China and Europe Before 1400s
Nida 10 18/8/2011 A society’s strength is defined by its wealth, strength of defense, and political stability. During the time 1000-1400, China was going through a renaissance age. The empire was unified, trade thrived, the empire’s defense was very strong and China as a whole was very rich. On the other hand, Europe did not have a unified government. Its defense was poor and in1348-1350, the Black Death reached Europe which further weakened individual nations by taking away the lives of thousands of people therefore reducing the region’s manpower.
Powered by wealth, defense, and political stability, it would seem as though China was more eligible to take over the world by 1400. In comparison to China, Europe’s wealth was much less because the region was separated politically and was suffering from internal conflicts. Because Europe was under feudalist system, wealth was centralized through religion, Christianity, not through politics. China’s wealth thrived with enhanced trade on the Silk Road and because China was united, the empire’s wealth as a whole was much more in comparison to Europe’s.
Under Mongolian rule, the Silk Road was a very secure place to trade and their big ships enhanced sea trade. This improved China’s trade and thus upped the empire’s wealth. China also gained wealth from their vast land expeditions and conquest by the Mongol Empire. In Europe, because there was no centralized government and money, huge trade expeditions could not happen; wealth was split amongst the lords. Individual lords had their own wealth and the region had no unified wealth. Europe was also suffering from a lot of internal conflicts.
The region was politically and religiously unstable thus Europe could not focus on external affairs such as trading, which is the main piece of puzzle to a region’s properity. As such, Europe was not as wealthy as China. China’s strength of defense was more powerful than Europe’s because of unity and manpower. Under feudalism, Europe did not have a unified army. Each lord had their own small army and because of internal conflicts, the region’s defense against barbarians was very poor.
Furthermore, in that time period, whoever was not Christian was either degraded or was persecuted. This added to the disunity of Europe and decreased its manpower. Under Mongolian rule, China was united under one ruler and had a massive, united army, which served for the government. This unity of military forces and the abundance of manpower in the empire’s army enabled the empire’s defense to prosper. Unlike Europe, religion was not enforced in China. People had the freedom to believe in anything they want and they were not suppressed nor degraded.
This created less conflicts within the empire and because there was less focus on internal problems, China could better protect itself from barbaric armies and further expand their territory. Internal conflicts in Europe tore the region apart and caused political unstability which added on to the disunity of Europe. At the time 1000-1400, Europe was under a feudalist system and had no centralized government. Lords were fighting other lords to gain wealth and power.
Government was largely influenced by Christianity and non-Christians were being persecuted throughout Europe, which led to a decline in manpower and unity. On the other hand, China centralized government, its prospering trades, and the empire’s wealth strengthened the political stability of the empire. The vast empire had one leader, there were little internal conflicts, and the empire had a strong enough defense to defend themselves from invaders. Under a strong government, the empire was protected, trade flourished, and the China’s wealth grew.
While China was flourishing, Europe was falling apart. The region was politically unstable; religion caused a lot of deaths, adding to that, the Black Death arrived in Europe which further weakened the region. Strength and power is defined by a society’s wealth, strength of defense, and political stability. As of 1000-1400, China was going through a Renaissance age while Europe was falling apart. China’s trade flourished, and enhanced trade made the empire very wealthy. The empire was politically stable and had a well-built defense.
China exceeded Europe in all the factors that define strength and power. The empire was much stronger, more powerful, and wealthier than Europe and therefore, in that time period, it seemed as though China had more chance to take over the world. But after 1400, China’s isolation from the outside world hindered the empire’s growth. Overtime, because of Europe’s aggression and its thirst and hunger for power and control, the region will gradually surpass China in both strength and power and eventually, we will see that Europe is going to have more potential to take over the world.