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Hum Hist 2 ho 2 - Human History Week 2 lecture 1 New kinds...

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Human History Week 2, lecture 1 New kinds of empire, 1450-1750 4/4/11 Why not China? After 1400, intercontinental ships make being stuck out into the Atlantic Ocean a huge plus for western Europe; best placed to exploit open oceans Europeans lucky to enter Indian Ocean around 1500, after end of Zheng He’s voyages Chinese emperor bans long-distance voyages in 1424; by late 1430s, fleet rotting Attempt to revive long-distance voyages in 1477 thwarted by civil servants Story that Liu Daxia, ringleader of anti-maritime faction, tells Minister of War: The voyages of [Zheng] to the Western Ocean wasted millions in money and grain, and moreover the people who met their deaths may be counted in the tens of thousands ... This was merely an action of bad government of which ministers should severely disapprove. Even if the old archives were still preserved they should be destroyed. Minister rises from chair, saying: “Your hidden virtue, sir, is not small. Surely this seat will soon be yours!”
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