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What do you regard as a key historical turning point,

What do you regard as a key historical turning point, a day that the world changed in world history up

to the year1500 C.E., and what the consequences would have been if that event had gone differently? Then

examine what resources were available in Europe, Africa, India, and China at the beginning of the fifteenth

century? Consider how patterns of commerce changed overthe course of this century. Consider, for

example, the different circumstances of the voyages of Zheng He early in the century with those of Vasco

Da Gama, Columbus, and other Europeans later. Also, consider the expansion that was occurring in the

Americas, and compare it with the expanding patterns of trade and domination across Afro Eurasia. Are

there similarities and differences? Then assume for the moment that theChinesehad not ended their

maritime voyagesin 1433- how might the subsequent development of world history have been different?

Why more advanced Chinese did not continuewhile theEuropeans pushed ahead? Howmightthe

subsequent development of world history have been different? What did Zheng and the Yongle emperor

(how did they interact with indigenous people on theway) hope to achieve by these voyages? Why were

they ended? Then, using contemporary news reports and commentary, estimate the degree to which

China’s current economic ascendancy islikely to facilitate a changing global balance of power, resulting in

decline in Western influence and an increasinglycentral and commanding role on the world stage for the

Chinese. Is it likely that the Chinese will give up a position of influence like they did in 1433? Will China

again reemerge as the global superpower, as it has time and again? What would be the implications of such

a development?

 

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