China Cultural Revolution

Topics: Zheng He, Ming Dynasty, China Pages: 11 (1302 words) Published: November 26, 2013
Ming Dynasty
Introduction
!
Ming Dynasty was the ruling
dynasty of China between 1368-1644.
The early years of the Ming dynasty
between 1405 until 1433; it was that time
that exploration of China was pushed to
its furthest limits. Seven unmatched
voyages led by the Chinese imperial
eunuch Zheng He. The voyages he led
where nothing compared to the
expeditions previous explorers had
made. As a navigator, Zheng He single
handedly controlled 27,800 men and a
fleet of 62 treasure ships supported by
190 smaller ships. There was a variety of
small ships, including supply ships, troop
transports, warships, equine ships, patrol
boats and water tank ships. Apart from
the amount of ships, the size of the ships was also astonishing. Marco polo had described the treasure ships as mammoth ships, conveying 500 to 1000 passengers. Most scholars estimate them to be (118.9–124.4 m) meters long and (48.8–50.6 m) feet wide. Compared to the French ship “Orient” built in the 18th century, the treasure ship was twice its length and three times its width. Finally Zheng He was able to command this massive army and explore places along the coast of Asia and Africa, including South East Asia, India, Persia, Arabia and Africa. (The Ming Voyages, Asia for Educators)

Zheng He’s voyages compared to Christopher Columbus and Vasco de Gama
!
Zheng He’s voyages were astonishing compared to other explorations happening at that time. However, Vasco da Gama was also considered one of the most successful explorers during the Age of Discovery. Europeans had always been attracted by the spices silver and gold that India held, but it was impossible to travel through land to attain these goods. It would have meant to pass through highly disputed Mediterranean land or the dangerous Arabia. After decades of sailors trying to reach India with hundreds of lives and dozens of ships lost, Vasco de Gama reached India in 1498. With the discovery of this trade route, it upheld the Portuguese economy. !

Christopher Columbus was also considered one of the most successful explorers. On August third of the year 1492, Christopher Columbus set out to find India for an alternative trade route. He had initially thought he found a shorter route to India but it wasn’t until later on until he realized that he found a new country. All these voyages essentially was looking for a way to improve, expand and earn recognition. Zheng He’s voyages essential goal was to earn recognition for his emperor, while in the

meantime he was also able to establish a good relationship with Islamic countries. However, Christopher Columbus and Vasco de Gama’s journeys were to further explore the unknown world.

A S I A

IRAN

OMAN

GRAND
CANAL

INDIA

Arabian

1
2
3

IA

Se a

AL

6
Nairobi 5
Malindi

Mombasa

Pate I.
Lamu

MALDIVES

Colombo

FUJIAN

Changle

Xiamen

Andaman
Islands

CEYLON

Ayutthaya

Nicobar
Islands
Banda Aceh
Semudera

Major trading center
Destination

INDIAN OCEAN

Kelantan
Pahang
Malacca

South
Ch i n a
Sea

atra

Subsidiary route

R

Qui Nhon

VIETNAM

MALAYSIA

A TO

TAIWAN

CHAMPA

CAMBODIA

Sum

Main route

EQU

Hainan

SIAM

(India)

Galle
Dondra Head

The Routes

East
China
Sea

Quanzhou
THAILAND

(India)

4

Origin of all
7 voyages Nanjing

Kunyang

Quilon Jaffna
SRI LANKA

Swahili
coast

MOZ.

YUNNAN

Kozhikode

TANZANIA

Present-day
boundaries shown
Scale varies in
this perspective.
Straight-line
distance between
Nanjing and
Mombasa is
5,730 miles
(9,221 kilometers).

Dalian
JIANGSU

Chittagong
Ba y of
Be ng a l

a
of cc
it a l a
ra M
St

7

BANGLADESH

(Calicut)
Malabar
Coast Cochin

M

Mogadishu
Baraawe

Beijing

MING EMPIRE
Dhofar

KENYA

AFRICA

Wall
eat
Gr

YEMEN

Mukalla

SO

CHINA

Ya
n

ze
gt

Red Se
a

Hormuz

Mecca

Arabian
Peninsula...
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