- Evaluate the Cultural, economic, and political calculations made by the Russians, Asians, and Africans because of the sudden increase in the West European role in, world trade.
The expanding role of the western European powers in world trade became apparent in the year 1500, at the wake of the baroque period, which would later user in classicism and consequent industrialization of the world. Europe set itself from the rest of the world and led in the quest for industrialization. Europe defines the path towards prosperity and modernization in the fifteenth Centuries. In evaluating the economic, cultural and political calculations of the rest of the world, the major focus is on the factor that the cultural, political and economic philosophies of the western world were so different from the eastern cultures as well as the reserved African cultures.
1. Russia: Decree of Tsar Peter the Great Regarding the Study of Navigation Abroad c. 1714
While the Europeans established maritime empires, the Russians laid up foundations in the vast empire of the Northern Eurasia. During the sixteenth centuries, the Russian empire took charge of Mongol in the region of central Asia (Burland and Parry 17). Russian acquires Volga River and offers a truce to trade with the Ottoman Empire. Russian forces extend beyond the Caspian Sea in the eighteenth century and absorb the Caucasus. Explorers navigate Siberia in search for fur and face formidable challenges due to the frozen tundra as well as the forest. The Russians, under the guidance of Tsar Peter the Great, took many precautionary calculations. Primarily, they knew that the role of the western countries in the world trade was enhanced by their unmatched maritime technology. For this reason, Tsar Peter the Great prepared his people in many ways on how to master naval battle for only thus could they counter the incoming strangers.
2. China: Memorial of bureaucrat Hsu Kuang-Chi (to the Emperor) c. 1617
Hsu Kiang-Chi is a servant who understands the arts and sciences of the immigrants. The servant seeks permission to issue the manifesto. The servant engages in discussions and investigations with the European (Burland and Parry 19). The servant has gained acquaintance with the doctrines highlighted by the Europeans. The servant disregards the people of Europe as selfish and lacking in virtues. The servant, who presents his case to the reigning administration emphasizes that unlike the ethic-defined Chinese culture, the culture of the western European countries is rooted in individualism. From the enlightenment of Hsu, the Chinese people learned that the western European countries were out to exploit the wealthy Chinese culture. Economically calculating, the Chinese people considered the Europeans to be a society driven by property and wealth. For this reason, they resisted the western powers’ intrusion and focused on strengthening china to face the competitive role in the world trade. In point of fact, china has long been known as the country that resisted western influence for the longest time. To this day, most aspects of Chinese culture remain intact and unpolluted. Similarly, Chinese socialism has remained the strongest force opposing European and American capitalism or imperialism.
3. Reactions to the first Portuguese arrivals in East Africa, from a Swahili chronicle c. 1520
Arguably the most interesting historical tale, the reaction of the people of the east coast of Africa to the role of the western Europeans in the world trade remains the most notable. At first encounter, the people from the east coast of Africa regarded the Europeans as hostile people that had come to invade their land and conquer their resources. While some leaders were friendly to the western Europeans, those that knew the whites rejected their intrusion, and caused a wave of resistance that saw the Africans Most people at the coast cite that the immigrants had come to spy in the Island. The Portuguese thought the Europeans were good people to forge an alliance with them (Kiddle 241). This was untrue since the former were corrupt and untrustworthy in their business deals. The Europeans had the determination to seize the land and the Natives had knowledge concerning their arrival at the coast. People at Malindi were terrified with the arrival of the Europeans (Kiddle 241). This made them oblige to their request so that they leave.
- What additional documents can be used in explaining the reactions?
While historical information can be sourced from different records and other forms of private chronicles, the information about the reaction of eastern and African countries to western dominance can be acquired from both formal and informal sources. Primarily, the most important and reliable sources of such information are the formal treaties between the Europeans and the local leaders of the respective regions. Secondly, other important sources are the chronicles prepared by religious ambassadors such as the Arabian traveler and the Persian Muslims. Similar documents are the private observations recorded by such missionaries as Ludwig Krapf. The written documents are exceptionally resourceful when it comes to providing information that is reliable and separable from hearsay that is likely to be interfered with.
Burland, C. A., and J. A. Parry. The age of discovery. New York: Hamlyn, 2003. Print.
Hale, J. R.. Age of exploration,. New York: Time, Inc., 2004. Print.
Kiddle, Lawrence B.. "The Spanish Language as a Medium of Cultural Diffusion in the Age of Discovery." American Speech 27.4 (2009): 241. Print.
Mancall, Peter C. "The Age of Discovery." Reviews in American History 26.1 (2010): 26-53. Print.
Williams, Brian, Brenda Williams, and James Field. The age of discovery. New York: P. Bedrick Books, 2007. Print.