- Slides: 49
Northern Eurasia 1450 -1750 AD
Northern Eurasia Japan: § Political unification took 4 centuries due to Japan’s traditional feudal system. § Political unification would not happen until late 500 s and 1600 s. § Japan’s development was influenced by Korean, Chinese, and European factors.
Northern Eurasia § Unification would not be as difficult though for Japan as with China and Russia because of her smaller size; homogeneous population; and natural boundaries. § Prior to unification, in the 1100’s, “imperial” unity (unity under an emperor) fell apart as regional warlords (Daimyos) competed with each other.
Northern Eurasia § Theoretically, the emperor was the ultimate source of political authority. Not in reality though. § Daimyo’s were like European feudal lords with their own castle, town, warriors (samurai), and legal and judiciary structure. They had their own currency and schools. § Daimyos also had trading agreements with European mariners. From they learned how to manufacture and use gunpowder weapons.
Northern Eurasia • Regional daimyos developed their own urban centers. In a positive sense it helped develop the nation economically. • In many ways Japan was more economically secure than politically secure. § Daimyo’s, though, pledged loyalty to the hereditary military commander, the shogun, as well as to the emperor. § The Shogun possessed the military and political authority of Japan but, from the 12 th to the 16 th century, Japan was a country in civil war between daimyo forces.
Northern Eurasia § One daimyo, Tokugawa Ieyasu, emerges as supreme in 1592, and forms shogunate or military government known as the “Tokugawa “Shogunate” at the castle town of Edo (modern Tokyo) in 1603. It lasted 267 years until 1868. § This was a family dynasty of shoguns, military leaders. § They did not have the title or position of emperor. The regional daimyos still had strong influence though, but at least Japan was politically unified as it never was prior to this. Japanese mon, or , family crest. This one is of the Tokugawa family.
Northern Eurasia • The Tokugawa Shoguns controlled the 260 daimyo noble lords, or aristocracy, by giving them valuable rice lands close to the capital. • Non-supporters were given undeveloped lands in the northern and southern regions. • Daimyo marriage contracts and meetings with the emperor were controlled by the shoguns. Question: What is the strategy here? Tokugawa Ieyasu as shogun
Northern Eurasia § This strategy would also be followed by monarchs in Europe in order to control their aristocracies too. § Remember though, the Shogun was not a monarch. § The emperor was to remain in Kyoto with no political power. • The aim of the Tokugawa shoguns was to prevent competing centers of power and centralize administration. • Also to restrict foreign influence, especially from Europe, from upsetting stability.
Northern Eurasia European impact: § 1453: the first Portuguese bring firearms, which Japanese will copy and use against themselves. § Jesuit missionaries, including Francis Xavier, came to Japan in the 1500’s and had some successful religious impact among the peasants. By 1615 there were 300, 000 Japanese Christians. § By 1580 there were 100, 000 Japanese Catholic Christians, and the Jesuit order had been given free reign in the port city of Nagasaki. § 1630’s a rural rebellion of peasants was blamed on European influence, and Christianity was banned by the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Northern Eurasia Edicts were issued restricting contact with foreigners by: • Forbidding travel abroad, • Prohibiting the production of large ships, • Expelling Europeans from Japan, • Forbidding the importation of books, • Restricting merchants to only a few Dutch and Chinese at Nagasaki.
Northern Eurasia § Tokugawa shoguns recognized that merchants were needed to conduct commerce between the regions, to build economic wealth, so commercial trade was emphasized, but with China, Korea, and Taiwan ( but not Europe). § Although isolation was the goal of the Tokugawa shoguns it could not be enforced. § Compare this to Mongol economic strategy.
Northern Eurasia • Stability brought peace and the warrior class adapted itself to the needs of the state. • Warriors became more educated bureaucrats and consumers of wealth. • This is what the Tokugawa shogunate wanted and warriors (samurai) were brought into government positions and intellectual pursuits. • It was the goal of the Tokugawa shoguns to reduce the number of trained professional warriors and end the strong samurai culture.
Northern Eurasia § Europe, though, was increasing its professional soldier population with academies and career offerings: France; Russia; Britain. § Japan now adopted a closed-country attitude to the spread of foreign influences to maintain stability, but not to knowledge of foreign culture. § Buddhism and neo-Confucianism entered from China. Buddhism was adapted to the Japanese perspective and became Zen. It was suspect by strict Shintoists. § The Japanese government became somewhat xenophobic.
Northern Eurasia § Japanese exports amounted to some metal, and porcelain, but not much else. § Nobles conducted their own trade and ignored the closed-country approach when it suited their purpose.
Northern Eurasia § 1600 s and 1700 s were time of achievement in art, steel , and pottery. Much of these skills were learned from Koreans brought into Japan. § Kabuki drama emerged with spectacular staging effects. § Merchants made use of this knowledge and were the key to modernization. § Cities like Kyoto, Edo, and Osaka grew with middle class influence. § Daimyos too forced trade and did gain influence. Note: Economic considerations often are at the center of political and social conditions.
Northern Eurasia § Japan slowly transformed itself from a military to a civil society. This created problems with the military: § In 1702, for example, the incident of the Forty-Seven Ronin. They were “masterless samurai” who avenged the disgrace of their master by assassinating his enemy. It was a samurai right. § Ultimately, they were forced to obey the civil laws of society as being above their own samurai code. § They would have to commit “seppuku. ”
Northern Eurasia § Merchants instrumental in the transition from a military to a civil society. This presented problems though: § Merchants had great wealth. § Merchants competed with aristocracy. § Merchants married aristocracy in contradiction to Confucian rules. § The Tokugawa shoguns sought to protect Japanese society from too much merchant influence.
Northern Eurasia § Thus, while the Tokugawa Shogunate put into place a political and economic system based upon progress and innovation, Japanese society outpaced the government. § The Tokugawa shoguns embraced neo- Confucianism, although many Japanese adhered to traditional belief systems such as Shinto.
Northern Eurasia China: • When the Mongol Yuan dynasty ended in 1368, the Ming and then Qing rulers sought to erase all Mongol cultural elements of the Yuan dynasty. • They promoted Confucian social precepts, together with political stability in a large, agrarian state. It was successful for nearly 500 years. • Royal families would be hierarchical and authoritarian, to protect their interests and guarantee stability.
Northern Eurasia • The Ming relied on imperial officials called “mandarins, ” to oversea government policies in the realm. Eunuchs used at court functions. • They promoted Confucian social precepts, together with political stability in a large, agrarian state. It was successful for nearly 500 years. • Confucian civil service exams and schools were restored. • Emphasis on all things “Chinese: ” names, language, and dress. • Emperor Yongle moved the capital to Beijing, sent naval expeditions to the Indian Ocean, and refortified the Great Wall.
Northern Eurasia • From the 1500 s to 1664 the Ming Empire exerted influence on global economy. • They used assembly-line production of porcelain, silk and lacquered furniture. • Zheng He’s multi-decked junks carried troops and cargo into the Indian Ocean. His efforts though were opposed by Confucian officials. • Note again the Asian emphasis on maritime wealth, although not necessarily maritime empire. The Ming did not follow through, and recalled the fleet of Zheng He.
Northern Eurasia § Ming China declined due to internal problems aggravated by environmental problems of the “Little Ice Age” temperature drop. This affected agricultural production forcing inflation. § Inflation also due to flow of silver from the west. § Border threats and rebellions created war costs. § To prevent invasion from Japan, the Ming brought in Manchu troops from Manchuria. ( Rome, Persia, Ottomans). They were originally pastoral nomads north of Korea. § Eventually, the Manchu rebelled and took Beijing and set up their own dynasty. (C/c with Mamluk rebellion in Egypt against the Abassid ruler. )
Northern Eurasia § The new dynasty was called the Qing (Ching). Today the Manchu are an ethnic minority in China. § Portuguese, Spanish, and the Dutch gained only limited trade access. § A Portuguese ship reached China in 1513, but was not permitted to trade.
Northern Eurasia § In time Spain and the Dutch could trade only from a base in Taiwan. Eventually, the Dutch became the main European trader in East Asia. § To Europeans, trade with China was only second in importance to the spice trade of southern Asia.
Northern Eurasia § European contact with China was conducted largely through the Jesuits. § Missionary Matteo Ricci adapted Catholic Christianity to Chinese culture by incorporating some Confucian concepts of ancestor worship. Emperor Kangxi supported the Jesuits in this. • This combination of cultural traditions is called: syncretism § Jesuits also introduced the latest science and technology from Europe.
Northern Eurasia Economics: § Chinese products gained in popularity in Europe especially among the wealthy and middle class: silk; tea; porcelain; and wallpaper. § Trade was eventually conducted with Europeans at certain market locations in China from which trade could be controlled: city of Canton.
Northern Eurasia § Europeans did not favor the Canton trading system though. Question: Why? It limited European control over the trade. • Eventually tea became a major import for Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East by land trade. • Western Europe acquired tea by the sea routes. It competed with chocolate and coffee by the 1600 s.
Northern Eurasia • Eventually, the British replaced the Dutch and the main trading partner for China, but Britain imported more from China than it exported. • Britain could not get China to relax the Canton trading system even with a high level mission of diplomats known as the Macartney mission (1792).
Northern Eurasia • 1793 -1794: the British try to establish diplomatic relations (embassy) with China, but they are refused. • Same with the Dutch, French, and Russians. Question: why did the Chinese act this way? To protect themselves.
Northern Eurasia § Jesuit descriptions of Chinese society influenced governments in Europe to want to rule in the style of the Chinese emperors. § Emperors were seen as philosopher kings and the French philosopher Voltaire expressed admiration for them. § While the Ming and Qing succeeded in their goal of restoring Chinese tradition of Confucian hierarchy, they could not prevent the impact of new food crops from abroad and of global trade on the economy.
Northern Eurasia § Economic expansion was due to tight controls by the government ( similar to the mercantilism of western Europe. § China was experiencing an increase in crops and food supplies due to American and African products. § This resulted in a population explosion to 400 million people by the late 1700’s.
Northern Eurasia Russian Empire: • From 1500 to 1800 Russia expanded from eastern Europe through northern Asia and into North America. § With the Mongols gone, Moscow becomes the center of the Russian state. § Ivan IV takes the title of Tsar in 1547.
Northern Eurasia § Russia expanded eastward into Siberia with the help of the Cossacks. § Cossacks: people of southern European Russia noted as cavalrymen and their service to the Tsar. § Siberia was known for its furs and timber.
Northern Eurasia § Russia incorporated Asian peoples including Mongols, although Russians themselves were a branch of the Slavic peoples of eastern Europe and mostly Orthodox Christians. § Church (religion) could play politics but would become corrupted by worldly or secular affairs.
Northern Eurasia § 1613: The Romanov dynasty begins. § Highly autocratic dynasty. § Autocracy: Government by a single person having unlimited power; despotism. § Early 1600 s was a time of civil warfare when many peasants fled or became slaves. § 1649: Law passed that transformed peasants into serfs who were tied to a piece of land. Serfs were under control of landowners who made up only 2% of Russia’s population. § They were not slaves, which were owned by a master.
Northern Eurasia § From 1689 -1725: § Peter the Great tried to reduce Russia’s isolation and increase the empire’s size. § Allowed foreign merchants in Moscow. § Brought in western Europeans to train his army. § Fought the Ottoman Turks to gain a warm- water port on the Black Sea and liberate Constantinople from Muslim rule. A port there with open Mediterranean access would be the dream of Russian Tsars for centuries. § He failed! •
Northern Eurasia § He succeeded in creating a Baltic Sea port, though, and built a new capital of St. Petersburg. § Modernization was crucial to him: Dress, grooming, socialization, etc. § Politically, he was determined to be an absolutist ruler.
Northern Eurasia Peter’s goals: 1. To westernize Russia like other nations of Britain and France. 2. Break the power of the nobles (Boyars) by reducing their roles in government and the army. 3. Control the Russian Orthodox Church and curb its power. 4. Develop and empire: expand into Alaska and the American northwest for furs.
Northern Eurasia Catherine the Great (1762 -1796): § Russia was the largest land empire, but not industrial like other nations. § Did not want to oppose the nobles. This slowed Russian political and social development. § Expanded the military of Peter the Great. § 1783: finally beat the Ottomans in a war for the northern shore of the Black Sea. Would greatly advocate the introduction of Enlightenment ideas. §
Northern Eurasia Between 1500 and 1800, both Russia and China grew tremendously, but in actual power could not compete with Portugal, Netherlands, Britain, and France who had less territory but more world influence. Question: Why? The aspect of commerce and free economic development based upon the merchant class and proper work ethic. §
Northern Eurasia § Both China and Russia also had oppressive social systems and were hierarchical. § Both, although having a diverse social make-up, did not appreciate ethnic or religious differences. § By the 1700 s, Russia had made the greatest progress in catching up with its European neighbors, although still had a problem with military technology.
Northern Eurasia § Russia would develop a modern warship fleet, but in keeping with Asian perspective, neither China nor Japan did likewise. § Socially, Russian and Chinese ethnic and cultural variation undermined unity. Japan did not experience this condition.
Northern Eurasia § Economically, China and Russia supported forced labor, while merchant status was unstable and often constricted (in Russia due to noble opposition, and in China due to Confucian opposition). § Even Japan experienced suspicion of merchant activity.