East Asia Exam

Late Imperial China: the Pinnacle of Imperial Power
Political Power in the Late Empire (Late Imperial China)
– Ming Dynasty Despotism 1368-1644
– Rebel leader, Ming Tai Zhu or Emperor Hongwu, the founding emperor of the
Ming dynasty
– Despotic and tyrannical dynasty
– The Emperor didn't trust his bureaucracy and scholar-officials
– He thought that they were corrupt
– He thinks they colluded with the Mongol dynasty
– He controlled them tightly and treated them abusively
– He wanted all power in his hands
– He abolished prime minister and took over his duties
– Conducted purges
– He thought that scholar-officials tried to take him down from the throne
– Therefore, he killed 15,000 people
– He punished, whipped when other emperors did not do that
– Thus, there were weak bureaucracy
– Who was controlling the emperor?
– No one; therefore, there is a despotism
– After his death, his grandson tried to moderate and soften his policies
– But the uncle stole the throne and restored the Ming dynasty
– Zhu Di or Yongle Emperor
– By the end of the Ming dynasty, there were a couple of weak emperors, where
the servants used his power
– Also, there was a new barbarian threat
– 1644, new barbarian conquest and end of the Ming dynasty

– Qing Dynasty Autocracy 1644-1911
– Kangxi Emperor 1661- 1722 – peace and stability was reestablished
– Policy to recruit scholars back; restores all privileges and benefits
– The civil service exam system is also restored
– China returned to autocratic rule (autocracy) – power is shared btw
emperor and scholar class
– China is prosperous, stable, and secure
– 1840, china almost loses its power and suffers because

The Projection of Chinese Power
– The Zheng He Voyages
– This voyage was taking place during Yongle Emperor
– The fact that he is emperor will explain the motives of the voyages
– He stole the throne of his nephew
– He was always concerned about showing his legitimacy
– 1. The motivation of these voyages was to Boost his legitimacy

– The Tributary system was used for military protection and trade
– Ming emperors will use this system
– 2. Expansion of the empire magnifies the emperor because they think the
emperor is sent by heaven
– 3. Prestige
– Foreign relations involve political and economical power
– 1405-1407: the first voyage; reach India
– 1407-1409: the second voyage; reach India
– 1409-1411: the third voyage; reach India
– 1413-1415: the fourth voyage; reaches Persian gulf and east coast of Africa
– 1417-1419: the fifth voyage;
– 1421-1422: the sixth voyage
– Difference: emperor dies in 1425, so there was a pause on the voyage
– 1431-1433: the seventh voyage
– The giraffe was a tributary gift that exalts emperor and qilin – a mythical animal only
appearing in dynasties with a good emperor ruling
– 50 new nations participate in the Chinese tributary empire
– West coast of India, the head of the voyage conceived the seal
– Chinese extending their tributary empire to the other countries
– Chinese were sovereign and were recognized for their power
– 1430 Chinese ended their expeditions?
– Emperor who was sponsoring these voyages was interested in supporting his
legitimacy, so the other emperors will not care about it

– China’s relationship with the world
– Curious about the outside world
– They never showed any attempt to control other countries
– Did not use its power with evil
China and the Emerging World Economy
– China has long been the richest, industrial countries in the world
– What are the origins of the world economy:
– 16th century during voyages of exploration
– Europeans began this system as a result of the trade
– China and India constituted 50% of the world economic GDP

– The world economy began in Asia in 14-1500 centered in China and India

– Columbus wanted to find another route to India, he wasn’t looking for America
– China let the economy bloom by itself

Tokugawa Japan, 1600-1668
Tokugawa Government
– Tokugawa Ieyasu wins
– Becomes the new shogun until 1868
– Powerful feudal lords are names Daimyo
– Well defined geo areas and populations
– Lords exercise power at the local level
– During Tokugawa shogun, he would limit the powers of the lords
– The laws of the military houses limited the power of the lords
– At the top, there were the council of elders and with the shogun, they ruled over the
national affairs
Tokugawa Society
– Concerned about political stability through limiting social mobility
– The adapted Chinese way of classifying society
– Classes should be fixed and defined
– In China: classes were Scholar class, peasants, craftsmen, merchants
– In Japan, classes were first is samurai
– Samurai is a hereditary class and should be born into a social elite
– If you have peace all the time, there’s nothing for them to do
– So they were the gov bureaucrats, not warriors (identity crisis)
– They learned martial art for Character building ability
– The literacy rate for samurai was 100%
– Even peasants had a 20% rate of literacy
– Japan's 79% of boys went to school, and girls were going to school (22%)
Tokugawa Thought and Culture
– Interest in Confucianism and European learning
– Banned Europe bc he thought it will bring instability
– Besides Germany; the Japanese learn things though dutch literature
– Culture developed in large cities
– Development of woodblock printing
– Pictures of the floating world
– Most famous printer: Hiroshige 1797-1858
– Collection: 100 views of Edo
– Influenced westerners like van Gogh

The Western Assault on the Chinese World Order
– China and the West
– Early contact with Portugal
– First Europeans to arrive in China
– Made a Trading post in Macau
– China said that Europe came for their economic success
– But Europe said that they came for religious reasons
– Trade brought Chinese to the shores
– Matteo Ricci- first catholic missionary to make an impact in china;
Sponsored by Portuguese crown
– Belonged to the Jesuit order
– Entered China in late 1500 and by 1601, established a mission in
– Chinese were intellectual opened and interested in the outside
world and traditions
– They opened up more bc of matteo because when he first came to
China, he dressed in robes of a Buddhist monk
– He thought that he was religious so he had to dress like a religious
person, but later he realized that Confucians did not appreciate
Buddhist teaching, so he changed to dress like the robes of a
Confucian scholar
– Christianity completes Confucianism
– Made connection to Confucianism
– Refers to god as shangdi
– Another group of Catholics criticized Matteo and Jesuits because they
compromise catholic faith; you should not connect Christianity to the
Chinese Confucius
– Jesuits appealed to the Chinese emperor and the others appeal to the
roman catholic church
– 1724, the Chinese emperor bans catholicism as a false teaching
– Relationships between Europeans and china started out pretty good for
the first 100 years sharing wisdom and sharing each other’s traditions

– Later contact with Britain; second period of contact
– Contact is limited to economics and trade
– British established colonies in the new world (America)
– In the 1770s, the British rethink their strategy that will make their colonies
– They gained their colony in India as they lost American colonies
– 1773, they put one of their men in India as a head
– End of 18 century, they pursue free trade empire
– Britain will seek trading posts so they could trade and not rule
– This was successful in china because they did not rule china but had a
– The Tributary system was not effective in foreign relation with west

– 1793, the British send ambassador lord Mccartney brought a gift to the
Chinese emperor for his bday; but he wanted to change the foreign
relation system to a more western style
– He wants the British ambassador living in Beijing to support the
relationship with the British
– This did not make the emperor happy because he doesn’t wanna change
the Chinese system

– The Opium Trade
– British discovered opium that will interest china
– Grow in India and sell to china
– Chinese were interested in tobacco+opium and make them pleasurable
– This was addictive
– End of the 1800s, 20-30% of Chinese males weer serious users of opium
– Now they can use opium to get Chinese luxury goods
– Opium dealers were punished
– 1834, Indian company lost its trade with China, so it was chaotic
– The Opium War
– The Harder Line Leads to War
– One scholar wanted to accept opium and continue trade
– Another group of scholars wanted a harder line on opium and trade
– Lin Zexu/Lin Tse-hsu – an official who was appointed to ensure the harder
– Canton trade – enforced harder line about opium trade; decrease opium
use and trade
– Argues with the British government with
– Moral conscience
– Golden rule “why you harming us
– He threatened that they will cut trade with England
– He set English ship on fire
– 1839, they went to naval war with the Chinese
– English was more advanced with naval, and Aug 1842 the Chinese
– The Nanking Treaty 1842
– England says that there was misunderstanding
– This treaty is for the merchants
– They added 4 more locations for treaty boards; British people can reside
there and do trade there (not only Canton anymore)
– In perpetuity is forever
– British only want to have free trade; they don’t want to rule big pieces, but
just have a trade

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