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Why was Europe First?

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  Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why was Europe First?
    Posted: 18-Sep-2006 at 15:39

since we all know that in the begining of the 15th century, europe was very primative compare to Ming empire in eastern asia, but as soon as China stoped it's expansion over the Ocean, Europe soon became the center of the world.  what was the cause of the uprising of Europe?why did the Chinese loose their technology lead over Europe in the 1700s? what was so special about Europe that it fostered liberal, pluralistic capitalism?

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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2006 at 15:56
I was writing something on word, and made a pause, if you want, I'll start posting here what I've done so far, but it's not done yet.
Vae victis!
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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2006 at 15:58

Europe had a pretty bad shape for quite some times, Western Europe although not exactly in a bad position was constantly fighting. Russia was under Mongol control and the Ottoman Empire controled the mediteranean sea and had large chunks of Europe.

But things changed.

First, it's about the Russians. The Russians remained under Mongol's rule for about 2 centuries and a half. The victory of Kulikovo (1380) by Prince Dimitri against the Kiptchak khanate was followed, two years later by the victory at the hand of Toktamish. Toktamish was the khan of the White Horde and became the master, after Kulikovo, of the Kiptchak khanate near Azov Sea. From then, he re-unified the territories of the Golden Horde. He then look at the Russians, ask for payment, and confronted to the Russian refusal he rampages Suzdal, Vladimir and burn Moscow to the ground, Prince Dimitri's city, to teach him a lesson. Lithuanian interferes in Russia's favour but is crushed too.

In 1395, Toktamish is defeated by Tamerlane, after a very long fight. Succession disputes then cause the collapse of Kiptchak khanate that Tamerlane have rebuilt. The khanate of Crimea is founded in 1430 and the one of Kazan in 1445. Although divided, those Khanates remain quite powerful. In 1445, at the battle of Suzdal, Vassili II, Great Duke of Moscow, is defeated. Once again, the Tatars feigned retreat and brought the Russian cavalry in a trap. The Great Duke himself is captured, yet, and most likely for demographic reasons, the Tatars can't control the Russians anymore. The Great Duke is freed in exchange of a large ransom, but the Tatars resign in entering Moscow. From there, the Russians now stop paying tributes to the Mongols.

Ivan III, Great Duke of Moscow, build an alliance with the Khanate of Crimea in 1480, and refuses to pay tributes to Kiptchak Khanate. The later then walks toward Moscow again, and the two armies meet near the Oka river, looking at each others without starting a difficult fight for both. After several weeks, the Khan left the place, undefeated but unable to win either, because of the risk to see the Khanate of Crimea taking over him while he's away. From then, the Russians made clear they wouldn't pay anymore. One year later, the Kiptchak Khan is killed by the one of Sibir (Siberia) while the Khanate of Crimea takes over its capital, Sarai. The Kiptchak Khanate is down, remain the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan and Crimea all muslims and less important, as well as the one of Sibir further east.

In 1480 still, Ivan III goes further and no longer recognises his allegiance to the Khan. The conclusion of the Mongol occupation (although the term occupation may not fit) aren't good at all. They never settled in the areas populated by Russians, but remained away and would ask for tributes. When the Russians didn't pay, they would attack and massacre an entire population. And when they pay, they would also attack to ask for a bigger payment. The Mongol occupation cuts the link Russia had with Europe, yet brought no new cultural development, you can see that very easily of the 13th century architecture in Vladimir and Suzdal and what followed.

The only major improvement Russia experienced under the Mongols was about military ideas, especially in the use of cavalry. What is also important when it comes to Russia and the Mongols, in the length of time.  The Mongol Empire of central Asia, with Boukhara for capital, was destroyed by Tamerlane in 1370, the Ilkhans of Persia end in 1344 and the Yuan dynasty of China fall in 1369. The occupation of Russia lasts about 250 years in comparison of about 100 years for those.

Things aren't easy for Moscow; cities like Vladimir, Novgorod, Souzdal or Rostov are all more powerful and better developed. But Moscow has the huge advantage of a good position on the way to Kiev and to be close to the sources of the Volga, the Don, the Diepr and the Oka. Moscow is also, and it is very important, the religious capital of Russia.

 

In 1492, Colombus discovered the Americas and opened many opportunities to the European powers. Henry, King of Portugal, supports the expansion of naval exploration, and Vasco de Gama finally explores the coasts of Africa and reach India in 1499. At that point, all the naval trade routes are under Muslim control, 10 years later, at Diu, the Portuguese fleet defeats a massive Muslim one ending their naval hegemony, from then many Portuguese ports and outposts opened like Goa, Malacca or Macao.  Between 1519 and 1521, the Spanish successfully take control of Mexico and during the year of the Battle of Lepante (1571), they reached Indonesia from Mexico.

 

At Lepante, the Catholic league aquired a difficult victory against the Ottomans, yet, from then the Mediteranean sea would no longer be a muslim playground. From 1531 to 1535, Peru is taken over, this created a far-western world, speaking Spanish and Portuguese, and supporting (not willingly) Europe.

 

The Eurasian steppes have been the highways of Eurasia but from the 16th century, its then the role of the oceans, the horsemen lose in importance for the fleets. Gold arrives in quantity to Europe, as well as potatoes helping even more in its growth, while diseases brought by the Europeans are ravaging the American continents and killed large amount of the population there.

 

The invention of printers is a massive development helping very much the spreading of ideas in Europe; the 16th century is also the century of the schism between Catholics and Protestants, the counter-reform of Ignace de Loyola. It is also the century of Machiavel who got rid of theological considerations in his theories purely based on politic and domination. Copernic put many principles in questions, European powers are now playing politic and no longer theology and chivalry, and this is how the alliance between France and the Ottoman Empire against the Hapsburg has been possible, unthinkable just a century before. Gonzalve de Courdoue introduced the tercio, a combination pike men and musketeers which gives Spain the ground superiority until Maurice de Nassau, the Protestant, improves the concept during the Dutch revolt. On the cultural plan, the 16th century is also the century of Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus, Montaigne, Shakespeare etc

 

The reform was also a very important event, especially when it becomes Pan-European when Calvin moves to Geneva (1536), northern Europe passes to Protestantism while the counter-reform reaches Poland, Hungary and Austria. France knows a reformist movement but it is expelled, suffering of the Wars of Religions. Writings are, to the eyes of Protestants, the only source of authority, but it is victim of many different interpretations, having therefore generated sects and cults including the puritans. These started the colonisation of the new world in North America. The Catholic Church, with the council of the 30 (1545 1563), enters its own reform.


On the west of Russia, Lithuania first, then Poland, grew as the strong powers. But as Moscow gains in power, Ivan IV the Prince of Moscow, is crowned Tsar, being the first Tsar of Russia. In 1550, the Russian army is vastly reformed with the extensive use of artillery, logistical support and musketeers. This allows Ivan IV to resume, but now as the offending side, the fights against the Mongols. As soon as the campaign against the Khanate of Kazan began the later received helps from the Tatars of Crimea and artillery and janissaries from the Ottoman Empire but they are stopped in the south, Ivan IV enters Kazan in 1552 from both land and rivers, after this conquest Ivan IV now attacks the Astrakhan and annexes it in 1556.

Only the Khanate of Crimea, supported by the Ottoman Empire, remains near Russia. 3 times the armies of Crimea attacked Russia, in 1554, 1557 and 1558 and each time they were defeated, in 1569 they tried to capture the Astrakhan and failed, but in 1571 they reached Moscow and burned it to the ground (again) excepted for the Kremlin that they couldn't capture. While by this time, all attacks from Ivan toward the Baltic Sea failed after 20 years of battles.

But, not long before his death, Ivan IV met his last success when Yermak, a Cossack, began to conquer Sibir. Yermak reached Sibir's capital with firearms, cavalry and canons. Ivan IV sends reinforcements to confirm the capture of Sibil but Yermak died before their arrived (1584), yet the conquest resumes from the newly built fortified city of Tobolsk (1587). The conquest of Kazan and Astrakhan especially helps in having access to large and agricultural friendly plains, there is from then a huge immigration to those lands supported by the central government of Moscow, yet it collides with the interests of the nobility. These men became the Cossacks, freemen living on the edges of Russia and always more or less in wars with the nomadic peoples.

 

The conflicts between Catholics and Protestants ended in Europe only after the Thirty Years War (16181648), France experienced earlier the Wars of Religions, and solved the issue before, while the Holy Roman Empire was ravaged by the Thirty Years War, France joined the War on the Protestant side under Richelieu, once again an unthinkable move some times ago. Politic was now the leading power, not religion anymore. The Holy Roman Empire crumbled in a myriad of tiny states. Calvinism influenced a bit everywhere, Lutherans were now the power in Germany and Scandinavia, England adopted Anglicanism (and midway solution) and the Catholic Church consolidated what it could. From many dogma established by the church could now be argued without heresy, all of this caused the 17th century to open with dramatically new ideas in Europe. Galileo opened new ways, although he was forced to deny them he remained extremely influential and developed ideas introduced by Copernicus. Descartes was looking for answers by reason and no longer by religion, the progresses of medical sciences broke down many more dogmas established by the Roman Church. Europe wont be the same anymore.

The conquest of Ukraine marks another big move from Russia in 1654, Ukraine was under Polish rules. Poland having forced the unification of the Orthodox church of Ukraine with the Catholic one of Poland, if the popes accepted it, the local population never recognised that. The Orthodox Church is facing constant prosecutions and legal harassments yet is well supported by the Ukrainian population. The Kozak interfered first against the Khanate of Crimea and the Ottoman Empire, in the middle of the 16th century, from raiding parties to those lands, it evolved into revolts in Ukraine against Poland from 1624 to 1638 which Poland have great troubles to cope with. In 1648 another revolt rises, led by Bogdan Khmelnitski and officially unify Ukraine with Russia right on the nose of Poland in 1654.

Between 1610 and 1640, the Russian expansion resumes southward, in perpetual fight with the Khanate of Crimea, yet the strongest advance happens in the east, the Russians progress no less than 5,000kmd eastward in 30 years. In the region of Amour, Russia enters conflicts with China, which are settled at the treaty of Nertchinsk in 1689, settling the borderline between the two empires.

Peter the Great greatly expanded Russia power, at the expense of Sweden in 1709 at Poltava. But he suffered a defeat against the Ottomans in 1711.


The Crimean Tatars were the last nomadic people bound to the Mongol issue to remains, mostly because they were supported by the Ottoman Empire. Having owned themselves vassals of the Ottoman Empire, attacking them would have meant attacking the Ottoman Empire. Although the Tatars could raise armies of 100,000 men, they barely used more than 15,000 at a time, although they supplied a lot of soldiers to the Ottoman Empire for their campaigns. The Tatars were still using mainly horse archers and would move with 3 horses for each soldier they had. They would send a raid and then would withdraw before experiencing reprisals. The Poles, on the way back from the Siege of Vienna, made a painful experience of that tactic. It's also on their way back home than the Tatars were the most vulnerable; it is how Sobieski takes them with thousands of men on the way to be sold as slaves to the Ottomans. The tactic used by the Russians was to build forts over forts, the Tatars were always attacking, but their tactics was null against fortifications, the Russians just built more and more, each of them a bit further forward in Tatars' territories and eating a small amount of space each time. It was under Catherine II that the Russians finally reached Crimea, which led to the big Russian - Ottoman war of 1768-1774 and ended with the complete Russian victory. The consequences were dramatic for the Ottoman Empire which lost a lot of his mercenaries, large northern borderlines, and a huge lake named the Black Sea.

Vae victis!
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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2006 at 15:59
since we all know that in the begining of the 15th century, europe was very primative compare to Ming empire in eastern asia
To paraphrase a forumer writing in another thread - wrong questions lead to wrong answers Wink
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  Quote Desimir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2006 at 16:11
It's a good question.May be one of the main reason is that european countries began to explore rest of the world and conquered territories on the other continents.
Also there was an unstoppable rivary and race between europeans powers that boosted their development.

There are many possible factors that influenced chinese progress.
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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2006 at 16:22
Before arguing over my post, as I said, it's not finished, I have to proofread it too and complement several things.

It's just a first print.
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  Quote bagelofdoom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2006 at 16:38
I would recomend reading Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.  Its an analysis of how certain societies became dominant.  He credits the fact that the Chinese were much more politically consolidated for their relative lack of power.  The consolidation he says, was both a blessing and a curse.  For example: when the central leader felt like expanding, massive trade fleets were built.  On the other hand, as soon as a new leader came to the forefront, a leader who disliked the trade fleets, expansion stopped.  In Europe, if a nation decided that progress was not in their best interests, a rival nation state soon progressed to the point where it was necessary for the first state to progress or die.  In China, the political consolidation didn't allow for that.  Essentially, they had no incentive to move forward, Europe's structure ensured that there was plenty of incentive to progress and expand. 

I may have misrepresented Diamond's arguments, it has been a long time since I read the book.  For any errors, I appologize.  However, I still recomend that you read the book. 
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  Quote Preobrazhenskoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2006 at 19:09

@ bagelofdoom (which is an awesome name btw, lol).

 
Regardless of whether that was Diamond's point or not, it's still a pretty valid one. Until the onslaught of the 19th century, the Chinese had no other militarized force to fear except for random bouts of Japanese coastal piracy (excluding the rather ugly threat of the Imjin War over Korea, but after this Japan posed no threat to China until the late 19th century industrialization and the Sino-Japanese Wars) and northern nomadic incursions along the northern borders. Although they had their merits, Ming and Qing China's neighbor of Korea posed little threat to the stability of Chinese dominion over the East. Medieval and Early-Modern-Era regional powers in modern-day Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and so forth, were seen as tributary nations who not only posed no threat to Chinese suzerainty in their own lands but also which were somewhat reliant on Chinese trade goods, thus forming a mutual reciprocity between both sides, and hardly any matters that would result in hostility. Europeans from the early Portuguese traders to late 16th century missionaries like Matteo Ricci and so on were seen as intriguing foreigners with something of value to offer Chinese economy and society, but beyond this not a percievable threat at any level. European trade was largely welcome (especially silver mined from Peru and Mexico that was sent annually to the Philippines, where the Chinese sent annual merchant fleets) since Indian and Arab maritime trade was soon dwarfed by European domination of sea lanes through the Indian Ocean. If late Ming innovation in technology and science seemed to stagnate since the earlier brilliant Chinese periods of Tang, Song, and Yuan Dynasties, latter Qing Dynasty China in the late 18th century became outright resistant to reform and Westernization when increased contact, trade, and political influence of the Western world came knocking at their door. Although there were many Christian Chinese within the Qing Empire (and since the Tang Dynasty with the arrival of Nestorian Christians during the Middle Ages), the Emperor Kangxi (r. 1661 - 1722) banned Catholocism in China after conflicts arising with Pope Innocent XIII (although this was somewhat curbed a little later with figures such as the Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione working at the court for the Qianlong Emperor of China, becoming one of his favored court painters). The Qianlong Emperor in the late 18th century curbed British interests of King George III in increased and more exclusive trade rights with China than other nations and kingdoms that Qing China interacted with, the failed mission of George Macartney sailing back to England empty-handed of diplomatic successes while somewhat humiliated and resentful of pushy Chinese policy to make him kowtow and bow to the Chinese dragon throne. This and other factors (like Lin Zexu's dissolving of over 3 million pounds of British-bought opium into the sea) would later evolve into the Opium Wars (which saw a revival of Catholocism in China) between Britain and China, when finally the Chinese would realize their need to step-up-to-plate and compete in world modernization that was rapidly changing with the Industrial Revolution in Europe and soon with nearby Japan.
 
Eric


Edited by Preobrazhenskoe - 19-Sep-2006 at 15:42
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  Quote Mosquito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Sep-2006 at 19:22
Please Exarchus, dont write about things you know nothing or not much.
Only not well informed person can assume that anti-Polish rebelions on Ukraine had religious background. First read history (not romantic novels like Taras Bulba), than write. Affcourse religion was one of the factors but not the most important and not the most decisive. Orthodox christians were on both sides.
 
 


Edited by Mosquito - 18-Sep-2006 at 19:27
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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 04:35
I've taken for source Guerres et Civilisations of Gerard Chaliand for this part (chapter on Moscow and the Tatars), you can write him if you disagree.
Vae victis!
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  Quote Vivek Sharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 04:46
the question makes it look as if China was the center of the world at that time. It was not. The leader was Asia proper, with the mongols, turks, iranians & Indians being the main powers. So far as riches are considered the South Asian belt from India to baghdad was the richest place in the world. India was the called the golden bird.


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  Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 07:19
Originally posted by Siege Tower

since we all know that in the begining of the 15th century, europe was very primative compare to Ming empire in eastern asia,

 
Actually, I do not know. Do you have any unbiased evidence for this? Cause as far as I know, it is just a bit of 'we are better than you' nationalism.

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  Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 07:39
hey grow up man, there are no truth, but opinions
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  Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 07:44
guys, stop arguing about something else, try to answer my question first
1.what was the cause of the uprising of Europe?
2.why did the Chinese loose their technology lead over Europe in the 1700s? 3.what was so special about Europe that it fostered liberal, pluralistic capitalism?
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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 07:47
Siege Tower, I told you ask the wrong questions. I provided in another thread excerpts of a perspective of European capitalistic enterprises as early as in 12th century. The Europeans reached most of the Chinese technological performances at the end of the Middle Ages.
 
On the other hand, China was capitalistic too, in its own way. That's the whole issue here - it's own way.
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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 12:37
"So far as riches are considered the South Asian belt from India to baghdad was the richest place in the world. India was the called the golden bird"
 
No, Chinese enjoyed technological superiority over Indians and Chinese economy was unrivaled until 18th century. India maybe rich in natural resources and population, but it didnt process the technological, political and military capability (such as Ming Dynasty's fleet) as Chinese at that time (15-17th century).
 
The link below is from the Asia Studies of Columbia University in regarding of question of birth of modernity in China or in Europe:
 
 
 
 


Edited by Kids - 19-Sep-2006 at 12:43
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 13:38
IMO Europe has always been the centrum of the world, the world just forgets now and then. Wink

Edited by Reginmund - 19-Sep-2006 at 13:39
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  Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 13:42
Originally posted by Exarchus

I've taken for source Guerres et Civilisations of Gerard Chaliand for this part (chapter on Moscow and the Tatars), you can write him if you disagree.
 
Generally the version You showed looks like Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was some harsh tyranny and Moscow like some democratic freedom fighters freeing people of Ukraine. Also Ruusia didn't conquer Ukraine in 1654 but only eastern part in 1667. It's not also true that conflict between Cossacks and Commonwealth was mainly religiuos or nationalist. It was conflict of social classes. Cossacks were just bad treated by nobles who were ruling Commonwealth and this is main reason of rebels. They wanted the same rights as Polish and Lithuanian gentry had.
Main leader of Commonwealth army and main enemy of Chmielnicki was Rusin Jarema Wisniowiecki. Generally most of powerful eastern magnats were Rusins. Leader of the biggest Cossacks uprising was Polish.  Persecutions and Legal Harrasments of Orthodox Church in Commonwealth are highly exaggerated. Commonwealth was one of the most tollerant countries in Europe.
 
P.S. I completely don't understand what this all has to do with Europe supremacy over China. I'd rather connect it with disovering of the new world and great inventions in Europe.
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  Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 15:06
Originally posted by Kids

 
No, Chinese enjoyed technological superiority over Indians and Chinese economy was unrivaled until 18th century. India maybe rich in natural resources and population, but it didnt process the technological, political and military capability (such as Ming Dynasty's fleet) as Chinese at that time (15-17th century).
 

 
 


Becareful my friend...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_past_GDP_%28PPP%29

Those are based on the Angus Maddison estimations, there are a few that are more or less similar.


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  Quote Kids Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Sep-2006 at 15:15

The wikipedia has suggested this article is "The factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed". Thus, this is not a report from academic source.

However, the website I provided, which is from foremost experts in Asia history from Columbia University.
 
Also, China has been an independent political entity, unified writing system, philosophy since 200 BC.
 
India, however, has no unified language, belief, and even today, English (the colonial language) is the perfered language among elites (my ex-girlfriend is from India).  
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