| The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
|Eastern Eurasia, 1500-1800
and Africa, 1500-1800
This map shows Russian expansion into Siberia, the Manchu
Empire, and Tokugawa Japan in relation to the other great empires of the
This is a unique map that demonstrates the feudal characteristic
of Japan during this era.
Empire in Asia
This map demonstrates the Dutch maritime empire in Asia
during the 1660s.
Tour of St. Petersburg
This site contains numerous images of Peter the Great's
"Window to the West." Pay attention to the Western influence on the
Welcome to St.
This is another comprehensive site that features the
architecture of this famous city.
the Great's Times Architecture
This is a nice companion site to the previously listed
of Peter the Great
Cultural Studies: Images
This comprehensive site contains many images relating
to the Ming and Qing Empires, including portraits of Emperors Qianlong
and Kangxi and the Jesuit Matteo Ricci. "Historical Illustrations"
include a depiction of the tribute system and a Chinese caricature of an
eighteenth-century English sailor.
East Asian Arts, Ming Dynasty
View several images of classic works of art from the
Ming period of Chinese history.
Jesuits in China
This excellent site offers many images of Jesuit scholars'
attempts to introduce the Western concepts of cartography and astronomy
to the Chinese.
Study images of the famous blue porcelain works that
so intrigued Europeans during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
and White Chinese Porcelain
Many of this site's images demonstrate how Chinese manufacturers
designed their wares for European markets.
De Wit: Seventeenth Century maps of East Asia
This site offers two Early European maps of China and
Japan. The site is in Dutch, but the dates are evident.
Mercator / J. Hondius: China (1633)
This site presents another Early European depiction of
East Asia. Note the reference to the persecution of Christians in
Listen to the sounds of this traditional Japanese theatre
- "Plan of the Dutch Factory in the Island of Desima at Nagasaki."
This site presents a historical depiction of the Dutch
trading post in Nagasaki Harbor during the Tokugawa era.
- "The Chinese Factory in the Street of Teng-chan at Nagasaki, founded
This site features a historical depiction of a Chinese
trading post during the Tokugawa era.
This site contains several historical images from the
VOC's experience in East Asia.
This site offers three images relating to trade between
the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and Tokugawa Japan.
of the Dutch East India Company in the Japanese Archipelago
This site presents historical illustrations of Dutch-Japanese
relations during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
This site features several historical illustrations of
the Dutch trading factory in Nagasaki Harbor.
The first sustained contact between Western Europe and
Eastern Eurasia began during the period from 1500 to 1800. Of course,
there had been some limited contact during the Mongol period (see web activity
3 for Chapter 13, Western Eurasia, 1200-1500), but it was not on the level
of this new encounter period. Many of the assumptions and attitudes
that the societies of both of these regions still have about each other
were formed during this period. As Bulliet, et al., The Earth
and Its Peoples (Second Edition) emphasizes in New Global Influences:
The Society of Jesus and the East India Companies on pages 548 and 549,
it was often the work of missionaries and merchants that offered the first
cultural contacts and transmitted knowledge. In many ways, missionaries
and merchants provided means through which each group could view the other.
Go to The Catholic
Encyclopedia: History of the Jesuits before the 1773 Suppression and
Economist: The East India Companies and then explain how these new
global institutions could serve as a window through which East Asian and
Western European societies could observe each other and thereby form impressions.
Analyze how large and how clear this window actually was by determining
whether the transmitters of this knowledge had any cultural biases of their
own. Were there any other limitations such as language, religious,
or cultural biases that could have affected how accurately the two societies
could have gauged each other? To analyze further the role of the
Jesuits and East India Companies in shaping attitudes and assumptions,
visit the following sites: Missionaries
and Mandarins: The Jesuits in China; Modern
History Sourcebook: St. Francis Xavier: Letter from Japan, to the Society
of Jesus in Europe, 1552; Mapping
All Under Heaven: Jesuit Cartography in China; Modern
History Sourcebook: Hsu Kuang-chi: Memorial to Fra Matteo Ricci, 1617;
History Sourcebook: Père du Halde: Teaching Science to the Manchu
Emperor, c. 1680; and Travels
of the Dutch East India Company in the Japanese Archipelago.
Using specific references to these sites, explain how the Jesuits and Dutch
East India Company portrayed the Chinese and Japanese to their European
audience. Also, describe how the efforts of these two organizations
helped to shape a Chinese and Japanese view of Europeans and explain what
that view was. How accurate do you think the views that each group
held of the other were?
The initial impressions that the Europeans and Chinese
had of each other changed over time. The eighteenth century was a
crucial phase in the relations between Western European powers and the
Qing Empire. The century began with many philosophes of the European
Enlightenment using China as a standard for evaluating Western civilization.
Go to China
and the Age of Enlightenment and Voltaire:
On China and the Jesuit Missions. What aspects of Chinese civilization,
particularly the components of its political organization, did many European
philosophes admire? How did they use Chinese civilization as a means
of critiquing their own societies?
However, Europeans' views of China began to change by
the end of the century. Increasingly, European merchants were regarding
China as a potential market for their manufactured goods, not merely as
a source of luxury items such as tea, porcelain, and silk. One attempt
to revise the trade system was the Macartney mission to China in 1793.
For more information about it, go to Macartney
and the Emperor. To learn about Emperor Qianlong's response to
King George III of Great Britain, see Two
Edicts from the Emperor. What does Qianlong's response to Macartney
reveal about his and his court's attitude toward the West? Why do
you think that Qianlong was not interested in altering commercial relations
with the West? Do you think that this emperor was less receptive
to Western ideas and technology than his predecessors had been, or does
his attitude reflect traditional Chinese assumptions? You might want
to review the links in activity one for some insights.
The rejection of Britain's overtures for expanding commercial
relations provoked hostility toward China among some Europeans. Macartney
himself wrote accounts of the visit after he returned. To read some
excerpts, see Lord
Macartney's Observations on China. How does his view of China
and the Chinese differ from Voltaire's? To what factors do you attribute
these differences? In other words, why were Europeans such as Macartney
viewing China in a less positive light by the end of the eighteenth century?
How do you think these new attitudes would affect European and Chinese
relations in the nineteenth century? Keep these ideas in mind as
you study Chapter 27, The Ottoman Empire and East Asia, 1800-1870.
The Qing Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795) wasn't the only
leader in Central and Eastern Asia who had to contend with the growing
strength of the maritime powers of Western Europe. Peter the Great
of Russia (1689-1725) also faced many of the same dilemmas that the Chinese
did. Both China and Russia were large, land-based empires much like
the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires discussed in Chapter 21, Southwest
Asia and the Indian Ocean, 1500-1750. Each was concerned with defending
a large swath of territory, controlling strategic areas or not letting
them fall into the hands of rivals, and maintaining large armies to expand
and defend the realm. To sustain these ambitious goals, each ruler
promoted a strong agricultural regime as the source of tax revenue and
as a means of making the barren regions he controlled in Central Asia self-supporting.
Considering these common overall goals, analyze the reigns
of Peter the Great and Qianlong by examining the following sites.
For Peter the Great, see Peter's
Russia, Peter the
Great's Incognito Trip to Europe, and Will
of Peter the Great. For Qianlong, see YUNG
CHENG AND CH`IEN LUNG (note the different spelling of the emperor's
name) and review Two
Edicts from the Emperor from activity two. Do territorial control
and expansion seem to be important goals for each ruler? Defend your
answer. How does each ruler view the West? Why was Peter more
open to Western ideas and relations with Western powers? Did he want
to restructure his country along Western lines, or did he wish to adopt
the Western ideas and technology that enhanced his own goals? Why
do you think that Qianlong was not as receptive as Peter to Western ideas
Two great Eurasian cities emerged between 1500 and 1800.
St. Petersburg was founded on the Baltic Sea by Peter the Great to serve
as his new capital city. Edo, modern-day Tokyo, was built by the
early shoguns of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Each city in many ways reflected
the ideas and goals of the regime that governed from it. Keep this
notion in mind as you tour each city virtually. You might want to
review The Triumph of the Russian Empire on pages 551-554 and Decentralization
and Innovation in Tokugawa Japan to 1800 on pages 563-567 in Bulliet, et
al., The Earth and Its Peoples (Second Edition) to familiarize yourself
with the views and goals of Peter the Great and his successors and those
of the Tokugawa shoguns.
First, go to St.
Petersburg: The City and click on "The Short Illustrated History of
St. Petersburg. Read through this site until you reach the link "St.
Petersburg on the road to capitalism (1840's-1895)." Next, return
to St. Petersburg:
The City and take the virtual tour, paying close attention to the structures
that were built during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
How did St. Petersburg reflect Peter the Great's attitude toward the West
and his strengthening of the monarchy at the expense of the aristocracy?
How did the city represent his and his successor's desire to maintain an
autocracy in Russia?
Now go to
to Edo! Follow the instructions and complete the tour of eighteenth-century
Edo. The site is extensive but well worth the time it will take to
view all that it offers. How did Edo reflect the political goals
of the Tokugawa Shogunate? In what ways did eighteenth-century Edo
represent the altered status of the daimyo and samurai that the Tokugawa
shoguns instituted? Which of the Shogunate's policies in particular
encouraged the innovations in manufacturing and commercial institutions
that you witnessed at this site? What other observations can
you make about the policies and goals of the Tokugawa Shogunate after touring