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What happened to China in the 1400's????

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posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 12:44 PM
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China is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. We can thank their technological genius for such things such as gun powder, fire works(OHH YAA), paper money and the first printing press. They also set the standard for map making.

One thing i just cant understand is why China went from such a great power and then just retreated? In the 1400's China had the largest navy in the world. They had mapped out Australia, and they even sailed across the Altantic Ocean. Where did you think Columbus got his maps from?

They had a huge population back then, relatively speaking to other countries at the time, and were thriving. They could have easily taken over Europe if they really wanted to.

So what happened???....Why did they retreat their navy back to China? Why didnt they conquer the world?????....Why did they call everyone back home? And finally, is a waking giant finally waking up?




posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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Every great country falls. Iirc china's fall was because of internal problems like rebellion and bad emperors.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by LuDaCrIs

So what happened???....Why did they retreat their navy back to China? Why didnt they conquer the world?????....Why did they call everyone back home? And finally, is a waking giant finally waking up?



England, and the rest of Europe wanted to forcable open the Chinese Market for trade. The chinese had a belief that they were better than the Europeans, and didn't want to trade with them. So Europe led by England, forcable destroyed the Chinese Society by introducing Opium in Large Quantity. The Chinese Navy was no match for the English weapons of war.

I guess being out played by Europe and the destruction that Opium had on thier society put China in a mess that they didn't get out of until Communism took over.

Thanks England!



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by Where2Hide2006

Originally posted by LuDaCrIs

So what happened???....Why did they retreat their navy back to China? Why didnt they conquer the world?????....Why did they call everyone back home? And finally, is a waking giant finally waking up?



England, and the rest of Europe wanted to forcable open the Chinese Market for trade. The chinese had a belief that they were better than the Europeans, and didn't want to trade with them. So Europe led by England, forcable destroyed the Chinese Society by introducing Opium in Large Quantity. The Chinese Navy was no match for the English weapons of war.

I guess being out played by Europe and the destruction that Opium had on thier society put China in a mess that they didn't get out of until Communism took over.

Thanks England!


That was in the 1800s, and by then China was just another weak, pathetic country for European countries to take advantage of. China's fall was its own fault, as mentioned, starting arround the 1400s because of internal problems.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by RedDragon
China's fall was its own fault, as mentioned, starting arround the 1400s because of internal problems.


Care to educate me further?????



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 04:00 PM
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Well, according to www.bartleby.com... ,

"CHINESE EXPANSION. The Yuan (Mongol) dynasty was defeated by an antiforeign revolution that established the MING DYNASTY (1368–1644). Early Ming rulers worked to reestablish Chinese dominance in the areas of long-standing Chinese interests and influence, such as Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, and central Asia. In addition, in 1405–33, Ming rulers sponsored a series of major commercial expeditions led by CHENG HO (Zheng He).

Great Chinese fleets sailed as far as East Africa and the Middle East, establishing the potential for regular, Chinese-dominated trade throughout the Indian Ocean. However, the emperor ordered the halt of the expeditions by 1433. Nonofficial Chinese merchant activity continued in Southeast Asia, where Chinese commercial communities became an important force."


I am not all that knowledgeable of Eastern History, but i do have one book that you might want to look at: Roberts' Concise Hstory of China. If I'm going to read about something that I'm ignorant of, the first book I buy (since it might be the last) on a subject is by necessity a good introduction, nothing more.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 10:48 PM
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from what I can remember it was China's isolationist stance which led to their downfall or something along those lines



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 08:16 AM
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China was very resistent to change and did not wish to follow the advances of the western world, even though before the 1400,s they were one of the most powerful countries on Earth.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 10:05 AM
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Why the Chinese turned to isolation is still a subject of debate among historians. There is a well written Wikipedia article on the Ming Dynasty that I'd recommend (here's a relevant excerpt):



Between 1405 and 1433, Ming emperors sent seven maritime expeditions probing down into the South Seas and across the Indian Ocean. The era's xenophobia and intellectual introspection characteristic of the era's increasingly popular new school of neo-Confucianism, thus did not lead to the physical isolation of China. Contacts with the outside world, particularly with Japan, and foreign trade increased considerably. Yongle Emperor strenuously tried to extend China's influence beyond her borders by encouraging other rulers to send ambassadors to China to present tribute. The Chinese armies reconquered Annam and blocked Mongol expansionism, while the Chinese fleet sailed the China seas and the Indian Ocean, cruising as far as the east coast of Africa. The Chinese gained a certain influence over Turkestan. The maritime Asian nations sent envoys with tribute for the Chinese emperor. Internally, the Grand Canal was expanded to its farthest limits and proved to be a stimulus to domestic trade.

The most extraordinary venture, however, during this stage was the dispatch Zheng He's seven naval expeditions, which traversed the Indian Ocean and the Southeast Asian archipelago. An ambitious Muslim eunuch of Hui descent, a quintessential outsider in the establishment of Confucian scholar elites, Zheng He led seven expeditions from 1405 to 1433 with six of them under the auspices of Yongle. He traversed perhaps as far as the Cape of Good Hope and, according to the controversial 1421 theory, the Americas. Zheng's appointment in 1403 to lead a sea-faring task force was a triumph the commercial lobbies seeking to stimulate conventional trade, not mercantilism.

The interests of the commercial lobbies and those of the religious lobbies were also linked. Both were offensive to the neo-Confucian sensibilities of the scholarly elite: Religious lobbies encouraged commercialism and exploration, which benefited commercial interests, in order to divert state funds from the anti-clerical efforts of the Confucian scholar gentry. The first expedition in 1405 consisted of 62 ships and 28,000 men--then the largest naval expedition in history. Zheng He's multi-decked ships carried up to 500 troops but also cargoes of export goods, mainly silks and porcelains, and brought back foreign luxuries such as spices and tropical woods.

The economic motive for these huge ventures may have been important, and many of the ships had large private cabins for merchants. But the chief aim was probably political, to enroll further states as tributaries and mark the reemergence of the Chinese Empire following nearly a century of barbarian rule. The political character of Zheng He's voyages indicates the primacy of the political elites. Despite their formidable and unprecedented strength, Zheng He's voyages, unlike European voyages of exploration later in the fifteenth century, were not intended to extend Chinese sovereignty overseas. Indicative of the competition among elites, these excursions had also become politically controversial. Zheng He's voyages had been supported by his fellow low eunuchs at court and strongly opposed by the Confucian scholar officials. Their antagonism was in fact so great that they tried to suppress any mention of the naval expeditions in the official imperial record. A compromise interpretation realizes that the Mongol raids tilted the balance in the favor of the Confucian elites.

By the end of the fifteenth century, imperial subjects were forbidden from either building oceangoing ships or leaving the country. Some historians speculate this measure was taken in response to piracy.

Historians of the 1960s, such as John Fairbank and Joseph Levinson have argued that this renovation turned into stagnation, and that science and philosophy were caught in a tight net of traditions smothering any attempt to venture something new. Historians who held to this view argue that in the 15th century, by imperial decree the great navy was decommissioned; construction of seagoing ships was forbidden; the iron industry gradually declined.


Source: en.wikipedia.org...


[edit on 6/9/2005 by JustMe74]



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 10:33 AM
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Well, his was not the first time when China was in downfall. It looks like their whole history runs in circles - once their are up, once down.
And BTW to the remarks like "they were military superpower, they could take over Europe" - that's not true, in fact the China has rather poor military history (compared to their other achievements).



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by longbow
Well, his was not the first time when China was in downfall. It looks like their whole history runs in circles - once their are up, once down.
And BTW to the remarks like "they were military superpower, they could take over Europe" - that's not true, in fact the China has rather poor military history (compared to their other achievements).


I think your wrong. I think it would have been quite easy for the chinese to take over Europe. The population of Europe at the time was 50 million people. Now this is including children, seniors, middleaged people...everyone. The Chinese standing army alone...thank JustMe74 for the link..was one million people!!! Lets not forget they had the biggest navy in the world at that time and could have easily attacked on more than one front.

Why did they not do it? i dunno thats why i started this thread. Some say isolationism, and others say internal affairs. But why isolationism? Why just retreat after so much had been done and explored and with so much more left to explore?

internal affairs? In the link provided by JustMe74 it said Confusian scholars were tipping the scales in favour of isolation because of an increasing Mongol threat. What threat???...They had a million soldiers!!!! I dont understand the reasoning of these Confusious scholars.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by LuDaCrIs

Originally posted by longbow
Well, his was not the first time when China was in downfall. It looks like their whole history runs in circles - once their are up, once down.
And BTW to the remarks like "they were military superpower, they could take over Europe" - that's not true, in fact the China has rather poor military history (compared to their other achievements).


I think your wrong. I think it would have been quite easy for the chinese to take over Europe. The population of Europe at the time was 50 million people. Now this is including children, seniors, middleaged people...everyone. The Chinese standing army alone...thank JustMe74 for the link..was one million people!!! Lets not forget they had the biggest navy in the world at that time and could have easily attacked on more than one front.

Why did they not do it? i dunno thats why i started this thread. Some say isolationism, and others say internal affairs. But why isolationism? Why just retreat after so much had been done and explored and with so much more left to explore?

internal affairs? In the link provided by JustMe74 it said Confusian scholars were tipping the scales in favour of isolation because of an increasing Mongol threat. What threat???...They had a million soldiers!!!! I dont understand the reasoning of these Confusious scholars.


There really wasn't anything in Europe worth taking over in the 1400's, at least from China's perspective.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 12:17 PM
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scholars were tipping the scales in favour of isolation because of an increasing Mongol threat. What threat???...They had a million soldiers!!!! I dont understand the reasoning of these Confusious scholars.


The Mongols were the reason that China built the Great Wall in the first place. The Mongols may have been illiterate but they concord most of the known world including most of China.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by LuDaCrIs

I think your wrong. I think it would have been quite easy for the chinese to take over Europe. The population of Europe at the time was 50 million people. Now this is including children, seniors, middleaged people...everyone. The Chinese standing army alone...thank JustMe74 for the link..was one million people!!! Lets not forget they had the biggest navy in the world at that time and could have easily attacked on more than one front.

Why did they not do it? i dunno thats why i started this thread. Some say isolationism, and others say internal affairs. But why isolationism? Why just retreat after so much had been done and explored and with so much more left to explore?

internal affairs? In the link provided by JustMe74 it said Confusian scholars were tipping the scales in favour of isolation because of an increasing Mongol threat. What threat???...They had a million soldiers!!!! I dont understand the reasoning of these Confusious scholars.


Just because someone has 1 000 000 soldiers doesn't mean they have good army. The Chinese army was underpaid, undermotivated and the soldiers were regarded as one of the lowest class of socienty (most of them were criminals). There is a reason why China was always invaded and only sometimes they were the invader. Remeber the Roman empire had also much more inhabitants than the barbarian German states.

Besides the Chinese would not make it through Persia and Turks, the Otoman empire started to gain great power and prestige during this period.

To the Mongolian threat - it was pretty much over at this time the Juan dynasty ruled through 13. century.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by LuDaCrIs
I think it would have been quite easy for the chinese to take over Europe. Why did they not do it?


Uh, maybe because they understood that attacking other nations is an invitation to disaster. Maybe they still understand that- it is the Law of Karma.

Live and let live.



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 01:45 PM
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And the answer is:
Spies.

We have not taken into account spying, or complicity by the Emperor in his actions.

Many people think that (and this is a Japan reference) White people were killed on the beach when they first landed, and that no one was able to make contact with them.

That was actually what was AGREED upon, after the British East India Company made a secret deal with the Japanese Emperor (it did not suit Britain or the Emperor to have their alliance acknowledged). In turn, Japan acted totally isolationist, meaning their people were not allowed to explore White/European culture, in effect making them vulnerable to exploitation by others (by being sheltered from those who are most dangerous to you).

Hmm, who visited China just before the 1400s?

Was it, Marco.... Polo?

Maybe we need to think of this in terms of control, power, and influence only. What if the 'British' were able to offer the Chinese Emperor more power over his people, by modifying their religion in subtle ways, putting more power in the hands of a class of people (Confucian 'priests' in this case) who were completely loyal to the Emperor.

What I am trying to get at is, perhaps there was more diplomatic understanding between the elite than we at first recognize, even back then.



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 12:15 PM
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So.... China thought that their internal economy would allow them to be self sufficient. they thought they didnt need the outside world, or trade.

yeah i know.. oops!



posted on Oct, 8 2008 @ 03:14 PM
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China Confucius learned from their long history that external conflict almost always lead to successful military leaders, who were likely to gain too much power, threaten the emperor rule and eventually cause instability to the country, just like many generals did in the Roman Empire. They designed a military system to keep generals on leash, but the system at the same time made the army inefficient and weak. For the same reason, they would rather not engage in exploration and expansion to avoid external conflict. After all, China had expanded to all irrigable area known to itself then.



posted on Oct, 10 2008 @ 12:25 AM
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There was also the trouble of China "discovering" similarly powerful nations to the west, through contact with Marco Polo's entourage, Portuguese traders, and the like. Since the Chinese emperors always liked to have a real tight control over their nation, they withdrew embassies, closed the borders, and stopped sailing, in some part to keep their own people's contact with foreigners as limited as possible. The introduction of Islam and Christianity by the Mongols a century prior and the revival of Christianity after contact with Portugal was already causing trouble - it's hard to be a divine god-king when your people believe that there's only been one such being in the entirity of history, and he's some Jewish guy out near the Sea of Galilee.



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 03:10 AM
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As an East Asian historian and a military historian of European warfare, my insight into the facts are as follows:

Period around the 1400's and before ...

1. What would have been the outcome if European military forces collided with the Chinese/East Asian (United Korea) military forces?
Answer: Frankly, Asia would have been victorious. Their military technology, strategies (tactical abilities including psyop / espionage warfare abilities), individual training and experience would have surpassed that of the European forces.
2. About China: China was a very advanced society at this time, and they had the very best technology of the period. However, their military was weak and their military troops were not the best. The one thing China had in their favor was their huge population pool, which equals a huge military force and monetary support or supply line. Yes, overall, East Asia was far more superior in culture and in military abilities at this time. Having said this, China was not the best in Asia at this time. For ex. ... the united nations of Korea had a better skilled military force. They were known as the " Spartans of Asia". Their tactical abilities and individual soldiering skills were far more superior than the Chinese forces. However, they did not have military numbers and the support line as the Chinese.
3. Why didn't China (meaning, East Asia) invade Europe or fight with European forces?
Answers:
I. They had nothing to gain from Europe. They knew, from the Mongol invasion of Europe and from trading abroad, that Europe had nothing to give in culture and in lands. Also, the two cultures were too far apart or too different, ying and yang is too offset or drifts too far apart.
II. They were scared of the European uncivilized culture at this time and of the diseases and of their lifestyle.
III. IMPORTANTLY, the biggest reason why they did not clash with Europe was due to one key fact ... Asians came with totally different programming than the Europeans. Their DNA or their mindset was too different than the Europeans. For ex. ... a good indication is how Korea and China was acting to one another at this time. Instead of waging war, it was in their DNA to fight without actually fighting ... the two nations were waging a "mind game manipulation" or "psyop" warfare and espionage warfare. It was all about mind games. Also, China was in a fury of internal warfare as well. They were too busy fighting within themselves - power struggle. If you look at Chinese history, the picture is clear why. If you look at their dynasty in power ... not all of their dynasty power families were real Chinese blood. Some of their dynasty families were Mongols, Manchurians-Korean ancestry, and Koreans ancestry. So, they were constantly fighting within the circle or within the Forbidden City. Again, they were too busy figting each other. On the other hand, Europeans were programmed to conqueror and constantly wage war. This is how they got what they lacked - business development, geography (mainly for the fruits of the land) and the high of power and what it brought them - politics. Also, it is in their blood to conqueror their neighbor and to wage war.
4. China's downfall: Their own ego and pride and unwillingness to adapt to change. Their biggest problem: They think, for example, they invented everything. In fact, a lot of their key inventions came from Korea and from other asian cultures. However, they went too far to cover the truth and became too suppressive and closed minded. When this happens, implosion occurs in the society. Better for a society to explode than to implode within. This is how Rome became "Rome No More".

Same thing is going on right now ... "history always repeats itself". The events stay smiliar or the energy stays same and always repeats itself. Only the faces change.






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