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Chapter 22 - Asian Transitions in an Age of Global Change

Chapter 22 - Asian Transitions in an Age of Global Change -...

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Chapter 22 Asian Transitions in an Age of Global Change I. Introduction i. Importance of Vasco de Gama 1. Returned from Indies 1499 – first to find route 2. Turning point in W. Europe – Portugal takes lead ii. Asia not nearly as excited 1. Little interest in European goods 2. Little interest in converting to Christianity 3. Too numerous to do anything about it iii. Importance of Europe actually minimal 1. Had their own domestic and regional issues to deal with II. The Asian Trading World and the Coming of the Europeans a. Introduction i. No initial interest in European goods 1. de Gama reaches Calicut, India, but no market for goods 2. Gee…we really didn’t need any cast-iron pots, coarse cloth, or coral beads…thanks for asking though 3. Forced to give up silver for merchants to sell stuff ii. Problems with Asian trade 1. Little interest for goods 2. Muslims already firmly embedded 1. Difficulty in trading 2. Resistant to conversion iii. But…little did they know…they shouldn’t understand group of smelly Europeans b. Bonds of Commerce: The Asian Sea Trading Network i. Asian trading network established for centuries 1. West – Red Sea/Persian Gulf area 1. glass, carpet, tapestry making 2. Central – India 1. cotton textiles 3. East – China 1. paper, porcelain, silk textiles 4. Africa – supplied raw materials – metals, foods, forestry ii. Raw materials 1. Long distance - usually light weight/luxury items – spices/gems 2. Short distance – rice, livestock, timber iii. Routes determined by 1. Weather – monsoon winds 2. Coastal – unsafe open seas iv. Why Europe could make progress in trade 1. No central control to overthrow 2. No military force protecting trade 1. Exchanges relatively peaceful – each side had something to offer 2. But…they weren’t prepared for those smelly Europeans… c. Trading Empire: The Portuguese Response to the Encounter at Calicut i. Can’t risk using all their bullion – silver/gold 1. Mercantilism defined by not having bullion leave country 2. Don’t want to giver power to other nations ii. Option B – take by force – now how did they do that? 1. Superior vessels 2. Element of surprise – figure that – trade had been peaceful for 1000 yr
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3. Asians couldn’t unite iii. Phases of control 1. Sea patrols (aka piracy) and raids on towns 2. Capture towns and build fortresses 1. Malacca, Goa, Ormuz - 1510 2. Naval bases 3. Factories – storing of goods 3. Create monopoly 1. control price of spices 2. licensing of merchant ships – any trader has to register d. Portuguese Vulnerability and the Rise of the Dutch and English Trading Empires i. Why weren’t the Portuguese successful – only first decades 1. Even though they cut off hands, amazingly they still lost power 2. Resistance of Asian rivals 3. Lack of soldiers/ships 4. Corruption among crown officials 5. Shipping losses 1. Overloading 2. Poor design ii. Dutch take over 1. Take Malacca in early 1600s 2. Set up port at Batavia – closer to source of spice islands – Indonesia
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