Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Asian Resistance

JZ argues…

Students of European history always argue that the values and technology of Europe are far superior to any other civilization. Thus, Europe dominated against other civilizations and spread its culture. However, this leaves out a key part of European attempts to colonize the Asian areas and their failure in trying to do so. This leads to the question of why the Asian countries were the one region that remained closed off to European military domination. It was the highly structured and organized Asian culture and political systems that defended themselves against the European global system.

First, remember that the Asian countries were actually the first to develop the main technologies that Europeans would eventually capitalize upon. Marco Polo, in his adventures through the Mongol Empire, would discover the navigational technologies and gunpowder that Europeans would eventually use in colonizing Latin America and Africa. In fact, the Chinese were first major explorers and reached all the way to Eastern and possibly Western Africa under Admiral Zenghe. Europeans only followed in the technological advances of the Chinese and Japanese empires.

Asian empires were highly structured and organized around central divine figures. Each Asian country had a different religious or spiritual system to justify their organizations. However, all of the countries had a central semi or fully divine leader with local warlords who ruled over families and kinship groups. The families were organized in a hierarchical way that resembled the overall structure of the empire. The general ideology of citizenship and organization was based upon the analogy of a chain in which each member was a rung that was connected to the next. This belief created a system of national loyalties and duties. While the Europeans were trying to create nation states, the Asian empires had already created a sense of individual loyalty to the good of the empire and its advancement through the acknowledgement of the emperor as their leader.

This allowed the Asian countries to oppose European domination. Portugal would be the first to try to dominate in Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. The Asian leaders only allowed for limited trading posts. This would continue all the way until the mid-1800s when the US would push an opening to Japanese isolation.

We prize individualism and rights as the European tradition. However, this creates a system of fragmentation that lacks cohesion and organization. Often this creates a sense of confusion that lacks proper investment for future technological advancements. The Asian systems developed an organized national economy and political system. This allowed them to create new forms of military and navigational technologies. Also, it create a sense of clear duties and responsibilities for the individual citizen to both family and empire.

49 comments:

sora the hedgehog said...

I have to agree with what you say JZ, and it's not because I'm of asian descent. The Asian empires did seem to grow at a fast pace. But I've found that there are more reasons than what you say, not saying that the reasons you give are wrong or anything like that. The Asians were building up ever since the early A.D.'s. China had created a common language and currency. They were practicly untouched by other civilizations. For example, the farthest Alexander the Great could go was a little bit past India and he had to turn back. All of Asia's contacts were from trade before the Europeans arrived. Speaking of which, the Europeans had to go throught the Dark Ages while the rest of the world was developing. During that time, China, Korea, Japan, and other Asian countries were able to develop through dynasties, learning from their previous mistakes and advancing. The idea of Confucianism was HUGE back then. Confucius' teachings had an impact on the government's systems and family life, even though they weren't accepted at first. Yeah, I guess even though we do view individualism as a good thing, it did create some fragmentation, which is why Europe wasn't unified and why they were behind China. I guess the reason why Europe became a power was because of China's technology and the Silk Road, both of which Europe wanted so much that they needed to develop more technology in order to find India and China. Isolation was also a good thing. Because they were practically untouched for a while. China, Japan, and other Asian countries had time to expand, having to deal with fewer enemies than the countries of Europe did. I'll respond later.
Random Quote of the week:
Benn Beckman: "Fair? Quit yer whinin' landlubber."
"Red-haired" Shanks: "We're pirates, and we don't play by the rules."
Christopher Tan Period 5

sora the hedgehog said...

CT argues...
Guys, sorry about last blog. It was just a phase in my life where the only way I could vent out my stress was through blogging. Don't worry, the so-called hitlist is no more and Zero isn't going to come knocking at your door and shoot or slice you in half. But Connor, if you're going to criticize me, then do it right.
1. Zero is NOT from Naruto, and spell it right too.
2. Zero would never be in a three-year olds cartoon and here's why:
a) Zero can be very violent and so are his games sometimes.
b) Originally, the Megaman Zero series was supposed to have A LOT of blood in it. Every time a soldier died, lots of blood would splurt out. Even when you cut robots, blood would have shot out, and if you pay attention, in the first game, you could see some blood, just not that much. I doubt that alone besides the violence would appeal to three-year olds.
3. Naruto is also NOT a three-year olds cartoon. I'll leave that to Naruto expert Otaku to explain.
Oh, and Cameron, I don't know if you've noticed, but Zero is a ROBOT. You can't tear him apart. Besides, even if you could, there's no way he'd let you get that close to him.

sora the hedgehog said...

Anyone notice that Connor likes to call everyone "annoying?" I find that very "annoying" and I think that Connor needs to chill out.

kearney asada said...

i think the only way to end this is a battle arena between chris tan, natuzo or whatever, zero dude, connor and cameron.

London said...

Mr. Z I will agree with you that the Asian empires did seem to grow at a faster pace than the Europeans.The Asians did come up with technologies much like the Europeans. But I disagree with you that about the effectiveness of "Asian systems developed an organized national economy and political system." I believe this is the only reason why they are not a more dominant and successful country today. That is what is great about America those who work hard get rewards. But in China everyone is sort of equal and the Chinese do not have the freedom to create prosperous, successful companies.

I agree with sora the hedgehog and his comment "For example, the farthest Alexander the Great could go was a little bit past India and he had to turn back." He points out a good example of how amazing the Chinese really were.

kearney asada said...

I would have to agree with you mr. zucker in some sense and say that yes, the asian culture and territories were just as strong as the European empire and just as technologically advanced. We see this with their many different inventions. Also, there were feared Asian powers such as the mongols, and the continent had time to grow and become sophisticated as well as strong. For example, Confucianism, Legalism, and Taoism all became enlightened religions, and the Asian depth and thought was very profound. We learn about the Chinese culture, scuh as the literature it developed with poets like Li Bo and Du Fu. Also was the complexity of the chinese writing system, starting with the technique of carving pages into a wooden block and inking it, followed by pressing it onto a sheet of paper. From here it would only develop. All of this was occuring during the seventh century too! Also, we have forgotten about such advanced and brilliant dynasties and their leaders, such as the Han, the Ming, the Tang, and the Mongols. We forget about all the inspirational and amazing leaders of each time, some being Wu Zhao, Zhenghe, and Xuanzong. In these dynasties, China would only grow and flourish and advance much to the degree and if not more than the Europeans. Also, think about where the silk road runs primarily through and where all of our modern goods come from today.

Another point is the amazing architecture put on such as the buildings of the Angkor Wat, the temple of Borobudur, and more. We look at flourishing dynasties like the Gupta and the Kushan. And finally, what about Buddhism and Hinduism...are you telling me those did not impact a mass number of people just like catholicism? To me, the Asian societies and culture seemed to me much more sophisticated and focused than that of Europe.

Finally, Im going to agree with Chris tan on this one. China not only created language, paper, currency, and more, but while China was flourishing, Europe was going through a dark age. Europe seems much more unstable and fickle that
china. While Europe did expand its lands and did make a name for itself, China was left pretty much untouched, and thats why we never really heard about the big interactions in war between the two--they are non-existent.

Joe Kearney
Reppin' period 5

sora the hedgehog said...

I have to agree with Joe about the poets. I forgot that obviously, Confucius wasn't the only critical thinker. The Hung-wu emperor was a military genius and there were also poets. The idea of the great wall, even though it may have costed many lives, was a great idea for that time period. China had critical thinkers and artists at the time. Europe had zilch and had to use the Chinese as support to get where they are today.
Again, Cristobal Tan en el clase cinco. (Christopher Tan Period 5)

RussianDF said...

JZ,
I agree with most of what you are saying. YOu are correct with the fact that Asians were more technologically advanced then Europpeans until the 17th century. Also, it is true that Asian empires were very structured, and it was their central union that helped them fight off Europeans domination.
I also highly agree with this quote:"First, remember that the Asian countries were actually the first to develop the main technologies that Europeans would eventually capitalize upon." I, however, believe that Europe deserves as much credit as the Chinese in developing these cultures because they actually put them into everyday use. However, when the European countries did modernize, the Asian area stood in a standstill. A similar situation happened in the Middle East. Although the middle East was at one point superior to Europe in technology, it quickly fell behind after the European Renaissance.
I will agree/disagree when Jeremy Molayam posts, because I feel I can write more then.
Daniel Fotinich
Period 4

JFF said...

I agree that the Chinese and other East Asian empires developed at a faster rate than Europe for a time and created some technology that the Europeans only invented later, but it is hard to deny that China was outpaced by Europe. Although China did begin with creating such technologies as gunpowder, it focused too heavily on agriculture. Europe, however, wisely industrialized very rapidly. Europe was able to exploit its colonies to produce vast amounts of valuable processed goods while Asia continued farming. Because Africa and the Americas were attainable without a huge military effort, European nations were able to conquer them. China was not conquered because its somewhat stagnant economy was still capable of supporting effective defenses. Europe was unwilling to commit a large number of united troops from so many diverse nations in order to conquer this region. This does not mean that China was better than Europe, but that it was strategically difficult for Europe to unite in order to conquer a relatively strong, united, distant empire. Eventually, trade was able to fulfill Europe’s need for Asian goods, so the decision to avoid conquering East Asia seems to have been the correct one.
China’s nature as a united empire was in fact a negative. While this unity did make China as a whole a difficult nation to besiege, it also destroyed the need to compete in order to outpace other nations. European leaders were driven to colonize more and increase trade because of their will to power while Chinese leaders really did not have much of an option other than to conquer nearby lands with little worth. This is what led to the faltering of the Chinese economy and the rise of Europe in the first place. While European nations may have been moderately powerful on an individual basis, the power of Europe as a whole became immense as a result of industrialization. Therefore, I disagree with Chris Tan when he says that East Asian isolation was helpful for it. Although it did help it stabilize in the short term, it led to a lack of industrialization as I have highlighted above, and it encouraged a reduction of technological development because of the lack of a need for new technology.
Jan F-F
Period 4

JFF said...

By the way, I think you have a bit too much time, Chris Tan. Writing a few paragraphs about a guy from Mega Man? Really?
The whole argument over this character is a bit ridiculous anyway.

sora the hedgehog said...

Yeah, I see where you're getting at Jan. Still, if they already had all that technology at the time and then they industrialized, think of how big a power East Asia would be. Oh yeah, and the point of the second entry was not about Zero, as it is about getting knowing facts before you go ahead and criticize people. Wait, that didn't come out right. Whatever. That, and I also find some enjoyment in proving Connor and Cameron wrong. It keeps me busy, besides Caldwell essays, DBQ's, and disucussion questions.

Al ca-pwn said...

Mr. Zucker, I take quarrel with you on a number of issues.
1) You say Europe was not unified-"fragmentation that lacks cohesion and organization.:
I beg to differ Europe was more unified than Asia. The reason for this was the scattered kingdoms in Southeast Asia on scattered islands.
2) I differ on the issue on Technology as well, you say “Often this[individualism] creates a sense of confusion that lacks proper investment for future technological advancements.”
I disagree this European “system” allowed for, rather, more future advancements. Europe’s primitive capitalist system allowed for competition in the technological field. This competition pushed inventors to go to the edge and outdo their rivals, European countries to outdo other European countries in the field of colonizing and navigations—Asia lacked this key element.

I disagree with Chris Tan on a number of points:
1) Alexander the Great turned back not because of the strength of Asian military but because the weakness of his army and the morale.
2)Tan mutters, -"which is why Europe wasn't unified and why they were behind China."
China is not representative of all of Asia. We are looking at European involvement in Asia as a whole.
Hence, one cannot compare how unified China was to how unified Europe was because the welfare of a country and the welfare of an entire continent are totally different. Even if you don't like this argument the continent of Europe was, in fact, more unified than the continent of Asia. Southeast Asia was so scattered with its islands interaction with each other was minimal.
3) Your argument with the Dark Ages has no relevancy because we are evaluating whether Asia's structure prevented colonization not the other way around.
4) Tan elaborates, "Isolation was also a good thing. Because they were practically untouched."
The fact of the matter is China, India, Manchuria, Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and a lot more countries all went through foreign oppression. I disagree with Tan these countries were very "touched" by others. China by the Mongols, by the Manchus of Manchuria; India by the Persian, Greeks, the Mughals- Timur Khan. The list goes on; in fact, many of the Asian Countries "touched" each other, the Khmer empire in Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Al ca-pwn said...

Jeremy Molayem Period 4 for post above

RussianDF said...

Ok, Jeremy, I have to disagree with you[again] on a lot of points.
Europe was not more unified then Asia! Although there were no major empires for hundreds of years, many people still lived in total isolation without knowing even that there were other people around! Asia, however, had people living in homes with close family ties long before Europe did. Also, Jeremy, we weren't talking about Southeast Asia in particular. As a whole, Asia was much more unified then Europe up until the 14th or 15th century.
Daniel Fotinich
Period 4

al ca-pwnage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
al ca-pwnage said...

Daniel,
"Although there were no major empires for hundreds of years, many people still lived in total isolation without knowing even that there were other people around! Asia, however..."

are you joking, ppl in Europe DID NOT live in isolation and there were major empires in Europe thats what unified so many ppl in Europe

al ca-pwnage said...

"Ok, Jeremy, I have to disagree with you[again] on a lot of points."

--and you only disagreed on one point, not "a lot of points", stop getting on me on every blog,lol

The Mozenator said...

I disagree with your assertions, Mr. Zucker I think that the European Nations were in fact far superior to China and the only reason that they did not fully suceed in overthrowing the Asian cultures was simply the problem of geography. There simply was not a good way to get troops or supplies to a Chinese area isolated by sea, desert, and mountains on all sides. The real truth is that despite the technolical advancements and sense of national identity, the Asians, especially the Chinese were a rather static state. They essentially squandered their greatest natural resource: the ingenuity of their people. They restricted and controlled commerce and heavily taxed the people. The people despite serving the country and making some important technological advances, were not creative and were not able to adapt and change. China basically operated under the exact same system for thousands of years. Europe on the other hand, despite being somewhat helter skelter nationally was able to develop a plethora of things in addition to expanding and adapting the ideas of other cultures to suit their needs. If the Polo family "stole" ideas from China, SO WHAT? that was smart and those ideas became essential to propelling the dynamic Europeans forward. I completely disagree with SORA that Europe only became a power because of China and the Silk Road. Europe was already an established and powerful and forward thinking area or else they would not have been able to send explorers to China and create trade.

Ike Silver
Period 4

Rude said...

I agree with JZ. (that rhymed) But seriously, the Asia empires did develop quicker and were more stable than their European counterparts. I believe this is because of what JZ said with individualism. Individualism was a main reason why Europe was technologically behind. With constant rebellions and changing governments, there wasn't time to focus on other things. In Asia, the empires were more secure than those in Europe. Without individualism, people focused on other things and did not need the outside world. But this is somewhat catch-22. You see, by not being individualistic, when there was a rebellion, it was HUGE. These rebellions took much time to recover from and the economy was usually weak. By constantly recovering from scratch, the empires never got to a high enough point to start conquering and even then, they didn't need to. They could flourish internally.


I would also have to agree with my fellow 5th perioders Chris and Joe. The Dark Ages did do a number on Europe. And if Asia was not left untouched, the world would not be as we know it today. China was an amazing empire.


Matt Rude
Period 5

Dylan said...

JZ whats the deal here?
I completely disagree with you on this one, the reason Europeans could not conquer Asia was not because they were superior and advanced but yet we have a weakness against their size and military tactics. It is much like our situation with Iraq today. It is not that they are superior but they are sneaky and use ghurilla warfare so our military is not performing at its best. Although Asians did grow quicker than most other civilization like South America and the Middle East they like DAniel Fatinich said came to a standstill at a certain point. It was also the Asian enviornment and climate that stopped the Europeans from conquering it because they were away from their home turf. Although there is something different about asians that no other cultures can compare to which is there mass farming and cultivating although it has not helped them much economy wise they have developed the most farming. I also agree with Joe that the Dark Ages influenced Europe as to the point of the renasaince and China did not have something of that magnitude happen.
Dylan PRice
Period 4
Peace Out for now JZ

Otaku14 said...

I agree with what you said Mr. Zucker. Asia was far more advanced than the other European societies and that is why they could repel them. This also explains why the other regions of the world could not go against the Europeans.

The Asians have always been very far ahead of the rest of the world in technology. Look at Japan today. It is so much more high-tech there then it is here in the United States. I'll get to experience that first hand since I'm going on the Japan Trip over Spring Break!!! Woot!!! Sorry back to the point. Unfortunatly though the Europeans applied these technologies better than the Asians did. The Europeans though, unlike the Asians actually had the opportunity to apply these technologies because they were exploring the world, so they needed these new ideas and technologies.

I agree with Kearney on this one because he mentioned the fact that while Europe was going through the Dark Ages, China was thriving. Not only does this prove that how far ahead China was, because the cause of the Dark Age was that Europe had no written language and all the different tribes were invading; but China never really actually had a Dark Age. There was the emperor who wanted to burn all the books, but that really wasn't a Dark Age.

Michael Porterfield Period 5

Otaku14 said...

Ok now that I've gotten the assigned blog out of the way time to do exactly what I Chris said that I would do and prove to Connor that Naruto is not and I repeat not a 3 year old's show. Here are some reasons why:

1. One of the characters in the series named Kakashi is almost constantly reading a book called Make-Out Paradise. If you get what I mean.

2. There is a lot of blood and violence in the show. Yes,I know that most kids shows have some kind of violence, but Naruto has a lot of death unlike most kids shows. My anime quote of the week will show this more.

3. There is also a character named Jiraya who when you first see him is peeping in the women's bath and Naruto (the main character who becomes Jiraya's student) calls Jiraya, Pervy Sage a lot. Jiraya even admits to being a mega perv.

Those are some reasons why Naruto is not a three year old's show.

Chris, you said that Connor is always don't you think that is kind of like how Shikamaru acts?

Random Anime Quotes of the Week:

Gaara: "I exist to kill all other humans other than myself."

Naruto: "Iruka- Sensei, Why did the Old Man (Third Hokage [ruler of naruto's village]) have to die?"

Bronson said...

Mr. Zucker,
I would have to agree with you that the Asian empires did actually seem to grow much faster than did the Europeans. The Asian society came up with new, highly advanced technologies for the time just like the Europeans did. But I happen to disagree with you about the efficiency of "Asian systems developed an organized national economy and political system." I think that this is the sole reason why they are not the more powerful, dominant country today. I would have to agree with London here because I too believe that this is what is so great about American customs: those who work hard get rewards. But it is much different in China, where everyone is seen as more equal due to their strong following of ancient traditions and that the Chinese do not have some of the freedoms to actually create affluent companies. I also agree with sora the hedgehog because he really showed how truly successful and incredible the Chinese really were during the Middle Ages.

Bronson Green
Period 5

B.C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B.C. said...

Dear Jz,
I somewhat agree with your theory on Asian culture and territories and their technology advances when compared to the Europeans. The Chinese and other asian states had superiority over the Europeans in creating economic system, united nation states, and advances in technology, but the European expansion and application of these technologies along with their own unique economic systems and nation states ensured their world dominance. The Asian countries did invent new technologies, but they did not apply it and dominant regions of the world. I have to disagree with Chris Tan(sorry CT you know your my bud) when he states his support of Asian countries superiority by starting in the early AD s and creating currency and a civil system. Chris forgets that Rome and Greece were both European countries and empires and the founders of Western civilization which is obviously dominant in the world today. Rome and Greece had their own civil systems, currency, social structure, advances in technology and advances in philosophy and art that rivaled or even surpassed that of any asian country, not to say that Asia was not advanced in those areas.
I agree with Joe Kearney when he states that the Asian cultures developed extremely strict and interesting religions, philosophies and cultures which they applied in their isolated states. The Technology invented in China if the Chinese culture had been motivated to do so would’ve been the dominant culture of the world.
Asia had great ideas in exploration, technology, moral systems and civil systems but the Europeans were the ones who applied these stolen ideas and to great effect colonized a “New World” and dominated the World from thereafter. The Asian countries if not isolationist would have without a doubt had a tremendous impact on the world through exploration and colonization. The Europeans were the ones who took the ideas from Asia and the Middle East and applied them in every aspect of their empires in order to conquer a new world and spread Western Culture.

Benjamin Coupe
Period 5

trojans07 said...

Mr. Zucker I would have too agree with you on this argument. I do however believe that the Asians developed faster, but were not able to apply all of their discoveries to the real world. They lived in a world where one person depended upon the other. There was not much individualism mainly because they all had to follow one leader. In Europe however people were free to do as they wished. This lead to many conflicts between different nations and governments, but it also allowed European inhabitants to apply their new discoveries in their daily lives without the fear of messing up and hurting a large amount of people. This leads me to believe that people in China were not able to apply all of their new technologies because they lacked the needed individualism.

I also believe that the Asians developed faster because they had all the time in the world to do whatever they set their minds to. However the Europeans developed slower but had more advanced ideas because they interacted with other groups of people. They were able to get new ideas through trade and they brought them back to their home countries where they were able to develop them but at a slower pace in comparison to Asia. Isolation was the main reason why Asians were able to develop technologies faster.

I would have to agree with Daniel because he states that the Asians were able to develop faster. I have stated in the prior two paragraphs that the only reason why they were able to this was because they had all the time needed for development because of their isolation.

Salvador Valle Period 5

stephen said...

I agree with you JZ that the ASHUNS were more technologically advanced than the Europeans at that time. However the Europeans were the ones to utilize these technologies such as gunpowder and navigational technologies.
Even though the Asian empires were "highly structured and organized around divine figures," this was not necessarily a good thing. These divine figures could manipulate the people through their different religions and convince the people that whatever they were doing was the right thing for the people of these empires. This system of governing highly resembles the modern day government of China, communism. "All of the countries had a central semi or fully divine leader". It seems that even back then, the citizens didn't have any control over their lives and did whatever their leaders told them to do.
I agree with CT. "Speaking of which, the Europeans had to go throught the Dark Ages while the rest of the world was developing. " China had time to develop advanced technologies like the ones previously stated while Europe was dealing with their own problems. In times of peace, the Asians had time to further advance their technologies.
-Stephen Shigematsu -_-
Period 5

John Sapunor said...

JZ,

I agree with you when you say that the Europeans were behind the technology of Asia because of the Asian countries' political systems. This system helped keep Europeans from invading because of the strong and united militaries, and this allowed for times of peace in which people could make advancements in military and technology. However, I don't think individualism is caused Europe to fall behind Asia. I can look at a lot of things and name the individual who invented it, and this can be seen in Europe through Leonardo DaVinci and his drawings of the many inventions he came up with, some of which are surprisingly close to things in the modern world. But yes, this research and advancement requires times of peace, which the Asian empires often succeeded in creating. Also, I think the Asian system eventually caused Europe to get ahead. While Asia would spend their time researching and inventing new things, Europe would come over and borrow Asia's ideas. Then Europe would end up spending their time improving what they got from Asia. The thing here that would cause Asia to eventually fall behind Europe was that the Asian empires tried to keep European and Western influence out of their empires, which would leave them only with their own technology.

I agree with Joe pointing out that Asia's religions made a good influence on its people. The ideas in Buddhism and Hinduism often created a peaceful society. It may have been the way the religion was structured, because the structure of the Catholic Church was very corrupt during these times, as can be seen in the Popes Crisis.

leaningtower55 said...

I have to agree with JZ. Isolation definitely helped Asian empires grow as asuccessful as they are today. The shut out any outside influence way before the Europeans even came. Even when the Europeans arrived, empires like China and Japan still were strong on their own traditions and customs. An example was when Toyotomi Hideyoshi expelled the Jesuit missionaries in Japan due to his loyalty of his traditional cultral values. Another example is when Chinese rules gave heavy taxes to manufacturing and commerce because of their loyalty to traditional agriculture.
I disagree with london's statement saying that the Asians did not have an effective government and that is why they are not dominant and successful. Today, Japan has on of the highest economies in the world. Also, China, though faced with internal struggles in the past, has a booming economy that continues to grow. Other parts of the world like Africa and the Middle East struggle today due to too much outside influence. Asia, highly favored toward their own ideas such as Daoism and Buddhism have prospered due to their isolation.
Karlon Johnson Period 5

<<===tHe JeDi===>>> said...

Jay-Z,
I disagree with you this time because I think no civilization was more dominant than Europe. Perhaps the Asian nations may have been more advanced in terms of technology and ideas, but Europeans had the advantage several powerful nations all with the desire to expand and globalize. Also, I have to say that the Europeans of this time period were much more unified than Asia because each nation was dependent upon on another in order to enhance the economy. You bring up that Asia had these ideas and new technology, and actually were the first ones to explore the world; however, it was the Europeans who saw the vision of fusing these two cultures and inheriting new ideas from one another. Once Marco Polo brought back these Asian ideas, this allowed Europe to further continue their era of dominance by putting them to good use and settling in North and South America. In regards to conquering Asia, I have to agree with Ike when he states that geography was Europe's biggest obstacle because Asia was isolated by mountains, water, and deserts. All in all, I don't think Europe was as interested in conquering Asia because I think they sensed it would be difficult to control this region as the various Muslim Empires were adjacent to them as well as the issue of a cultural clash which would occur if they conquered Asia. Europe was merely interested in establishing a good trade system between the east and west.
peace.

Lucas Cielak
period 4

Sukos said...

Okay so this is how it is, European and Asian societies were the predominant and superior powers among our world. However there are clear distinctions to be made because in your comparison of the two, you compare them as if their motives and values were of the same and thus their cultures could be placed side to side for a face value comparison. The Asian societies were very focussed on promotion local and national unity and strength. Such was reached through major technological advancements as well as through political genius. They were therefore able to trump the Europeans in that aspect however European conquest and colonization is what is the key thing to press our attention on. The Europeans cared more about conquering the new world or lands like India for economic gain while we saw China and Japan suffer from extremely harsh conditions brought about by their economies. Europe simply did not wait for the good times to come, they went out and found a way to spurt the economy. The often strict unity among the asian cultures led to abuses of individual right and strict castes of social classes while European individualism allowed for a more free flow of citizens between the social hierarchy.

I believe that Jan is dead on when he said "This does not mean that China was better than Europe, but that it was strategically difficult for Europe to unite in order to conquer a relatively strong, united, distant empire."

Alex Kutsukos
Period 4

Tostitos said...

Asian societies were considered to be more advanced than other peoples for a majority of the world's history. One example of this is the view other people had on Asians. They were often seen by Europeans as the higher people. Documents made by European explorers like Marco Polo made Asian cultures look as if some far off place of greatness that no one could understand. This view did not in any way mean that Europeans were stupid and unable compete with the Asians. Europeans made many technological advances, some of which were admired by the Asians themselves; however, many of these Europeans inventions were originally ideas of the Chinese, Japanese, etc. For example, the invention of the clock was an Asian invention that was later adopted by European peoples. When the Europeans made it better, they returned to the Asians, who were impressed by their advancements. In short, the Asians came up with the ideas, and other peoples would expand or make improvements on them. As Salvador stated, part of their "advanced" culture may have been due to their separations from the rest of the world. It let them focus on their internal achievements rather than wordly affairs. Responding to Jeremy Molayem, I think you are right that the entire continant of Asia was not unified. Still, The countries inside of it each had some sort of internal unity. This helped the advancement of the area as a whole

Tostitos said...

Philip Tostado
Period 4

Manalo said...

JZ, I agree with your argument that the Asian countries were the first to develop advanced technologies that the Europeans later used and built up upon. Asian societies were one of the first to have a currency system, dialects, navigation tools, and paper. The Europeans took the ideas of the Asians for their societies' advancements. For example, the discovery of paper from China was greatly used in Europe to make books, letters, documents, maps, etc. The introduction to navigational tools led to more European exploration. Without the discovery of Asian technologies, our world may be much different from today.
I agree with Chris Tan that the Asian countries continued to advance while Europe was going through the Dark Ages and fell behind. So finding these new technologies from Asia helped Europe come out of the Dark Ages period, and into the Renaissance and modern times.

Patrick Manalo
Period 5

Tyler said...

Well another argument against a wall.
I mean, first off, I am a little confused over your "argument."
I can list off facts, too. Are you proving that the Asian culture was technologically, socially. and culturally more advanced than the Europeans? Well, duh. Then I agree.

But the fighting off part???

I think not!

In any interaction in the history of ever, two sides bring something to the table. This is insanely important in realizing that, not only did Europe walk away from this deal with advanced weaponry/new ideas/excellent trade, but the Asian culture found Christianity/learning of the development of a future trade rival/new technologies and found a WHOLE new culture. (a la Europeans -and- Indians. See what I did there?) It is, therefore, an awakening experience for both sides, and, therefore, I do not believe that it was a one-sided interaction (Europeans only benefiting).

**Sidenote** (I love these!)

History often can misinterpret events based on biased opinions and lack of evidence. In the case of Marco Polo, guess what? His book, perhaps one of the top 10 most influential books of all time, offers historians a view of wonder and admiration towards the empires and cultural beliefs of Asia. And now that is what was believed for centuries, until little evidence that even could be contridictory surfaced. And history had already been written that one way for so long, leaving a permanent bias in all Europeans.

**Sidenote end**

And now for probably the best part: making fun of someone's pathetic opinions! Im like a lil Zuck, spewing fire on Fridays! Lets see...Since Chris Tan has like 4 posts, I'll poke a hole in his argument. For one, you make it seem as if development was stiffled in Europe during the Dark Ages, while Asia was flourishing. Guess what? Asia had its problems, too. Consistent war with outside invaders and constant shift of power and boundries created a potentially vulnerable system at all times, which lead to the building of a really big wall. And no one can forget that the Reinassaince was a "leapfrog" of technological advancements and learning. Asian cultures never achieved this advancement, because they never really had a huge "drought" of thought to go up from. So I can safely argue that "higher thought" basically shot out at about even over time.

And with that, Im out.

Tyler Davenport
Period 4

MC HAIT said...

I agree with JZ that the Asian countries were far more advanced, but I disagree with him when he says that Europeans excelled over the Asians because of individualism. Asian countries were superior and were able to keep this status because of their isolation and how their governments were structured. I do not think that the Europeans exceeded over the Asians because of individualism because many different people created things and the country was not able to produce a unified result. With the Asian countries to government and people as a whole were responsible for the advancement of the countries, where is in Europe they were more individualistic and Europe as a whole was not credited for individuals achievements.

I agree with Stephen when he says that because of the structured society of Asian countries allowed it to excel. Because of this the Asian societies as a whole are credited with great advancements where in Europe many individuals are credited with the success.

MC HAIT said...

above is Matt Chait, period 5

John Sapunor said...

JZ,

I agree with you when you say that the Europeans were behind the technology of Asia because of the Asian countries' political systems. This system helped keep Europeans from invading because of the strong and united militaries, and this allowed for times of peace in which people could make advancements in military and technology. However, I don't think individualism is caused Europe to fall behind Asia. I can look at a lot of things and name the individual who invented it, and this can be seen in Europe through Leonardo DaVinci and his drawings of the many inventions he came up with, some of which are surprisingly close to things in the modern world. But yes, this research and advancement requires times of peace, which the Asian empires often succeeded in creating. Also, I think the Asian system eventually caused Europe to get ahead. While Asia would spend their time researching and inventing new things, Europe would come over and borrow Asia's ideas. Then Europe would end up spending their time improving what they got from Asia. The thing here that would cause Asia to eventually fall behind Europe was that the Asian empires tried to keep European and Western influence out of their empires, which would leave them only with their own technology.

I agree with Joe pointing out that Asia's religions made a good influence on its people. The ideas in Buddhism and Hinduism often created a peaceful society. It may have been the way the religion was structured, because the structure of the Catholic Church was very corrupt during these times, as can be seen in the Popes Crisis.

John Sapunor
Period 5

Rabbi said...

I agree 100%. Asia's culture, religion, and advanced technology were far superior to Europes and that is why it tooks the Europeans forever and a day to gain access to that region. When I say that there religion was superior I do not mean the beliefs at all. In Europe the different protestant Buddhism. In China they all coexisted peacefully. Now, most people would say that three of these are not a religion, and they would be partially right because none of them are truly a religion in the way we look at it today. They are all ways of life. They can coexist because they do not have conflicting views. Confucianism is just about a system of respect and courtesy between people. Taoism is just a following of the ways of nature. Buddhism is a way of meditation in which to weed out materialism and become more spiritual. Legalism is just a way of ruling an area. So, in a Legalist state Buddhists, Conffucianists, and Taoists can all coincide peacefully. This was their advantage of Europe. They were a highly unified society that streesed internal loyolaty.

I agree with Jeremy when he says that Alexander did not turn back because of Chinese lstrength and when he says the Chian is not representative of all of Asia.

However, when he talks about Asian Countries and foriegn opression, I just want him to know that there were no foreign opressions until the fall of the central Unity in the asians countries. China did not give in to Europe until a weak emperor destabalized the government. This intrusion lead to many other countries accepting European opression in order to keep up with China's technology. But even with China, the British got the whole country High and the still nearly lost to China.

Alex Flyyn
Period 5

jack said...

Mr. Zucker,

I disagree with your ending remarks which state that individualism lacks proper investment in the future. I believe that giving people individual rights may somewhat hinder the overall advancement of the country. Individual rights, however, are important because it allows for people to make their own contributions to the technological world. Most advancements in the world of technology today have come from private corporations, not from the government. By investing in the individual rights of the people, you invest in the future. People without rights will eventually rebel if they are "smart".

I agree with you in some aspects when you say that the system of tolerance and strict obedience to the government has worked for many Asian countries of the past. Many Asian countries have a culture that is focused on tradition and have a prejudice against change. This is why commoners of the time remain relatively obedient. Rights of the individuals are compromised to allow for a strong central government. This mindset is most likely the reason why Europeans did not apply their technological advances to the world like the Europeans did.

I must disagree with Dylan when he compares Europe (then) to America (today) and Asia (then) to terrorists (today). Europeans did not feel the need to conquer Asia. It was out of the way and only a few attempts were made to take control of certain parts. Asia during that time was relatively unified under various central government, unlike the terrorists of today. America is not in Iraq to conquer, but to...hmmm no clue, clearly not to make it American territory though. Dylan compared Asian forces to terrorists saying that they "are sneaky". Asia was divided into many areas, but most had central leaders who could be negotiated with.

Finally, both the Europeans and Asians had governments which worked "well" for their situations. Each government was formed "around the people" whether done purposefully or not. Most Asian cultures believed in tradition and had no problem with a strong central government and limited rights as individuals. Europeans on the other hand had a different outlook on life. Rebellions against the government often took place and the government was able to adapt. Both of these mindsets are shown in how the cultures grew and applied technological advances to the world.

Last thing.... Whats with all of this cartoon character stuff? Can someone please fill me in?

-Jack Hawley, Period 5

Colin said...

I agree with you Mr. Zucker that the Asian countries advanced at a much faster pace than the pace of the Europeans. The dynasties and empires within the Asian region were highly structured and developed technologies way ahead of the Europeans time. They began exploring far before the Europeans , and they were able to keep the encroaching European forces away so that they could remain isolated. Although the Asian area advanced much faster, I think that the Europeans would have eventually caught up to them even if they had not explored into China. Europe was stuck in the dark ages of a feudalistic society where values remained unchallenged and old ideas accepted. After the Renaissance and Europe’s enlightenment, I think that Europe would have advanced and surpassed Asia, regardless of their “stealing” of the Asian ideas. I also do not think that Asia would hold on to its reign of most advanced because they felt that needed to stay isolated and resist the European culture, which they couldn’t. Exploring and interaction spreads knowledge and ideas and fusions allows countries to develop and prosper. If China and its surrounding contries had stayed isolated, eventually the rest of the world would develop ideas and technologies that China did not have, and any country of state would be able to challenge Asia. I agree with John that the Aisan cultures wre able to advanced in technology because they had extended periods of peace. Times of peace allow for a development of learning and ideas to be shared. Europe was filled with various wars between different areas and that’s where the focus was, on fighting not learning.

Colin McGonigle
Period 5

bernardo waxtein said...

Mr Zucker,
I agree with you on how Asian countries had highly advanced cultures and political systems and governments. I think that they also kept themselves isolated from European influence because they thought that there culture and ideas were the best and the right way to go. So they believed that if they used the Europeans ideas they would be corrupting their life stile and perfect culture and ideas. I also think that the families of the Asian society were organized in a heirarchial way like a government because it kept a strong order and there was a leader of the family who made important decisions for everybody that some people could not make. Also everyone became very loyal and were discipline because of their family society.
I also agree with Joe K that the asian culture and territories were just as strong as the European empire and just as technologically advanced they just did not advance after a certain point because they did not take the European influence to help them become more advanced. I also agree on how he says that Confucianism, Legalism, and Taoism all were very loyal and dedicated religions and ways of life which helped the Asians to think of the Europeans as inferiors.

Bernardo Waxtein
Period 5

Clint Rosser said...

JZ, I do agree with you that the Asian countries did advance technologically and in thought much quicker than most of the other civilizations, especially Europe. However, I do not seem to think that it really matters if they developed faster or not. Theoretically, yes they could have used their advanced weaponry and navigational skills to dominate most of the world, but they didn’t and that’s what counts.

Lets make an analogy here. If you are in a fight and you have an amazingly high tech gun that kills a person with a laser beam, it does you no good if you let your opponent hit you over the head with a bat. I know that this was a hastily thought up analogy, but I think it gets the point across.

The Asian countries consciously made the decision to not use all of their skills to spread their influence and culture and become a world power. The Europeans although a little slower in discovering the new technologies and methods were determined to succeed and dominate. The Asians new what was important to them at the time. They succeeded in staying isolated and close in terms of family and unified as a nation. They built a wall around their empire at one point, isn’t that an obvious enough example that they wanted to be left alone. This is what they wanted and its what they got, at the expense of allowing other world power such as the Europeans to take off ahead of them using their very own technologies.

Another point I would like to bring up is even if you discover something first, everyone is going to have their hands on the technology very soon after. The idea will only be novel for a short period of time. This is evident in Tivo, the I-pod/I-phone, and nuclear bombs. As soon as somebody comes up with one of these great new inventions, a month later someone else has made a slightly different cheaper version of it. Even though the Chinese did fall behind, they are catching up very quickly, since all they have to do is look towards the U.S. and see what to do. This is equivalent to sleeping through a class, but when the day of the test comes, sitting next to the smart kid in class and getting a good grade. You may not have looked up the information, but you get the same end result.

I agree with John Sapunor when he says that the individualism in Europe was not the reason for the falling behind of Europe. There are millions upon millions of inventions that were created by individuals who thought up the idea completely by themselves, without unification.

Clint Rosser
Period 5

AAA said...

I agree with what just about everything of you have written but I have a major qualm with your criticisms of prizing individualism and rights. It may contribute to "a system of fragmentation that lacks cohesion and organization" but through these beliefs and also their effects, the country we live in has been formed. U.S.A is the most dominant country in the world because their founders prized these beliefs. So these seemingly negative effects may actually be beneficial; proof is shown through the success of our country. But, after saying this I believe the Chinese also had an effective system. Both systems with different approaches to controlling and maintaining their nations operate well.
(Because I must agree/disagree with somebody) I, first, agree with Tyler's opening statements (reworded), "What was the main point/focus of your argument, it jumps ALOT?" And I will disagree with Tyler who states that the European-Chinese interaction wasn't just one-sided(beneficial to the Europeans.) Although maybe the interaction wasn't, the examples he uses to prove it weren't exactly ...conclusive. He states Europeans got advanced weaponry (+1),new ideas(+1)and excellent trade (+1); while the Chinese got Christianity(-1, at this time the quarrels that aroused from the Church and the missionaries made the introduction of Christianity very undesirable),learning of the development of a future trade rival(-1, I don't particularly like new enemies), and new technologies(+1). So the Europeans end up with "3" and the Chinese with a "-1". Not very beneficial for the Chinese. (Tyler, if you read this, it was intended to be a joke!)

Andrew Aaronian
Period 4

The 'Fro said...

I think you make a very convincing argument. There are many undisputable facts that lie in your favor.

I agree whole-heartedly when you say that Europe prided itself on much of what was really Asia's doing. From gunpowder to spaghetti, Asia had a number of brilliant inventions, putting major empires like China, Japan, and Korea very far ahead of Middle Age Europe. Chinese scholars, philosophers, and inventors had many years of fairly peaceful (few international wars) learning and experimenting. Their isolation provided a safer place to develop ideas.

Yet, as Clint Rosser said, these inventions, brilliant as they were, did not help accelerate Asia’s expansion. Its kingdoms remained isolated and never began conquest outside of Asia. The one exception was the Mongol Khanate. However, as time progressed, the Khanate deteriorated into smaller and smaller domains. This was due to a lack of organization and centralized rule. For the most part, however, Asian kingdoms kept amongst themselves.

Even when Europeans sailed to Asia, Asians remained. Unlike European kingdoms such as the British, who pushed out to India and North America, Asians were content to remain in the land they had for ages. When it came down to it, the many great inventions served few purposes in the advance of their civilization. Yet, Europeans took many of these inventions and furthered their potential. They turned them around and used them to their advantage.

Jonathan Daroca Period 4

Leviathan said...

Jamie Zuker congratulations you have finally presented an argument that I can "respectively" agree with. Asia was able to fend off European influence by remaining an isolated territory unwelcome to newcomers. The Chinese especially resembled the stereotypical Asian country. They had a complex government centered on interdependence, a currency, and technological advances that shaped modern society.I feel that the Asian countries were smart to isolate themselves. There choice allowed them to develop a rich culture that was only hurt when Europeans came along.

Now I will respond to a fellow classmates arguments...

It has been brought to my attention that one of our fellow classmates has been infusing his arguments with stupid cartoons quotes. He refers to himself as sora the hedgehog. The arguements he presents are good, he is right religion played an important role in chinese culture. I would even take that a step further in saying that the introduction of the Jesuits and Christianity hurt the Chines culture. However, Sora doesnt seem to care about China or Asia for that matter, all he seems to care about is anime. Can anyone say FETISH. EWWWWWW Let me pose a question to those who read this blog? What is it with Asians and Anime?

Now it just wouldnt be me if I didnt delight my readers, if there are any, with a rant about white supremacy.
Today's topic: Asians

Lets start this rant with some derogatory terms. Asian are often referred to as CHINKS. As an active bigot I have been told many definitions of the word bigot but have not found a concrete definition. My Korean friend Eric Park (aka the fruity panda) told me it was a term referring to the noise created when driving a pike into the rail road tracks. As you know the chinese were forced to work on railroads so in the fruity panda's eyes, being called a chink is saying that you belong on the railroad. Another definition is that a chink is the name for an Asians face...Bob Perille (my dad) says "Asians have Chinky Faces". Readers choose for yourself, I for one prefer the railroad definition.
Moving on, Do you know why China sucks? The country is yellow, they are all midgets, and worst of all they are thought of as soooo smart when the Chinese people still havent figured out the cure to czars (7up and chicken noodle soup). Not to mention a diet of rice and dog cant be healthy.

THank you all...if you have any questions you may ask me whenever

White Power!!!!!

Tim Perille Period 4

Alopez said...

Mr. Zucker,
I agree with you on how you say that china was politically stable. Also, that the Chinese were far more advanced than the Europeans. The Chinese had instruments to guide ships, before the Europeans. The Chinese had the capability to use gun powder which allowed the Chinese to have an upper hand in battle. Just like today, if a country has a more technological war weapons, they would become a domination country. Such as with America with nuclear bombs where the U.S. could complete pwn any country. Also, the Chinese had porcelain, which Europeans wanted so badly, that the Europeans sailed to China and wanted to set up a trade post. Also, i believe that since they were isolated for quite a time, they were able to prosper in technology and politically while other countries in Europe would be fight each other for land. This is why i think Europe was behind technologically wise from China.

I completely agree with matt rude on how he says individualism has a huge part of china becoming more advanced than Europe. I agree that because China was secluded, they were able to focus on what was going on in their own country instead of worrying about other countries. Also, since China was secluded, they learned how to become independent and were able to support themselves in stead of trading with other countries.

Alex Lopez, Period 4

K-Fed said...

JZ
I believe you make a very good arguement this time. The Chinese were way more advanced than the Europeans were. However they achieved this through isolating their country from the rest of the world. This acted as a double edged sword. As mentioned previous in the blog because of the isolation, China focused on themselves and didn't have to worry much about international affairs. But, at the same time they weren't able to reap the benefits European countries were able to receive from merchantilism.
The other point you bring up JZ is the chinese technological dominance over Europe. This is true, but children are being brainwashed into thinking the Europeans were technological dominant. This is because the Europeans were able to put these Chinese inventions to better use just as the 'fro states in his comment. Simply put the Europeans were a greedy, self-centered race that only cares about themselves.

Kevin F. Hernandez
Period 4

K-Fed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.