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The European World, 1500-1720 Week 2: Europe and the Wider World

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Title: The European World, 1500-1720 Week 2: Europe and the Wider World


1
The European World, 1500-1720 Week 2 Europe and
the Wider World
  • Giorgio Riello
  • g.riello_at_warwick.ac.uk

2
Lecture Outline 1. Introduction 2. The bigger
picture in 1500 3. The bigger picture in
1750 4a. Explanations The old school 4b.
Explanations Some new interpretations
3
  • Introduction Europe, the World
  • (and Those of say No)

What is positive about this lecture is that A.
It is pain-free B. it should help you at
understanding the wider context of this course
4
  • Introduction Europe, the World
  • (and Those of say No)

Why should we care about the Extra European?
1. A need for a scale/unit of measure
2. Avoid Eurocentrism
3. Avoid the narrative of European Modernity
5
2. The Bigger Picture in 1500
  • Europe
  • - A Christian society
  • - An Agrarian society
  • - A society under threat the possible invasion
    by Turkish Muslims
  • - Lack of tolerance the expulsion of Jews from
    Spain and Portugal
  • - Voyages of discovery (Columbus in 1492, Vasco
    da Gama in 1498)

6
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7
2. The Bigger Picture in 1500
  • China
  • - An agrarian society
  • A bureaucratic empire (Ming 1366-1644) role of
    examination (meritocracy)
  • - Voyages of discovery (Zheng He between
    1405-1435)
  • - Technical know-how navigation, shipbuilding,
    cartography superior to Muslim and Christian
    worlds

8
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9
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10
2. The Bigger Picture in 1500
  • Islamic Empires
  • - they comprised people of many races and
    cultures, and covered three continents
  • - A civilization in expansion since the 7th
    century
  • - A civilization with three strong empires
  • - 1500s Safavids established control over
    Persia
  • - Mughals conquered most of India.
  • - Ottomans controlled most of western Islamic
    world
  • - Late-medieval Islamic world vastly superior to
    Christian world

11
The Islamic World in c. 1500
12
2. The Bigger Picture in 1500
  • Islamic Empires
  • - they comprised people of many races and
    cultures, and covered three continents
  • - A civilization in expansion since the 7th
    century
  • - A civilization with three strong empires
  • - 1500s Safavids established control over
    Persia
  • - Mughals conquered most of India.
  • - Ottomans controlled most of western Islamic
    world
  • - Late-medieval Islamic world vastly superior to
    Christian world

13
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14
The oldest map of America Piri Reis
15
2. The Bigger Picture in 1500
  • Conclusions
  • polycentric and large parts of Eurasia comparable
  • China and India had technological advantage
  • Extensive interaction and linkages formed by
    trade
  • - Potential for development throughout the world

16
3. The Bigger Picture in 1750
  • Islamic Empires
  • - Problems of the nature of the state
  • - Military factors
  • - Social factors
  • - Cultural factors

17
3. The Bigger Picture in 1750
  • China
  • - 1644 Manchu invasion Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
  • - Territorial expansion, especially under
    Qianlong emperor (c. 1740-70)
  • - Influx of silver export of commodities
    (porcelain, luxury objects, etc.)
  • - But no more overseas expansion

18
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19
3. The Bigger Picture in 1750
  • China
  • - 1644 Manchu invasion Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
  • - Territorial expansion, especially under
    Qianlong emperor (c. 1740-70)
  • - Influx of silver export of commodities
    (porcelain, luxury objects, etc.)
  • - But no more overseas expansion

20
3. The Bigger Picture in 1750
  • India
  • Weakness of the Mughal empire the challenge of
    rival internal powers
  • - European (British) penetration the East India
    Company

21
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22
3. The Bigger Picture in 1750
  • Europe
  • - The nation states the fiscal-military State
  • - The role of trade to Asia and in the Atlantic
  • - Still agrarian society

23
3. The Bigger Picture in 1750
  • Conclusions
  • - A world that more connected but still
    polycentric
  • - Ongoing contact between places that hadnt been
    linked before
  • - Europe and Asia largely comparable
  • - Differences dont really occur until after 1750
    or 1800

24
4A. Explanations The Old School
  • Key explanations
  • 1500-1700 as the era in which Western Europe
    brought the world under its influence
  • See the discoveries as the beginning of bringing
    the world into the orbit of European civilisation
  • - Discoveries is what subjected the world to the
    rule and influence of European power

25
4A. Explanations The Old School
  • Factors supporting this explanation
  • fifteenth century developments as a phase in a
    continuum of medieval developments (J.R.S.
    Phillips The Medieval Expansion of Europe, 2nd
    ed., 1998)
  • Religious factors
  • - Commercial factors

26
4B. Explanations Some New Interpretations
  • World as a whole as the unit of analysis global
    history
  • 2. Underline global developments that were part
    of the lead-up to the Industrial Revolution
  • 3. See the early-modern world as a contested
    sphere, stressing action, reaction, and
    interaction (Robert Marks, The Origins of the
    Modern World (2002)

27
4B. Explanations Some New Interpretations
  • 4. Alfred Crosby
  • - Germs, Seeds, and Animals Studies in
    Ecological History (1994)
  • - The Columbian Exchange Biological and Cultural
    Consequences of 1492 (1972)
  • - Ecological Imperialism The Biological
    Expansion of Europe (1986)

28
Pineapples, potatoes and other plants unknown in
Europe before 1500
29
Smallpox victims in the Aztec Empire
30
4B. Explanations Some New Interpretations
  • 5. Stress the accidents, conjunctures and
    contingencies in the story
  • Andre Gunder Frank, ReOrient Global Economy in
    the Asian Age (1998)
  • Dominance of Asia
  • Temporary shift to Europe
  • Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence China,
    Europe, and the Making of the Modern World
    Economy (2000)
  • Accident Coal
  • Conjuncture Silver
  • Conjuncture Colonies
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