the center was India and its cotton textiles. China, in the east, manufactured paper, porcelain, and silk textiles. Peripheral regions in Japan, Southeast Asia, and East Africa supplied raw materials. Among the latter were ivory from Africa and spices from Sri Lanka and Indonesia. In the overall system profits were gained from commerce in both long distance luxury items and shorter distance bulk goods. 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 Straits of Malacca. The system had two critical characteristics: central control and military force were absent. Trading Empire: The Portuguese Response to the Encounter at Calicut. Since they did not have sufficient acceptable commodities for profitable trade to Asia, 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. They won an important victory over an Egyptian-Indian fleet at Diu in 1509. To ensure control, forts were constructed along the Asian coast: Ormuz on the Persian Gulf in 1507, Goa in western India in 1510, and Malacca on the Malayan peninsula in 1511. Malacca on the Malayan peninsula in 1511....
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course HISTORY World Civi taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..
- Spring '10