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HIST 102
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China and the WorldOn Monday Prof talked about China being the Middle Kingdom of the time It was equivalent of what the USA is today USA is not at the physical center of the world but certainly at the cultural military and economic center of the world as China occupied something of that stature in the 1500s Though it was a bit more tenuous for the Chinese did not dominate the worldHowever China indeed was the magnet of the activities around the world at the time were oriented to Chinas actual power and its actual economic strength in this period though lay across the land Chinese empires lay overwhelmingly landbased throughout all if this periodTo this day China has the largest army in the world in terms of personnel which is measurably larger than the American army 1400 to about 1750 was Chinas period of expansion and military successIn spite of this success the expansion was the particular type that perhaps did not go well for the next two hundred and fifty years continuing up to the very recent pastTreasure Fleets This is a maritime storyIn 1403 the Ming emperor ordered the construction of the largest naval fleet the world has ever seen It may be the largest naval fleet in terms of numbers of naval vessels the world has ever seen right up to the present Hence between 1404 and 1407 1681 different vessels were constructed in seaports of southern China They were mostly Chinese
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