Notes P. 486 - 491
The Asian Trading World and the Coming of the Europeans
MI – The Asian sea trading network was a peaceful trade system between the Muslim World, India, China and various islands in between the 3 key zones.

· The Asian sea trading network can be broken down into 3 main parts:
o Arab zone = glass, carpets, and tapestries
o Indian zone = cotton textiles
o Chinese zone = paper, porcelain and silk textiles
· Japan, mainland kingdoms, islands in South East Asia, and East Africa (coastline) provided raw materials for the three main zones.
· Strongest demand and highest prices for spices.
· Despite the advanced maritime technology of the Arabs and Chinese (compasses, large ships, etc.), they still favored set routes that traced coasts.
· Europeans were able to dominate the trade network particularly due to…
o No central control
o Military force absent from commercial exchanges
· Most merchants in the trading network were looking for profit for themselves and their funders.
· Peaceful trading due to the common desire for wealth and goods; prosper from each other.
Trading Empire: The Portuguese Response to the Encounter at Calicut
MI – The Portuguese attempted to gain control of parts of the trading network.

· The Portuguese were obviously not prepared to abide by informal rules of trade.
· To mercantilists, trading was negative since other nations would gain wealth as well; more power.
· Portuguese decide to use force to obtain goods from other countries.
o The only Asian naval force strong enough to fend off the Portuguese were the fleets of Chinese junks.
· Force proved ineffective; change strategy to controlling towns in those areas.
o Captured Ormuz on southern end of Persian Gulf and Goa on western Indian coast.
· da Gama forced ports in Africa & India to submit.
o Caused a combined Egyptian and Indian fleet to attack (but were defeated).
· Portuguese hoped to establish a monopoly in Asian products and build an Empire in the region.
o Believed their combination of a licensing system + monopoly would control a decent portion of the Asian trading network.
Portuguese Vulnerability and the Rise of the Dutch and English Trading Empire
MI – Portuguese efforts to control flow of goods for monopoly was impossible so they began to resort to attacking merchant ships.

· Portuguese did not have enough ships or money to control their monopoly or licensing system so rivals began to take advantage.
· Resistance of Asian rivals, poor military discipline, corruption in the crown officials and shipping losses dealt a heavy blow to the Portuguese vision of empire.
· Portuguese empire building paled in comparison to the Dutch and English.
· The Dutch were the “victors” in the domination of spice trade by being selective.
o Dutch captured key Portuguese ports and built their own; like at Batavia on Java island.
o Focused on controlling certain spices rather than the whole trade network.
· Dutch trading empire was successful because of…
o Fortified towns and factories, warships on patrol, and monopoly control.
o Removal of or extermination of indigenous islanders who grew spices to break Dutch monopoly.
· Dutch found that greatest profit was peacefully be worked into the trading system
o Began to depend on fees from transporting goods and resold items for inflated prices in Europe.
Going Ashore: European Tribute Systems in Asia
MI – The Europeans were able to enter the Asian trading system in the 16th and 17th centuries, but they were not able to compete with Asian armies.

· Superior force of the Europeans (ships and guns) allowed them to take part in the trading system, but their influence decreased the more they moved inland.
o Spanish invaded Philippine Islands and conquered Luzon.
o Spain fails at conquering Mindanao.
· Controlled settlements were forced to pay tributes of agricultural products to the conquerors.
Spreading the Faith: The Missionary Enterprise in South and Southeast Asia
MI – Roman Catholicism spread despite minimal Dutch and English effort to convert people in Asia, but the Portuguese and Spanish consciously tried to convert them.

· Roman Catholicism was a major part of the Spanish and Portuguese’s global missions.
o Major clashes between Islam and Christianity in the region.
o Dream of Christian Asia joining Iberian crusade against Muslims
· India was a susceptible area for conversions.
o Franciscan and Dominican missionaries as well as Jesuit Francis Xavier helped the low-caste peoples.
o Robert di Nobili developed conversion strategy: Attempt to convert the high-caste first.
o High-caste people refused to worship on same level as lower-caste populous.
When Europeans arrived in the Indian Ocean, they entered into a millennia old trading network dominated by Hindu and Muslim traders. Despite their initial attempts to become actively involved with trade through show of force, European powers began to realize it was only peaceable trade that could last.

“T” Chart Comparing Chinese and Japanese responses to European arrival

  • Imports from European merchants were invaluable during times of famine or underproduction.
  • Population rose to 90 million in the 1400s; 300 million+ during the 1800s.
  • Traded silk textiles and other goods for silver.
  • Europeans settled in Macao and Canton where they officially began business with Ming China.
  • Europeans broke into the Middle Kingdom and tried to infiltrate the courts and gather the Ming emperor’s favor to spread their religion.
o Some Chinese scholars were interested in learning about Christianity.
  • Saw Europeans as people with “large noses” and “hairy faces”. (Lol)
  • Wanted to limit their contact with Europeans
  • European traders brought the Japanese goods from other parts of Asia; which was traded for silver, copper, and pottery.
  • European weaponry planted the idea of expanding trade once they aided Japanese unifiers in winning multiple wars.
  • Europeans started to convert the Japanese to Roman Catholicism.
o Nobunaga had worn western clothing and purchased artwork of the Virgin Mary.
o Nobunaga died and the missionary efforts of the Europeans ended.
  • Hideyoshi reported converts to be ignoring the commands of their overlords.
o Prepared for war in case of European attack.
o Hideyoshi had began prosecuting converts and missionaries.
  • Ieyasu continued to persecute the Christian faith and officially banned the religion in 1614.
o Europeans had to leave the island or they would be killed.
o Japanese converts had to renounce their faiths
  • Foreign traders were confined in 1616
  • In the 1630s Japanese ships were forbidden to set sail out of Japan
  • In the 1640s only a limited number of Dutch and Chinese ships were able to carry goods on a specific island called Deshima in Nagasaki Bay.

Upon European arrival, the Chinese and Japanese originally saw the situation as positive. However, as the Europeans settled in and relations became stronger, the Chinese and Japanese began to refrain from too much contact with the European merchants/missionaries.