The Creation And Formation Of The Pacific World Essay

The Creation And Formation Of The Pacific World Essay

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The creation and formation of the Pacific World can be categorized into two basic ideas: expansionism vs. isolationism. Starting from the fifteenth century, Europe’s expansionist ideals became very present around the known world. Portugal had found its way around Africa in order to reach India, the main hub for Pacific trade, leaving other European empires in the dust. Spain, Portugal’s biggest competitor, was struggling behind without a free route to India as well. Because of this, the decision was made to travel westward instead of around Africa. This led to the biggest discovery in the history of western civilization, The Americas. However, while Spain used this as a catalyst for their empire, the Chinese were set on blatant ethnocentrism. For many years China’s idea of outsiders was Mongols, which never left a good impression on them. China’s vigilant ethnocentrism was strong until the British pushed their sphere of influence on to them. There growing addiction to opium, coupled with their need for silver, opened up the west to full power over the once self-sufficient China (Pomeranz Silver Trade Pt.1). This set a standard for eastern power, allowing western countries to exert their dominance for years to come.
When discussing the creation of the Pacific World, many would say that the discovery of the Americas was the real beginning. Everyone knows of Columbus sailing west and landing in what he thought was India, but was really Cuba. However, what was rarely discussed was why he was sailing west. Spain had fallen way behind their rival, Portugal, in the race to trade with India. Portugal had set up ports all around the western coast of Africa, allowing them to sail all the way around the tip to then sail to India (Jones Jan...


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...e pacific physically, it set a precedent for future Asian powerhouse Japan.
Japan looked at the west and saw how they took over China, how the Chinese were falling apart, and decided to take a very different approach. They became modernized; they used western ideas and technology to build up their nation, eventually becoming imperialistic, taking over small pacific islands. They even attacked the now crippled China, flexing their military capabilities. The Japanese spread out their culture through immigration, unlike China who kept to themselves (Dower). Japan observed the methodical work of the Europeans in getting what they want, and imitated it. That is how China created the Pacific World, by falling down so hard, that neighboring countries learned to do the exact opposite of them, creating empires and modernizing as much as possible, revolutionizing the Pacific.

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