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20 - Northern Eurasia, 1500 - 1800.doc

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HST 101
Tom Wang

CHAPTER 21 Northern Eurasia, 1500–1800 I0. Japanese Reunification A0. Civil War and the Invasion of Korea and Manchuria, 1500–1603 10. In the twelfth century, with imperial unity dissolved, Japan came under the control of a number of regional warlords called daimyo. 20. Warfare among the daimyo was common, and in 1592 the most powerful of these warlords, Hideyoshi, chose to lead an invasion of Korea. 30. Although the Korean and Japanese languages are closely related, the dominant influence on Yi dynasty Korea was China. 40. Despite the creative use of technological and military skill, the Koreans and their Chinese allies were defeated by the Japanese. 50. After Hideyoshi's death in 1598, the Japanese withdrew their forces and, in 1606, made peace with Korea. 60. The Japanese withdrawal left Korea in disarray and the Manchu in a greatly strengthened position. B0. The Tokugawa Shogunate, 1603–1800 10. In the late 1500s Japan’s Ashikaga Shogunate had lost control and the country had fallen into a period of chaotic wars between local lords; a new shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, brought all the local lords under the administration of his Tokugawa Shogunate in 1600. 20. The Tokugawa Shogunate gave loyal regional lords rice lands close to the shogunal capital in central Japan, while those lords who had not been supporters of the Tokugawa were given undeveloped lands at the northern and southern extremes of the islands. The Japanese emperor remained in Kyoto but had no political power. This political structure had an important influence on the subsequent development of the Japanese economy. 30. The decentralized system of regional lords meant that Japan developed well- spaced urban centers in all regions, while the shogun’s requirement that the regional lords visit Edo frequently stimulated the development of the transportation infrastructure and the development of commerce, particularly the development of wholesale rice exchanges. 40. The samurai became bureaucrats and consumers of luxury goods, spurring the development of an increasingly independent merchant class whose most successful families cultivated alliances with regional lords and with the shogun himself. By the end of the 1700s the wealthy industrial families were politically influential and held the key to modernization and the development of heavy industry. C0. Japan and the Europeans 10. Jesuits came to Japan in the late 1500s, and while they had limited success in converting the regional lords, they did make a significant number of converts among the farmers of southern and eastern Japan. A rural rebellion in this area in the 1630s was blamed on Christians; the Tokugawa Shogunate responded with persecutions, a ban on Christianity, and, in 1649, the closing of the country. 20. The closed country policy was intended to prevent the spread of foreign influence, but not to exclude knowledge of foreign cultures. A small number of European traders, mainly Dutch, were allowed to reside on a small island near Nagasaki, and Japanese who were interested in the European knowledge that could be gained from European books developed a field known as “Dutch studies.” 30. Some of the “outer lords” at the northern and southern extremes of Japan relied on overseas trade with Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, China, and Southeast Asia for their fortunes. These lords ignored the closed country policy, and those in the south, in particular, became wealthy from their control of maritime trade, giving them an advantage over the shogunate and the “inner” lords. D0. Elite Decline and Social Crisis 10. Patterns of population growth and economic growth also contributed to the reversal of fortunes between the “inner” and “outer” lords. Population growth in central Japan put a strain on the agricultural economy, but in the outer provinces, economic growth outstripped population growth. 20. The Tokugawa system was also undermined by changes in rice prices and in interest rates, which combined to make both the samurai and the regional lords dependent on the willingness of the merchants to give them credit. 30. The Tokugawa shoguns accepted the Confucian idea that agriculture should be the basis of the state and that merchants should occupy a low social position because they lacked moral virtue, but the decentralized political system made it difficult for the shogunate to regulate merchant activities. In fact, the decentralized system stimulated commerce so that from 1600 to 1800 the economy grew faster than the population and merchants developed relative freedom, influence, and their own vibrant culture. 40. The ideological and social crisis of Tokugawa Japan’s transformation from a military to a civil society is illustrated in the “Forty-seven Ronin” incident of 1702. This incident demonstrates the necessity of making the difficult decision to force the military to obey the civil law in the interests of building a centralized, standardized system of law with which the state could protect the interests of the people. II0. The Late Ming and Early Qing Empires A0. The Later Ming Empire, to 1644 10. The cultural brilliance and economic achievements of the early Ming continued up to 1600. But at the same time, a number of factors had combined to exhaust the Ming economy, weaken its government, and cause technological stagnation. 20. Some of the problems of the late Ming may be attributed to a drop in annual temperatures between 1645 and 1700, which may have contributed to the agricultural distress, migration, disease, and uprisings of this period. Climate change may also have driven the Mongols and the Manchus to protect their productive lands from Ming control and to take more land along the Ming borders. 30. The flow of New World silver into China in the 1500s and early 1600s caused inflation in prices and taxes that hit the rural population particularly hard. 40. In addition to these global causes of Ming decline, there were also internal factors particular to China. These included disorder and inefficiency in the urban industrial sector (such as the Jingdezhen ceramics factories), no growth in agricultural productivity, and low population growth. B0. Ming Collapse and the Rise of the Qing 10. The Ming also suffered from increased threats on their borders: to the north and west, there was the threat posed by a newly reunified Mongol confederation, and in Korea the Ming incurred heavy financial losses when it helped the Koreans to defeat a Japanese invasion. Rebellions of native peoples rocked the southwest, and Japanese pirates plagued the southeast coast. 20. Rebel forces led by Li Zicheng overthrew the Ming in 1644, and the Manchu Qing Empire then entered Beijing, restored order, and claimed China for its own. 30. A Manchu imperial family ruled the Qing Empire, but the Manchus were only a small proportion of the population, and thus depended on diverse people for assistance in ruling the empire. Chinese made up the overwhelming majority of the people and the officials of the Qing Empire. C0. Trading Companies and Missionaries 10. Europeans were eager to trade with China, but enthusiasm for international trade developed slowly in China, particularly in the imperial court. 20. Over the course of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch gained limited access to Chinese trade. 30. By the seventeenth century, the Dutch East India Company had become the major European trader in the Indian Ocean. 40. Catholic missionaries accompanied Portuguese and Spanish traders, and the Jesuits had notable success converting Chinese elites. The Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) used his mastery of Chinese language and culture to gain access to the imperial court. D0. Emperor Kangxi (r. 1662–1722) 10. Kangxi (r. 1662–1722) took formal control over his government in 1669 (at the age of sixteen) by executing his chief regent. Kangxi was an intellectual prodigy and a successful military commander who expanded his territory and gave it a high degree of stability. 20. During the Kangxi period the Qing were willing to incorporate ideas and technology from Mongolian, Tibetan, Korean
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