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1425 The Treasure Fleet anchors off Lisbon

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  • #61
    Getting back to the original question here... Perhaps the answer might be in a study of what happened when this fleet called on the Indian Ocean or Persian Gulf ports. Were those folks shocked & awed? Did their economies collapse or prosper? Did a flood of new technologies appear?

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
      Getting back to the original question here... Perhaps the answer might be in a study of what happened when this fleet called on the Indian Ocean or Persian Gulf ports. Were those folks shocked & awed? Did their economies collapse or prosper? Did a flood of new technologies appear?
      Yes they did. The land silk route was closed by the Mongols.

      Other than opening trade routes, the other purpose of the fleet was to exact tribute. Usually, these tributes were of lower monetary value than what the Chinese gave to the native rulers. This was done for obvious reasons; to cement the dominance of China and the emperor as ruler of all under heaven. This concept may have some problems with the Pope.

      Only the king Sri Lanka refused tribute. However a show of force and a landing of Chinese troops got him replaced by his more cooperative relative, which was installed in his place.

      Lastly, Zhenge He's birth name was Sanbao (he was a Chinese muslim by birth). He made 7 voyages in all. Sanbao name was later corrupted by middle eastern storytellers in Sinbad and his 7 voyages.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
        Other than opening trade routes, the other purpose of the fleet was to exact tribute. Usually, these tributes were of lower monetary value than what the Chinese gave to the native rulers. This was done for obvious reasons; to cement the dominance of China and the emperor as ruler of all under heaven. This concept may have some problems with the Pope.
        Lol. The question begs which Pope - there were three at the time, none of them in Rome. That would probably put a dampner on Chinese curiosity about Christianity ...

        OTOH I'm sure there'd be numerous rulers in Europe happy to pay tribute to the Chinese Emperor - if first they'd help them punish those pesky neighbours of theirs.

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        • #64
          [QUOTE=IDonT4;1244892
          Other than opening trade routes, the other purpose of the fleet was to exact tribute. Usually, these tributes were of lower monetary value than what the Chinese gave to the native rulers. This was done for obvious reasons; to cement the dominance of China and the emperor as ruler of all under heaven. This concept may have some problems with the Pope.
          [/QUOTE]

          1425 is well within the long term economic and tecnology expansion growth that led to the Renissance. The European expansion & early colonial period is just around the corner. In later centuries when the Europeans did show up the Ming & Ching Dynastys got a lot less tribute and respct than they expected from these barbarians. I'm guessing that a solid 1425 contact would have a lot of unexpected & undesired consequences for the Ming as the 15th Century ran its course.

          If this Ming fleet had explored part of North or South America before reaching Lisboa then navigation data might find its way into the Portuguse hands. Their navigators were just starting methodical exploration of the African coast and the Atlantic islands. I recall this was the same decade the Maderia islands were settled by a Portuguese aristocract. That would lead to the Portuguse & then Spain or others nosing about the western Atlantic earlier than 1492.

          Just the appearance of this Ming fleet coming north up the coast of Africa will stimulate the Portuguse to explore southwards to the Horn and beyond much faster.

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          • #65
            That's an excellent point. America would have been discovered by Europeans a full half century sooner and launched the age of exploration at a faster rate. Certain navigators would undoubtedly accompany the fleet back and return with accurate maps of Asian trade routes. The age of colonialism would have been accelerated.

            I still believe that after the Yongle Emperor's death, the isolationist faction would still have won out and China would turn inward. These voyages were expensive and the Ming would rather spend that money on the Great Wall.

            Nevertheless, the site of over 300 ships, some 5 times larger than their European counterparts, would have made the China of Marco Polo's writing a reality to Europe and definately shock and awed the natives. I remember in the late 1700's there was a Orientalist trend in Europe.
            Last edited by IDonT4; 30 Jun 09, 10:40.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
              I remember in the late 1700's there was a Orientalist trend in Europe.
              You're older than your writing suggests!
              Signing out.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                I'm sure there'd be numerous rulers in Europe happy to pay tribute to the Chinese Emperor - if first they'd help them punish those pesky neighbours of theirs.
                Well, if they'd ally with the Ottomans and/or the Arabs they'd ally with anyone if it served their purpose, no matter how short term their outlook!
                Signing out.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
                  Nevertheless, the site of over 300 ships, some 5 times larger than their European counterparts, would have made the China of Marco Polo's writing a reality to Europe and definately shock and awed the natives.
                  Steady. The Portugese had a fleet of 200 ships when they captured Ceuta in 1415. The largest of the Chinese ships, and not all would have been as large as that, was likely upto 800 tons displacement.

                  Impressive enough, but hardly to shock and awe the 'natives'.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
                    .... I remember in the late 1700's there was a Orientalist trend in Europe.
                    A little earlier there was a 'Ocidentalist' trend in China. One part was a Cuckoo Clock fad amoung wealthy Chinese. A 17th Century Asian equivalent of Beanie Babies, where the upper class and well off middle classes bought up entire ship loads of cheap carved clocks to hang on their wall and sell to each other.

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