Free Essay

Early Economic Prosperity: Fine China

In: Historical Events

Submitted By waynedey
Words 740
Pages 3
Early Economic Prosperity: Fine China
For centuries, the common theme of global politics and economics has been focused on the relative prosperity of the West compared to the rest of the world. It’s a trend with roots as early as the 15th century and that has characterized the world we live in today. In the 9th through the 14th century, however, China was starting to become one of the more prominent powerhouses in the world and played a major role on the international level in both politics and economics. China’s impressive strength during this time period insists that certain policies must have been put into place at the governmental level in order to spearhead the country into prosperity. To just credit this success to a more centralized approach than the rest of the world would be an unjust oversimplification of China’s illustrious history. Instead, we must look at China’s emphasis on both technological advancements and centralized business practices as the sources of their ensuing dominance in the several centuries prior to the arrival of Europeans in the Americas.
While some say that just a general policy of centralization helped to spur Chinese advancement during this time period, it is actually more accurate to hone in on their reformative business practices as the most probable cause. As Abu-Lughod (1989) stresses, China’s reforms occurred both on a national and a global scale. Within borderlines, one of China’s first steps was to adopt paper money (especially in North China) by the end of the 11th century. Amidst a global economy centered on the exchange of various metals, this business procedure lent itself to a more modern form of international trade. With this policy shift, China was able to homogenize their internal currency and set up a front for the rest of the world to deal with. Paper money became the only form of foreign currency, forcing foreign merchants with gold and coins to exchange those goods for China’s form of currency (1989). As a result, China developed into a medium between foreign and local merchants and could ensure that fortunes would not just arbitrarily amass elsewhere.
Alongside their innovations on the business front, China made significant advances in technology that propelled them into dominant success in the pre-Columbian era. An obvious benefit was discovered in their production of silk during this time period. Due to its rarity in other parts of the world, silk became a luxury good with high demand from high-end customers. It meant that Chinese merchants were welcomed with their product into many foreign cities, especially across Southeast Asia. This inevitably led to a broadening of the market and a growing dependency on China for specific goods. With their low bulk production on top of this (1989), even transport was cost-effective. Dunn and Mitchell (2015) also extend this idea of advancement by pointing out the highly developed system of roads and canals within the country itself. What cannot be forgotten are the innovations that led to China’s integration into trade across the seas. With the invention of the compass as New World Encyclopedia (2014) brings up and the development of the first oceangoing ships as Hadingham (2001) discusses, sea trade became much safer and more practical. Consequently, China’s economic empire stretched along its well-designed roads to other empires and found just as much, if not more, success in bringing those same goods to even more countries via water.
The question of how China came to be prosperous is not a small one. It actually leads us to uncover both what made China prosper and what made them lag behind European progress in later years. What is clear is the significance of business and technology both back then and now. Although China is now among the prosperous once more, there is something to be said about its unmatched magnificence in its prime. Perhaps the beauty of its history, then, is in its claim to innovative practices that parallel much of our international interactions today.
Abu-Lughod, Janet (1989). Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350.
Oxford University Press
Dunn, Ross & Mitchell, Laura (2015). Panorama A World History Volume 2: from 1300.
McGraw-Hill Education
Hadingham, Evan (2001). Ancient Chinese Explorers. Retrieved from nova/ancient/ancient-chinese-explorers.html New World Encyclopedia (2014). History of Science and Technology in China. Retrieved from ina

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


...spouses look like. Weiss mentions about two families in India that came together and got married when the husband was 11 years old and the wife was 10; they had their first child when they were both 13 and a daughter 2 years after. The husband had to give up school and started a small shop that sells snacks, tea, and tobacco on the road in his village; they are barely raising enough money to support themselves, but their parents request for more grandchildren (Beyond 7 Billion: Fertility). Older generations do not realize the problems that humans are now facing with so much people on Earth, how much burden is on Earth’s shoulders, with 7 billion people that needs to be fed and still counting. The outcome of tradition and religious reasons for early marriage and multiple children in one family has brings relentless growth in population. Besides Philippines, another third world country like Africa is overly populated. Weiss says it is expected that by 2050, there will be at least 2 more billion people on Earth, and 97% of those people are from “Africa, Asia and Latin America, led by the poorest, most volatile countries” (Beyond 7 Billion: Youth). Weiss mentions how “…population is rising most rapidly in places where life is most precarious…hundreds of millions of people have live on the edge of starvation. A drought, flood or outbreak of violence can push them over the brink.” (Beyond 7 Billion: Living). Africa is most definitely precarious; people in Africa do not even have......

Words: 2454 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

The Great Divergence

...theories regarding how and why the process of Great Divergence occurred. This includes the change in economical effects, the role of government, culture, the technological development, and innovation. In addition, we will briefly explore the previously developed areas; such as China and compare them to European civilization. The approximate beginning of ‘great divergence’ has been debated between many authors, being as early as 17th century, where Europe’s economy was starting grow over other region’s economy (Maddison, 2001). However, many historians believe that it was during the 19th century when Europe was developing rapidly. On the other hand, other regions that were previously more advanced, such as China, established it’s strong cultures and traditions in geographically large remote empires. In such environment, policies of scientific and social inactivity could stand because of tradition or culture. On the other hand, Europe was geographically set in reduced, closer, but with larger number of groups, surrounded and separated by small rivers and mountains, thus, governments that repressed economic and scientific development soon amended their errors or were out-done rapidly (Pomeranz, 2000). The early western world benefitted from revenues from trading European products to the Eastern countries (Pomeranz, 2000). High earnings obtained from trading with eastern countries and sales of slave established seven percent profit per annum, which is a “relatively high rate of......

Words: 2488 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

One Child Policy

...leader, Deng Xioping established the One Child Policy in 1980 to limit the population growth in China. The policy strictly allow couples in China to have only one child with a few exceptions in some areas. If couples disobey the law and have a second child, they would have to pay heavy fines. They can also lose their jobs and create a bad name for their family. In the government’s view when the policy was being introduced, fewer births ment fewer mouths to feed which ment that there is a better chance at prosperity for the people. (Evans 102) According to Paul Wiseman from USA Today, the goal of the policy was to keep the Chinese population below 1.2 billion people through 2000. As it turned out, the policy has failed because the population today is 1.3 billion. It did however lower birthrates due to birth control, abortions, and early deaths of infants. Throughout the years, China began to have an imbalanced gender ratio. There is a significant amount of more males than females due to the one child policy. One of the main reasons why there are so many males over females is because males are more preferred than females. Boys are more preferred mainly because they are the ones who will carry on the family name and they are expected to take care of their parents financially in the future. According to China’s latest Census, 116.9 boys are being born for every 100 girls.(USA Today) China is now beginning to face the consequences of having the country filled with mostly men......

Words: 2846 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

The Evolution of Marriage

...Patrick Liou PSYC 359 Professor Barone A New Era in Marriage Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love states that intimacy, passion, and commitment combine to produce different types of love, ranging from non-love to consummate love. In the 21st century, most Americans consider romantic love as key criteria in finding a marital spouse, but throughout history, the choice of a spouse usually had little if any to do with romantic love. In the 1960s, when the dynamics of a marriage followed the breadwinner-homemaker model, couples who married looked for a companionate partnership that would provide a stable living financially since financial stability was often a priority over individual happiness. Fast-forward fifty years, the economic prosperity has turned the United States into an individualistic society, and the lack of connection and chemistry would often be a deal breaker in a romantic relationship. This shift of prevalent love style from companionate partnerships to individualized marriages that stress romantic love can be attributed to women having better access of higher education and becoming economically independent of men, breaking the need for women to depend on a man as the breadwinner of the household. With women becoming financially independent, they are no longer limited to being a homemaker and can pursue the same opportunities that are offered to men. Thus, under the social exchange theory, men are no longer able to offer financial stability to......

Words: 2433 - Pages: 10

Free Essay


... A special report on China's place in the world Brushwood and gall China insists that its growing military and diplomatic clout pose no threat. The rest of the world, and particularly America, is not so sure, says Edward Carr Dec 2nd 2010 | from PRINT EDITION • • IN 492BC, at the end of the “Spring and Autumn” period in Chinese history, Goujian, the king of Yue in modern Zhejiang, was taken prisoner after a disastrous campaign against King Fuchai, his neighbour to the north. Goujian was put to work in the royal stables where he bore his captivity with such dignity that he gradually won Fuchai’s respect. After a few years Fuchai let him return home as his vassal. Goujian never forgot his humiliation. He slept on brushwood and hung a gall bladder in his room, licking it daily to feed his appetite for revenge. Yue appeared loyal, but its gifts of craftsmen and timber tempted Fuchai to build palaces and towers even though the extravagance ensnared him in debt. Goujian distracted him with Yue’s most beautiful women, bribed his officials and bought enough grain to empty his granaries. Meanwhile, as Fuchai’s kingdom declined, Yue grew rich and raised a new army. Goujian bided his time for eight long years. By 482BC, confident of his superiority, he set off north with almost 50,000 warriors. Over several campaigns they put Fuchai and his kingdom to the sword. The king who slept on brushwood and tasted gall is as familiar to Chinese as King Alfred and his cakes are to Britons...

Words: 14821 - Pages: 60

Premium Essay

Ancient Civilization

...the dry land and left behind a layer of rich black soil that was excellent for crop. * Farmers planted their crops as soon as the floodwaters receded * 4000 B.C.E. * Egypt consisted of valley of farmers living along the Nile * 3300 B.C.E. * first walled towns were erected at Naqada and Hierakonpolis * 3100 B.C.E. * ruler of Upper Egypt unified the country * Menes, first ruler, conquered Lower Egypt and brought all of Egypt under his rule. He built the city of Memphis as his capital. * Kings of Egypt * “Ruler of the Two Lands” * wore two crowns – symbolizing the unification of the country * There were at least 30 dynasties in Egypt’s history * Scholars divided the early history of Egypt according to the three periods when strong dynasties united the country * Old Kingdom (2686 – 2150 B.C.E.) * Middle Kingdom (2040 – 1786 B.C.E.) * New Kingdom (1570 – 1090 B.C.E.) Old Kingdom * 2649 B.C.E. * Old Kingdom was inaugurated under the rulers of the third dynasty * Egypt first began to project its power abroad, with expeditions during the reign of Shefru (2575 – 2551 B.C.E.) to Nubia to collect raw materials and campaigns into Libya by the sixth dynasty pharaohs (2323 – 2150 B.C.E.) * 2246 – 2152 B.C.E. * During the long reign of Pepi II, central authority began to dissolve and within 20 years, the Old Kingdom collapsed, as famine wracked the land and officials...

Words: 2520 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Emerging Economic and Political Conflicts as Threat to Prosperity

...EMERGING ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CONFLICTS AS THREAT TO PROSPERITY Biyash Chakraborty MBA- International Business Email: University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. (Uttarakhand), INDIA __________________________________________________________________________ Abstract India’s rapid economic growth has made it the second fastest growing energy market in the world. Its domestic and international strategies has produced foreign policy differences with the United States that will require careful management on both sides. India’s basic approach to energy diplomacy has been to develop its supply potential and neutralize its potential competitors, principally China. India’s strategic interest in Iran as its energy partner and then the Iraq crisis are having a negative consequence on its economic prosperity, placing it on crossroads with the US. There is a divide between US and EU about the wisdom and desirability of imposing harsh economic sanctions on Russia. In any such confrontation, EU stands to lose much more than the US, though it can be argued that Russia will be the worst loser. In future, Russia may try to find new potential market for its gas and that could be India. So it is important for India to take its stand on Ukraine crisis carefully without tarnishing its relation with USA. India’s long-term prosperity hinges to some degree on a conflict free neighborhood; that an economically integrated region is in......

Words: 8568 - Pages: 35

Premium Essay

The Great Recession

...mistakes. I discuss the parallels between these two watersheds in recent economic history in three steps. The first and most important step is the causes of the crises and their relation to economic theory. The second step is the spread of the crises as they affected the whole world. I close with the final step, recovery—at least as far as we can see it at this point. Marx said famously that history repeats itself, “the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”2 I argue that this observation also fits our current condition. Both of these dramatic and costly economic crises came from the interaction of economic imbalances in the world economy and the ruling ideology of financial decision makers who confronted these imbalances. The first imbalance came from the First World War. This paroxysm of violence brought the long economic expansion of the nineteenth century to a sudden end. Britain, the workshop of the prewar world, was exhausted by the struggle. America, the rising economic behemoth, was unready to take responsibility for its new role in the international economy. Germany, having unsuccessfully challenged the Anglo Saxon powers, refused to acknowledge its defeat. The easiest way to see the imbalance is through the international movement of capital. There were many reasons why this imbalance was allowed to grow over the postwar decade, and one of the most important was the ruling economic theory of the Gold Standard. David Hume explained in the......

Words: 5245 - Pages: 21

Premium Essay

Life of Realigion

...Decline of the Roman/Han/Gupta Empires Diverse Interpretations Assignment COMPARISONS TO FOCUS ON: * The causes for the decline of the Roman, Han and Gupta Empires * Understanding of how and why the collapse of the empire was more severe in Western Europe than it was in the Asian Empires. * Comparison of the role that religions played in the declines * The impact of missionary outreach of the Christians and Buddhists in these empires RESOURCES * Upshur – “The Decline of Empires” * Stearns - Decline of Empires. * Frank Smitha - “Decline and Fall” * Johnson and Johnson – “Why Don’t Empires Last?” * Spodek – “China and Rome: How do they compare?” * Bulliet pages 168-170 and 186-189. ASSIGNMENT 1. Construct a Venn comparing and contrasting the causes for decline of the Roman, Han and Gupta empires. Information will come from the documents and not the lecture…you already wrote the lecture notes once, why write them again? Rome Han similarities Gupta 2. Write 3 comparative analytical mini-paragraphs about the decline of empires. (generalization, facts, analysis…) Remember that analysis answers the question “why?” Example: The AP World History teachers have very different tastes in beverages. Ms. Forswall likes tea while Ms. Patch likes cola. Green tea and Earl Grey are Ms. Forswall’s favorites; they taste nothing like Pepsi or Coke because soft drinks are much sweeter. Ms. Patch usually chooses a diet style......

Words: 7121 - Pages: 29

Premium Essay

China's One Child Policy

...the implementation of the One Child Policy, the leaders of China were involved in wars, a great leap forward, and an industrial revolution. In the last twenty five years China’s One Child Policy has affected the country in every way one can imagine. This paper will attempt to explore the major ways the policy has affected the people of China socially, and how the economy has reacted with the change. A brief history on the traditional views of Chinese families, before the policy’s implementation, is outlined ahead of the policy’s background. This is to illustrate where the people of China are coming from, socially and culturally. I hope to convey that this policy has forcefully stolen the Chinese citizens’ basic human right to reproduce and has hurt them physically and emotionally. However, statistically and economically the policy has been a success up to this point. The early psychological status of China’s children with no siblings is looked at to try to understand their mental capabilities of dealing with the pressure of having to be successful. Major flaws that were overlooked could spell disaster for this aging population in the future. The policy has created prosperity for the country, but has also left its citizens suffering. China is now looked at as having a low birth rate, a low death rate, and a low growth rate. The pros and cons of the One Child Policy are given, along with the country’s economic information, to give an overall perspective. ......

Words: 4053 - Pages: 17

Premium Essay

Chinese Culture the main body, Confucianism, Chuang-tzu, Mo-tse thought, Taoism culture as the main body of multi culture harmonious system of the entity. The traditional culture is also called Chinese culture, Chinese civilization is China excellent culture for 5000 years and older. And spread, broad distribution, culture is the natural laws of the universe, culture is the moral connotation; the cultural nature, cultural life; cultural soft power, is the internal driving force all; culture is a social ideology, is the Chinese national spirit is the fundamental social, political and economic. Chinese traditional culture, we should include ideas, language, arts, music, shooting, defense, books, calligraphy, music, martial arts, acrobatics, chess, festivals, prose, poetry, words, music, Fu, folk music, folk drama, folk art, Chinese painting, calligraphy, couplets, riddles, prohibition, Xie language, shadow play, Peking Opera, porcelain and folk customs. Calligraphy usually refers to the art of writing Chinese Chinese characters. China calligraphy is to Chinese culture as a unique visual artistic connotation, based on Chinese characters. Chinese characters are important factors Chinese in calligraphy, Chinese characters and China calligraphy is an important part of China culture. From the Oracle, Shigu Wen and Jin evolution for seal, Xiaozhuan, Xiaozhuan to type in the Eastern Han Dynasty and Wei and Jin cursive script, running script, etc., always exudes the charm of art. The......

Words: 2632 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Population Policy of Mongolia and China

...2.1.One. Population growth and health:………………………………………8-9 1.2.2.Two . Food and housing: …………………………………………………9 1.2.3.Three. Education and employment: ………………………………………9 1.2.4.Four. Distribution and migration: ………………………………………...10 1.2.5.Five. Registration, information and research: …………………………….11 1.2.6.Six. Link between population and sustainable development; …………….11 1.2.7.Seven. Status of family and social groups:………………………………..11 1.2.8. Eight. Administration of population policies and resources: …………….11-12 2. Population policy of China…………………………………….12 2.1. Population of China………………………………………………………...12-15 2.1.1.Ethnicity and Religion in China…………………………………………...15 2.1.2.One-child policy…………………………………………………………...15-16 2.1.3.Recent Effects of the One Child Law……………………………………..16-17 2.1.4.The Future of China's One Child Law…………………………………….17 3. Conclusion……………………………………………………….18-19 Population policy (Comparing China to Mongolia) 1.Population policy of Mongolia Mongolia's population is sparsely distributed, young, and increasing rapidly. With an estimated midyear 1990 population of 2,125,463, the average population density was 1.36 people per square kilometer. The rate of natural increase was the result of high birthrates and of death rates that were relatively low by world standards. The population's sex ratio was nearly even, with official 1990 figures showing 50.1 percent of the total population as male and 49.9 percent as female. Today the...

Words: 4495 - Pages: 18

Free Essay

Midterm Review

...approximately 1500 C.E. to the present. The course differs from the traditional Western Civilization class in that the entire world rather than Europe alone is the focus of study. The central questions the course will ask are these: What is Modernity, that is, what do we mean when we ask of "the modern world" in which we live? How have the political, social, cultural, and economic forces that we associate with modernity changed our world and its people during the past 500 years? Why has the intercommunication, interaction, and interdependence of the peoples of the world become so much more intense during the past 500 years than they were in earlier ages? How and why did western civilization rise to global domination in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and how has the challenge of western power and cultural prestige affected the course of history of all the World's people? Finally a question that we should be asking throughout the semester: how have the patterns of world history over the past 500 years determined or affected 1) the way we now live and think, and 2) our prospects for peace, prosperity, and the "pursuit of happiness" in the coming decades? This course is NOT primarily a narrative survey of civilizations, dynasties, and nations. The history of humankind is more than the sum of the histories of particular countries or empires. The most important developments in history have not taken place merely within the boundaries of nations. Rather,......

Words: 2042 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Why Nations Fail

...Robinson’s Why Nations Fail [2012] is a grand history in the style of Diamond [1997] or McNeil [1963]. Like those books, this book is exceptionally fun to read and full of interesting historical examples and provocative ideas. The basic theme of the book is that what matters most in why some nations fail – and others succeed, for the book is as much about success as failure – are not – as earlier authors have argued - economic policies, geography, culture, or value systems – but rather institutions, more precisely the political institutions that determine economic institutions. Acemoglu and Robinson theorize that political institutions can be divided into two kinds - “extractive” institutions in which a “small” group of individuals do their best to exploit - in the sense of Marx - the rest of the population, and “inclusive” institutions in which “many” people are included in the process of governing hence the exploitation process is either attenuated or absent. Needless to say Acemoglu and Robinson’s theory is more subtle than this simple summary. They argue that for any economic success political institutions must be sufficiently centralized to provide basic public services including justice, the enforcement of contracts, and education. Given that these functions are carried out, inclusive institutions enable innovative energies to emerge and lead to continuing growth as exemplified by the Industrial Revolution. Extractive institutions can also deliver growth but only when......

Words: 5886 - Pages: 24

Free Essay

Review for Social Studies

...result of Clovis’ conquests was the _____. (a) spread of Christianity in Europe (b) union of the Western and Eastern Roman empires (c) expulsion of the Moslems from western Europe (d) decline of feudalism in central Europe. The "Dark Ages" in western Europe refers to the period _____. (a) after the creation of the Feudal system (b) soon after the assassination of Julius Caesar (c) followed the collapse of the Roman Empire (d.) strengthening the central authority of Rome within the Empire. Which was not a result of the Germanic invasions of the Roman Empire? (a) Raising the level of civilization (c) Curtailing trade (b) Overthrowing the Roman government (d) Destroying many fine buildings The tithe was _____. (a.) an asylum for the poor. (c.) a monastic order. (b.) a tax levied by the Church. (d.) a special vestment for nuns. The Holy Inquisition was established to _____. (a.) combat heresy. (c.) stamp out Church corruption. (b.) convert the Jews. (d.) punish traitors to the king. Whenever the Church uses its power of excommunication, the victim _____. (a.) hunted down for immediate execution. (b.) loses diocese and all the attached privileges. (c.) is charged an excessive interest on his loans. (d.) is excluded from partaking of the sacraments. Primogeniture is the (a) money money used in Europe. (c) land. (b) Line of succession for kings. (d) ......

Words: 1770 - Pages: 8