Chapter 15 The West and the Changing Balance of Power

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Chapter 15 The West and the Changing Balance of Power. A World in Transition (#1). Two events signaled a profound transition in the balance of world power by the year 1400: 1) The downfall of the last Arab caliphate in 1258. The Arabs had been a source of stability for over 600 years. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Chapter 15 The West and the Changing Balance of Power

Chapter 15The West and the Changing Balance of Power

A World in Transition (#1)Two events signaled a profound transition in the balance of world power by the year 1400:1) The downfall of the last Arab caliphate in 1258. The Muslim empires (Umayyad and Abbasid) had been a source of stability for over 600 years.2) Mongols invasions had caused severe disruption to the stability of Asia and Eastern Europe. Mongol Trading Network (#2)Their holdings throughout the Far East, central Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe connected far reaching areas together. This empire encouraged interregional travelers and provided great opportunities for trade and exchange of technology and ideas.

Whos next??? (#3)ChineseWestern Europeans

Chinese expansion (at least briefly!)The Ming government begins to fund huge state-sponsored trading expeditions to southern Asia and beyond. (#4)These fleets numbered nearly 3,000 shipping vessels, 400 armed naval ships, and long-distance ships. Nine great treasure ships (junks) monitored the Indian Ocean from China all the way to the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. (#5)The expeditions were led by the famed Chinese naval commander, Zheng He (watch video).

Admiral Zheng He (#6)An imperial eunuch and admiral who led great trading expeditions on behalf of the Ming emperor from 1405-1433. He was also a Muslim, therefore, he could establish lasting trade contacts with the Arab world. His expeditions took Chinese goods to the Middle East, Africa, and India, and also brought back luxury and exotic goods.

A Chinese Recall (#7)In 1433, Zheng Hes fleets were called back to China. Confucian bureaucrats, jealous of his growing power, argued that the expeditions were too expensive and that the money could be better used elsewhere, like fighting nomadic threats and the ongoing construction of Beijing.Also, the new Ming emperor wanted to distance himself from the policies of his predecessor.

Zheng Hes Voyages

Back to the Norm (#8)For the Chinese, a withdrawal from international trade was simply a return to the status quo.Never ones for foreign dependence, the cancelling of Zheng Hes expeditions in 1433 reaffirmed the Chinese policy of isolationism that had been the norm throughout their history.Rise of the West (#10)For western Europe, who had been mired in the Middle Ages, their location in relation to the Mongol Empire was actually perfect.They were:A) Close enough to benefit from trade and exchange (printing, the compass, paper currency, and explosive powder) due to the Mongols tolerant policy of free trade.B) Spared from the wrath of destruction that so many other cultures experienced from the Mongol raids.Rise of the West (#9)These advantages helped European economy slowly pick back up. But, Europe was facing tough problems in other areas:A) Church- The Churchs influence was weakening in the face of divisions and no theological explanations for the Bubonic plague. People began to question its authority and seek their own gains instead.B) Famine Recurring famine in the 1300s due to increased population and no new agricultural inventions to increase food supply FORCED Europeans to look for new agricultural methods to feed its people.C)Plague Ironically, the plague helped solve the problem of food shortage by killing 1/3 of Europes population. Also, with fewer workers, wages went up and investments in business and commerce increased.* Believe it or not, the plague eventually led to economic growth. Famine (fear of starvation) proved to be a great motivator for Europeans to find solutions to their problems also.An Asian Obsession (#11)Of course, another issue encouraged Europeans to branch out: Asian goods!!!The elite, upper classes of western Europe had become obsessed with the more refined products of Asia like spices (pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg), silks, perfumes, and jewels. The cruder European goods such as wool, copper, tin, honey, and salt could not make up the discrepancy in value. The balance had to be made up in gold shipments to Asia. This created a gold famine in Europe which threatened to collapse the entire European economy.The solution to this problem was to find more gold!!! So, Europeans began exploring (more on that later).

Gold > WoolAsian goodsEuropean goods

The Ottoman IssueThere was also a new, powerful Muslim regime that had taken over in the Middle East, the Ottomans.Their control of Middle Eastern ports made them the middle men between Europe and Asian economies.A European response would be to find alternative routes that could bypass the Muslim realms.

Renaissance (#12)The Renaissance was a cultural and political movement in Western Europe that began in Italy in the 1300s. There was an emphasis on artistic and architectural output. As a result, not only were paintings and sculptures created, but cathedrals, bridges, plazas, etc. This created jobs, competition, and higher incomes for Italian artists, making the Renaissance not just a cultural, but an economic revolution as well.

Cities began competing with one another over trade and commercial rights as well as artistic superiority.Florence, ItalyGenoa, Italy

While Renaissance art and culture remained religiously dominated, there was more of an emphasis on realistic portrayals of humans and nature. This was known as humanism and was more secular than medieval art. (#13)Medieval art (Religiously focused)Renaissance art (Human emphasis)

Experimenting with Exploration (#14)In 1469, Ferdinand of Castille (a Spanish province) and Isabella of Aragon (another Spanish province) wed to create the famous dual monarchy of Ferdinand and Isabella.Devout Catholics, they began a military campaign (the Reconquista) to expel Arabs and Jews from their regions and eventually all of Spain.In this way, they clearly brought state affairs and religious affairs together. The government had a duty to promote and protect religion according to these rulers.Eventually, they would look to expand their power beyond Spain through exploration.Nautical Shortcomings (#15)European nations such as Spain, Portugal, and Italy began searching for routes to the Indies by the late 1200s.However, Europeans lacked adequate navigational techniques which prohibited them from venturing into the Atlantic. Their ships, designed for the Mediterranean, were shallow-drafted and oar-driven. Eventually, through trade with Arabs and Chinese (via the Mongols), Europeans acquired the compass and astrolabe as well as improved maps to aid their quests.Henry the Navigator an exploration entrepreneur (#16)Henry the Navigator was a Portuguese prince with a fascination for exploration. A student of astronomy and nautical science himself, he funded about a third of all Portuguese voyages before his death in 1460. His motivations were scientific, intellectual, economic and religious. He also built a school of navigation in Portugal to train prospective explorers.

Commercial Agriculture beginsBy 1439, the Portuguese had control of the Azores Islands and the Spanish soon took the Madeira and Canary Islands.They began growing cash crops like sugar and tobacco on these islands, and more importantly, imported African slaves for the first time to aid in this plantation style labor system.

Azores MadeiraCanary Is.European Arrival in the Americas (#17)When Europeans arrived in the late 1400s to the lands of the Aztec and Inca, both New World empires were already in decline.The Aztec had many enemies due to enslavement and religious sacrifice while the Inca were over expanded. These factors (along with guns, steel weapons, horses, and germs) made Spanish conquest very easy.Polynesian Culture (#18)Polynesia, an area located in the South Pacific waters, had developed its own unique culture before European arrival as well.From their initial base, Polynesian peoples migrated and conquered islands throughout the Pacific.

Hawaiian Culture (#18)Migrations in great war canoes brought Polynesian peoples and culture to Hawaii.Agricultural and fishing communities emerged.Pigs were imported for a vital source of meat.Hawaiian political systems were regional and highly warlike.A caste system emerged with priests, nobles, and warriors on top.Because of their isolation, they had primitive technology and no written language.

New Zealand Culture (#18)Like Hawaii, New Zealand was settled by Polynesians via war canoe migration.These native New Zealanders, called Maori, flourished in a much colder and harsher climate than that of Hawaii.Like Hawaii, a class of warriors and priests ruled.They produced the most elaborate of Polynesian art, with distinct tattoos to separate classes in their society.