The Traditional Culture of Asian Civilizations from 1500 to 1700 Essay

The Traditional Culture of Asian Civilizations from 1500 to 1700 Essay

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Do you feel that Asian Civilizations from 1500 to 1700 veered towards modernity or careened back toward traditional culture?

From the 16th to 18th century, the prominent Asian Civilizations were the Mughal Empire, the Ming Dynasty of China and the Edo Period of Japan. There was an obvious trend that these empires leaned toward traditional culture mainly because of political influences. Although there were also several aspects of each society such as the more important role of women in the Mughal Empire, the interactions of the Jesuits with China and Japan that might be indicative of modernity or act as a precursor to modern values, the reversion of traditional culture in each civilization is so much greater that it outweighed the progress towards modernity.
The early Mughal Emperors were religiously tolerant, unlike previous Muslim rulers and they embraced the cultures of the Indians that they conquered. Even though they were Muslims, Hindu art and literature once again flourished and the rulers themselves followed a traditional Maharaja style of ruling that paralleled themselves to divine avatars with absolute authority. Respect from commoners was thus mandatory. (Murphey 190)
The Ming Dynasty was established when a rebel by the name of Hongwu successfully reclaimed China from Mongolian Rule. Triumphant in breaking free from their Mongolian oppressors, the people of China tried to restore the former glory of their ancestors by embracing their traditional customs that their Mongolian rulers forbade. This started a trend in conservatism where there was fervent determination to establish the original Chinese way of life after Mongol humiliation. (Murphey 213)
Due to paranoia, Emperor Hongwu tried to prevent intellectua...


... middle of paper ...


... in gender equality was no different than their traditional customs.
In conclusion, Asian civilizations from the 1500 to 1700 were generally not open to radical changes; they were more comfortable embracing old customs. The Indians fell back on their age old Hindu practices and caste system. The Ming Chinese were influenced to practice conservatism and upholding original Confucian Ideals by their Emperor. The Edo Japanese upheld the Imperial tradition of having an Emperor as well as secluding themselves from foreigners to protect their customs from Western cultural corrosion. The first wave of Europeans to reach Asia did not manage to influence much of these civilizations since they already had a proper, formalized government and hundreds even thousands of years of culture. Therefore, Asian civilizations from 1500 to 1700 were generally traditionalistic.




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