Asian Economic Activity Essay

Asian Economic Activity Essay

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History of foreign affairs in Asia had always been an interesting topic to look at. What was once considered an economically successful continent from 1500-1800, is mostly composed of what is considered as the ‘developing world.’ The complexity of trade within and outside of Asia added to the success of the continent from the 16th up until the 18th century. Being a short essay, this paper will simply look at one country from each region: East, South and Southeast Asia. Even examining these three countries require a lot more than what this paper will go through. Hence, the essay will be based mostly on the following questions: What was the nature of economic activity in Asia between 1500 and 1800? What role did the West play? Was there much Intra-Asian trade in which the West did not play a significant role in? And in keeping it simple, the paper will first look at each regions individually.
During the 16th century, China was in a transitional phase between the Ming and Qing Dynasties. From the very beginning, the Ming was very defensive of their empire. They wanted trade to occur under their terms. And paying tribute to the empire was the only way in which goods can be exchanged within Asia; trade with the Europeans, however, were somewhat different. Nonetheless, they were still expected to follow the rules. The Ming controlled the size and regularity of merchants that were allowed to enter only selected city ports for transactions. However, such system proved unfavorable with the emergence of East Asian maritime trade between the Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Chinese merchants. Leading to the abandonment of the system in the late 16th century.
Agriculture was the main driving force for commercial activity. Crops, s...


... middle of paper ...


...to India and Sri Lanka in South Asia and all the way to Europe.


Works Cited

Ebrey, Patricia and Anne Walthall. East Asia: A Cultural, Social and Political History. Boston: Wadsworth, 2009.

Embree, Ainslie T.. “British East India Company Raj.” In Encyclopedia of India, edited by Stanley Wolpert. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006.

Lockard, Craig A.. Southeast Asia in World History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Perdue, Peter C.. “Ming and Qing Dynasties.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, edited by Joel Mokyr. Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Trautmann, Thomas R.. India: Brief History of a Civilization. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Wink, André. “Muslim Period and Mughal Empire.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, edited by Joel Mokyr. Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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