e.c.apling at btinternet.com
Mon Oct 10 07:26:50 MDT 2005
At 21:17 09/10/2005, Charles Brown wrote:
> Fred Feldman
>. Why did Chinese civilization not feel the same drive to
>conquer the developing markets of Europe, even though they had trade
>with Europe, mostly at Europe's initiative.
>CB: Absence of a tradition in which Alexander the Conqueror was considered
>"The Great" ?
Pardon me for repeating myself from another thread but a good source
book on the difference of attitudes between East and West is:
John M. Hobson (great-great-grandson of the radical anti-imperialist
J. A. Hobson), The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation, Cambridge
University Press, 2004
with even more detail in
Martin Bernal, Black Athena, London: Vintage, 1991
The first-named book also has something on navigation and sailing
problems, but for an even more detailed exposition of the problems
faced by the navigators from Spain, Portugal and Italu, see the
French historian Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the
Mediterraean World in the Age of Philip II, vol. 1, English
translation of 2nd edn., Fontana Press, 1972.
A vast difference in culture between East and West - for the last two
millenia the ddemand for possession of overseas territories seems to
have come not only from a peculiar greed in the West but even more
from the Christian tradition that all other religions were barbarous,
and the people savage who had to be brought the "treasures" of
Western Christian civilisation (although it is true that many of the
western colonists found the missionaries just a nuisance), and if
they refused the offer, to kill 'em.. (send 'em to heaven ?).
Most of the Chinese explorers were only interested in exchange and
bringing "tribute" to their Emperor rather than seeking possession of
overseas territories. The Empire may be said in a certain sense to
have existed on overseas exchange and "tribute", just as it was held
together on the mainland..
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