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History 102 Sept 2010 Notes

Course Code
HIST 102
Christopher Friedrichs

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Ch 13 Creation of a new world market
The 15th Century
- About 450 million people whose dominant lifestyle was agriculture (some were nomads and hunters)
-1490s is considered turning point in world history Europeans begin to have oceanic contact with
America’s and Asia.
In most societies there were already systems in place to transfer the farmer’s proceeds to others (seen as
paying rent to landlords, taxes to gov’t, food/animals to nobles). Work done by peasants but benefits
reaped by landlords & aristocrats. Resulted in a surplus of wealth held by the landlords etc. and allowed
them to live leisurely, patronize art, culture, hand out scholarships, and for governments to wage war.
Some Political Entities in 1500:
CHINA 100+ million people, a strong unified state, incorporated various cultural groups and almost all
the Han Chinese in the world. Often referred to as empire.
! Yuan (Mongol) dynasty (1279-1368)
! Zhang He (Cheng Ho) (1371-1433)
! Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
JAPAN Second most significant society of East Asia.
! Strong, unified state under which almost all the Japanese were under one ruler
HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE in Western Europe Several di!erences with China:
- Contained several small states (i.e. Kingdoms of France, England, Scotland, etc.) whose constant warring
for land, power, and wealth constantly changed the political map
- Lines of political authority in Europe were unclear
-Had a holy Roman emperor (but his power was not so great not like China’s emperor)
-Numerous Kings (of Scotland, France, Denmark, etc) whose ‘King’ was the emperor
Principalities, Duchies, City-States, etc., Competition between states for wealth, power, and prestige
encouraged INNOVATION & new ideas, so that it can be used to defeat the other countries
Islamic World:
OTTOMAN EMPIRE Turkish. Took over most of Asia Minor, North Africa (Egypt), the Balkans in Europe,
Persia, and destroyed the last remaining bits of Constantinople (aka Byzantine, modern Istanbul).
-Single dominant religion Islam (Muhammed was the prophet of Allah, monotheistic).
-Many of the sub-empires of the Mongol empire (when it broke up) adopted Islam as their religion and
expected their subjects to do the same. Contributed to the spread of Islam.
-Five pillars created an idea of strength and cultural unity
Large, land-based tributary empire. Engaged in lots of wars in order to get tributes.
AZTEC EMPIRE Mexico Extreme separation from most of the world.
INCA EMPIRE West coast of South America (Peru, Ecuador)
- By land-boats (wagons with a sail, moved by the wind not very common), walked, boats/ships, the rich
were carried
September 2010 History 102 Jess Giang

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- Short distance traveling was usually for economic reasons (bringing your products to the marketplace)
-Long distance traveling for economic reasons (usually semi/non-perishable products like silk, grains,
metals). Sought to bring resources abundant in one area to areas where they were considered valuable.
-Religious reasons pilgrimages to places that were considered especially holy and thought that
by doing this that their God/deity would favor them as a reward for the e!ort that they made for
traveling the long distances. Often by foot, sometimes by ship.
-Relocation of o"cials being promoted and having to move
-Slaves were a commodity transferred from place to place
-Sometimes due to tourism. Tourists usually from China, but still extremely rare.
-Military reasons not many people travelled in huge numbers. Military tra"c usually carried out
on animals (horses and elephants)
-Most often means of traveling long-distance is by ship. Fleets of ships were often organized by
governments because individuals often didn’t have the resources to outfit ships to take goods
from one place to another. Sometimes organized by a band of merchants working together
A merchant is a person who generates wealth by arranging a transfer of products from where they are
common and cheap to where they are scarce and expensive. You must be able to invest some kind of
capital to arrange for this transportation.
AGE OF EXPLORATION AND EXPANSION (early 1400s late 1600s)
Spring 1498 Vasco da Gama (Portuguese) arrives at Calicut in West India and goes home with a cargo of
spices, setting the stage for Europe’s participation in the Spice trade that opens up the trade routes to
Asia. The European expansion in Asia also eventually results in Western domination of the trade routes in
the Indian Ocean and the establishment of colonies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Islam and the spice trade
1400s Islam begins transporting more spices to Sumatra and Java (islands in Indonesia) from India and
the Middle East. Muslim merchants try to convert the island people to Islam.
1400s a Hindu establishes his kingdom at Malacca (in Malaysia), a major meeting place for Muslim
merchants. He converts to Islam to better his chances of profiting from the merchants passing through the
region. Malacca soon becomes the leading economic power in the region and promotes the spread of
Islam to other trading ports throughout SE Asia.
Malacca was an important trade center because it possessed spices something scarce in most of the
world and therefore valuable (used to make food that had begun to gone bad edible).
Spread of Islam into West Africa
14-15th century Muslims cross the Sahara desert into the Niger River Valley. The kingdom of Songhai is
formed by Sonni Ali, and soon becomes a major trading state. Ali’s successor was a Muslim who used
Islamic institutions and ideology to strengthen national unity and his own power. It was the one of the last
states to dominate the Niger River Valley before European domination.
A new player: Europe
Europeans, attracted by tales of a rich, magical, and exotic land to the east, undertake voyages to try to
make contact with the East.
September 2010 History 102 Jess Giang

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Why? Rise of capitalism in Europe, outrageously expensive spices, hopes of finding precious metals, GET
RICH, expanding the areas of trades, and spreading Christianity are the main reasons for their voyages.
How: Centralization of power in the Crown allowed countries to expand outwards. Improvements to ships,
and developments in technology and knowledge (resource-carrying capacity, warfare, cartography,
compass), allowed them to regularly travel beyond Europe.
Europe and Christianity
In Europe, the highest level of society was nobles/aristocrats who served the King a hereditary status (or
bestowed by the King). Some people came to ‘serve’ the King by giving him money, and as a reward he
granted them the title of noble. One way to make money was by selling products and being a merchant.
So you might start out as merchants and eventually come to be powerful, wealthy, land-owning aristocrats.
A very well-known example is the Medici family. You can become rich through economic activities.
Christianity is premised on the assumption that it is the one and only true religion. Many other religions
take a more open view each religion will worship their own. Europeans came to believe that if they came
upon another country that had no way to resist Europeans and were not Christians, it was their right to
impose Christianity upon the area (seen as doing them a favor by exposing them to Christianity).
The Portuguese maritime empire
Most active traders were generally Arabs carrying spices or slaves huge economic activity in the Indian
Ocean attracted Europe’s interest, but routes were di"cult to access for Europeans. Instead of navigating
through the Mediterranean (many politics conflicts impeded travel there at that time), they decided to try
to go around Africa, but they didn’t know how big Africa was. Henry the Navigator of Portugal (1394-1460)
leads the organization to try to go around Africa (he never actually sailed a ship but directed the ships
from Lisbon in Portugal). This trip was never accomplished in Henry’s lifetime.
1441 first cargo of Black Africans are brought by Portuguese ships back home and sold. In 1471, they
discover a new source of Gold along the coast of West Africa and leased land from local rulers to build
forts that would facilitate the trade in gold, ivory and slaves.
1498 Vasco da Gama reaches Calicut believing that it is the source of the spices. Goes back home with
a cargo of spices and makes a profit of several thousand percent.
Early 1500’s Portuguese set out to take over spice trade. Takes over Malacca (and kills its Muslim pop’n)
because 1) it can block passage through the Strait of Malacca, hindering the Arab spice trade network, and
2) it can serve as a port for ships traveling east to the Spice islands.
They then travelled to China and the Moluccas (Spice Islands), make a deal with the local sultan to buy and
export cloves to Europe, and within a few years the Portuguese gained control of the Spice Trades from
Muslim Arabs & create huge profit for Portuguese Monarchy.
Portuguese were successful mainly because of guns and seamanship; although they were not the only ones
with guns, their ships were able to maintain their distance while hitting the enemy with cannons.
Spanish conquest in the “new world”
As the Portuguese headed east across the Indian Ocean to try to reach the Spice Islands, the Spanish tried
to reach the same place by traveling west across the Atlantic.
September 2010 History 102 Jess Giang
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