When Europeans started sailing the globe looking for new land they wanted to colonize they had many tools that they could use, ships, the astrolabe, muskets and cannons for showing their military might, manufactured goods to show their economic power, and their last tool was religion, specifically Christianity of the Catholic and Roman Catholic denomination to counter the spread of the Protestant movement in Europe. Dominican, Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries successfully spread the religion in Spanish and Portuguese held colonies in the Americas, Africa and parts of Asia. However, parts of Asia that didn’t convert at all or as successful as the other areas in the world had been.
There are a number of reasons for why they were not converted as easily. One could say the first reason is that areas in Asia like China and Japan were more cultured than the other areas. They had long and written histories of their culture, people and nation, and they both already had their own complex and defined religions. China had Taoism, Japan had Shinto and they both shared their own forms of Buddhism. The fact that they could write the ideas of their religion helped once the missionaries began appearing because they could go back and look at the writing and reinforce their belief. As opposed to areas in the world where religious ideas had to be passed down through oral tradition which could be lost or skewed through simple careless mistakes or death of an important member in the community as opposed to religions that could write their ideas, or in the case of Europe they even able to mass produce religious works after the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
Another reason was that it also ha...
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...lver from its colonies in the Americas so that they’d be allowed to get access to more parts of China to buy goods from (Carter). Also there was the general exchange of goods from Asia to the rest of the world, things like rice and spices such as cumin and saffron which now make up the corner-stone of Latin cooking and Mangos which are by far my favorite fruit.
Though Christianity never caught on as much as it did in East Asia as it had done in the America. Asia’s continued contact with European merchants did however draw it into the trade networks that were beginning to web out across the world. This connection to the growing industrial world had a profound effect on Asia and I don’t think it would have advanced the way it had without these connections and even though Christianity is not the dominant religion in Asia, it still played a major role in its development.
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