HIST 130A Lecture 20: Lecture Notes

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Published on 13 Aug 2016
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HIST 130A Notes
Eurocentric = Europe is superior; it’s the explanation of the beginning of world
history. (But Europe is, in fact, not superior than other countries as China and
India were more flourished than them)
Class theme: starts in 1400-1500 (age of exploration)
Life in China and India was more refined and wealthier than that in
Europe at the time
Europeans desired and later manufactured/copied Asian clothing, diet
(tea), arts (ceramic plates/cups), and Indian cotton
Europeans discovered these spices and drugs in Southeast Asia:
Cinnamon and pepper (preservatives & condiments)
Gun powder from China
The Chinese pioneered the first sea trade route (throughout Asia) under
the Ming Dynasty
Unlike the Europeans, the Chinese did not conquer/colonize other
The Chinese viewed themselves as more superior, thinking other
countries were barbaric and not worthy of becoming civilized through their
No economic propulsion to conquer like the Europeans
English = standard language used nowadays due to British influence in
the 18th century
Back then, Arabic was the common language used in oversea exchanges
due to Islamic expansion
Zheng He, the pioneer of Chinese exploration, was Muslim Chinese (his
father was named Haji = made pilgrimage to Mecca)
The Chinese exploration ended due to fear of threats/invasion from in
land countries. So the leaders decided to defend the country by moving the
capital to Beijing, where it’s closer to the Great Wall. This became open door
to European oversea expansion
Chinese Voyages (1405-1433)
Zheng He (Ming Dynasty) – led the first Chinese exploration
Ma Huan – Muslim
To conduct trade in the Indian Ocean (peaceful, pacific)
Spices from Southeast Asia (cinnamon, pepper, ginger, nutmeg)
From China to East Africa
China did not seek to imperialize other countries, viewing them as
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Arabic = commercial language used in trade in the Indian Ocean
“Early modern” = 1400s – late 18th century
1) Long distance trade  globalized maritime trade.
2) Dispersal of food (corn, potato, tobacco, coco, sugar, etc.), people &
silver  revolutionized lifestyle in Europe/New World
Corn, sweet potato, and potato (from the Americas) were introduced to
China, which led to population growth
The Colombian Exchange contributed to the increased trade of human
labor and goods globally
Spain discovered silver (desired by the Chinese) in the Philippines
(colonized)  Chinese people immigrated there to serve/work with the
Discovery of Potosi (silver mines) in Bolivia
The Spanish and Portuguese stripped wealth from New World countries,
discovered veins of minerals  began mineral extraction  7/10 of miners
died from overworking (death tolls of native society increased)  put the
Spanish in bad light
Spanish (silver)  Chinese (manufactured goods)
3) Large, transoceanic empires
Prince Henry, the Navigator (Portuguese), established fortress wherever
he stopped at the coast
The Portuguese captured the Muslim town of Melaka in 1511 
established power in Southeast Asia
The expansion of Islam after the death of prophet Muhammad was a
threat to the Spanish and Portuguese
The Ottoman Turks blocked trades inland  made it expensive for
Europe to conduct trade in Muslim countries
Eurasian society: Portuguese, Spanish, later Dutch men
married/bought Asian women  populated nearby port towns (pure
Europeans ruled)
The power resided in the Asian wives of European men
Malay became the spoken language in these Eurasian households
Material life: all goods used were Asian products (clothing, food)
Class, social attitude reflect Asian values  established hierarchy unlike
back home
“Late modern” = 1800s – 20th century
2/10/15 (Lectured by Ayse)
The Ottomans (Sunni Islam): From Frontier Warriors to Empire Builders
Mid-1200s, Mongols defeat Seljuks
Began as principalities (beylik)
Ottomans emerge dominant
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Into Balkans, 14th/15th centuries
Empire founded in 1299
Mehmed II: take Constantinople in 1453
He and other Sultans beautified the city
Expansion: Middle East, north Africa, Europe, dominate Mediterranean
Social hierarchy: -Palace (sultan);
-Military class (no need to pay tax): bureaucracy,
Military, religious authorities;
-Subjects (pay tax): merchants, people of other religions
The subjects are ranked based on religions (Millet system*), e.g.
Christians, Muslims, Jews
Ottoman tolerance: tolerate other religions
Military based on Janissaries
Girls taken from school to be trained to be in harem (wives, work in the
A state geared to warfare (military dominant)
Soldiers are granted land after victory in war/conquest  responsible for
training new soldiers
Constantinople restored as the link among Asia and Europe, the
Mediterranean and the Black Sea
Government control of trade, crafts
Trades were run by artisan guilds—Millet System (ex: guild of shoe
makers, tailor, etc.), which maintain a certain standard for production of
Janissaries: young boys conscripted from conquered lands that made up
the Ottoman military  gradually gained power in political courts  could
appoint/kill sultans
The aim on military expansion made it expensive to run the empire
The Decline of the Ottoman Empire
Strong until late 1600s
Extended the borders of the empire
Infrastructure insufficient (did not follow the tech advance in Europe)
Economical problems (silver poured in the empire  hyper inflation)
Dependent on conquest (Fief System): end of conquest brings deficiency 
peasants uprisings  abandoned of cultivated lands
Regional leaders divert revenue (decentralize government)
Janissaries become politically involved; gain power to appoint next sultan
Sultans less dynamic (instead of going out to war/conquest, they remain in
palace  become less capable leaders)
The Ottoman empire completely dissolved in 1923
The Shi’a Challenge of the Safavids
All rulers of the Safavid Empire come from the same family
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