Chapter 15 The World in 1450: Changing Balance of World Power.

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Chapter 15

Chapter 15The World in 1450: Changing Balance of World PowerOutlineKey Changes in the Middle EastThe Rise of the WestWestern Expansion: The Experimental PhaseOutside the World Network


Main Ideas and Chapter Focus1400 forward was a time of profound transformationShifting balance of power in civilizations in Asia, Africa, and EuropeChanged nature of international contactBegan with decrease of Arab strength (fall in1258)Opened up new opportunities in Afro-Eurasian network established during postclassical ageVarious candidatesBriefly the MingOpened up to Europewhy?Western Europe- conditions propelled western civilizations into new positions around 1400Accompanied by changes in Western Europe itself (Portugal, Spain)Changes in societies outside international network-response to EuropeansAmericasPolynesia

Focus continuedFrameworkWhy these societies reacted differently to key forcesWider impact than the classical periodContinuityImportance of level of contacts that developed through formation of transcontinental networkDependence on far-flung trade- if one collapsed (decline of Mongol security on SRS-another system moved into place)Trade continued-exchanges of technology and ideas continued to mark Afro-Eurasia relationshipsThe CompassChinese invention- Tang Dynasty, by 1100, pursue spices and teasArab merchants in IO soon followed and then the Europeans by 1187Fundamentally changed the nature of ocean voyages i.e. ColumbusChanges to international relations and shift in powerEuropeans took to the seasMongol movements in Asia and EuropeDecline of Arab dominance

Eurasia in 1200

Trade and Disease in 14th Century

Indian Ocean TradeIndian Ocean...Key Changes in Middle EastDecline of Old Order:In 1200 dominated by Byzantine and Islamic CaliphateBy 1400- in disarrayConstantinople falls in 1453 to Ottoman TurksAbbasid falls in 1258Division in ME and Arab peoples

Social and Cultural Change in MENew religious influence due to Islam and SufismReligious leaders win prominence over poets, philosophers, and scientistsArab rationalist philosopher more influential in Iberia among Muslims Focus on religious and legal traditionsSufis continue to emphasize mystical connection with God

RESULTagricultural productivity fellTax revenues decreases ME merchants lost ground to European competitors (gradual decline)Arabs REMAIN active in Indian Ocean Beginning of rise of Ottoman Turks

Power Vacuum in International LeadershipRise of Ottoman DID NOT restore Islams international vigorMongols TEMPORARLIY created alternative global framework uniting Eurasia, BUT decline lessened international contacts and commerce

RESULT seaborne trade became increasingly active as land routes became dangerous, insecure for travel and tradeChinese Push and then WithdrawalMing dynasty (1368-1644) replace Yuan and pushed to regain former Chinese borders (post Mongol rule)Established Influence in Mongolia, Korea, Vietnam, and TibetState-sponsored trading expeditions to India, ME, and eastern AfricaChinese Muslim admiral Zheng he Halted in 1433 due to high costs and opposition by Confucian bureaucratsReturn to accustomed inward-looking policies, ending unusual experimentInternal economics boomed=no need for foreign products and expansionRESULTSChinese merchants remain active in SE Asian watersEstablish settlements in the Philippines, Malaysia, and IndonesiaLOST CHANCE to become dominant world trading power-opened up way for Europeans

Ming Dynasty

Ming Vase

Zheng He vs. Columbus

The Rise of the WestDuring 14th and 15th centuries- small states of West still backwardCatholic church still under attackPhilosophy passed a highly creative phaseWarrior aristocrats lost useful role court lifeEconomic activities of ordinary Europeans were in disarrayGrowing population outstripped food supplies famines common after 1300Black Death= loss of 1/3 population=scarce labor, more land and foodEurope, c. 950-1300

By 1500

Medieval VitalityRemained a dynamic societyStronger monarchs provided effective govts centralized statesHundred Years War stimulated military innovationSpain and Portugal drove back MuslimsUrban economic growth=commerceChurch accepted capitalistic principlesTechnology continues to progress- timekeeping and ironworking

Imitation and Commerce ProblemsWorld market entrance not without problemsRise of Mongol empire access to Asian knowledge and technologyWestern elites demand for Asian luxury goods=unfavorable trade balance (gold supplements raw materials traded)Gold shortage=threatening economic collapseRise of Ottoman Empire and other Muslim successes= threat to Europes balance of trade with AsiaRESULT expansion into Adriatic Sea by Venice and beginnings of explorations to bypass Muslim dominated routes to Asia

Secular Directions in the Italian RenaissanceInternal changeCultural and political movement grounded in urban vitality and expanding commerceBegan in Italy during the 14th centuryLiterary and artistic themes friendly to secular world than previous religiously oriented outlookMore concerned with personal reputation than glory=HUMANISMCommerce merchants seek new marketsPromote learning, find manHuman Values and Renaissance CultureStarted in Italy during the 13th centuryWhy Italy?Urban Growth & WealthMerchant Class ValuesClassical HeritageMain Idea: humanismStudy of human beings and human potentialCelebration of human lifeMany different approaches to humanism

Raphaels School of Athens

Impact of RenaissanceLittle impact outside ItalyDid not fully break Medieval tendencies and superstitionsDeveloping scope of Italian: commerce and shippingRevenue seeking city-statesPassion for innovation ConfidenceSet stage for future expansion

Iberian Spirit of Religious MissionIberian peninsula key center for changeCenturies of pushing back MuslimsMerging of Castile and Aragon kingdoms after 1400Religious and military agenda- reconquestMissionExpel Muslim and JewsLink between church and state

Western Expansion: Experimental PhaseEuropean efforts to expand into Atlantic began in 1300sEarly exploration of Genoese and Spanish explorers sailed south to West AfricaTechnological barriers hindered further exploration until 1430 borrowed from Arabs and Chinese (compass, better ships,, astrolabe)Mapmaking increasedWorld Trade


Colonial PatternsPortugal and Spanish began to exploit islands in AtlanticPrince Henry the Navigator (Port.) motivate by intellectual curiosity, religious fervor, financial gain facilitates innovation in explorationExchange of animals, plants, foodstuffs, and diseasesSets stage for later pattern of European imperialismSlaves, cash crops (sugar, cotton, tobacco)


By 1900

QuestionRespond to the statement that the relative rise of the West after the 14th century was not so much the result of Western innovation as was the decline of civilizations in the Middle East and Asia.AnswerME the end of the Abbasids, the rise of the Seljuk Turks, and disruption of the Mongol empires did not cause total declineOttomans rise and build empire-Muslim trade empire disintegrated, Ottomans less interested in commerce opened door for the WestChina-no political disruption of traditional centralization under Ming; brief effort to expand into Asia-halted in 1433=opened to WestWestern advances-perceived weakness: unfavorable balance of trade, fear of Ottomans expansion exploration and trade routesOutside the NetworkPolynesia and Americas not part of new international exchangeProblems:Aztecs faced rebellion and revolt due to political policies weakening and vulnerable to outside contactsInca political tension between central and local leadership; imperial overextensionEuropean invasion-disease