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