Results of Exploration and Trade by the Chinese and European States

Resultsof Exploration and Trade by the Chinese and European States

Resultsof Exploration and Trade by the Chinese and European States

TheEuropean countries impose themselves to the rest of the worldcountries to such a great extent. This imposition has proved to be ahistorical question as scholars try to find the answers as to howEuropean States expanded rapidly surpassing China which was the mostpowerful State by then. The age of discovery, and trade in Europe,and Asia had different results due to the varied leadership stylesand the availability of favorable conditions in Europe. According toAllaby and Garrat (2010), the Chinese Empire grew into an expansivetrading empire.

TheChinese would regularly send ships on commercial expeditions atdistant places. Allaby and Garrat assert that the Chinese leaders ofthe time had a deep quest to control the greater parts of Asia thanany other States like Saudi Arabia and India. Therefore, the Chineseengaged in active trading activities throughout the East, resultingto development of the massive trading centers in China. Through thefavored engagement in trade, the Chinese population would establishbusiness at all scales of the economy. Development of trade in Chinaled to an enhanced economy, and boasted military prowess (Allaby andGarrat, 2010).

Onthe contrary, the European nations did not engage in competitiveleadership of conquering the neighboring States a reason for theirrestricted navigation and trade. However, Allaby and Garrat (2010)note that the approach taken by the European States worked to theirsuccess. For example, the Europeans explored the expansive areas ofAfrica under the directives of the Queen of England and the King ofBelgium. Compared to the Middle East that the Chinese explored,Africa is endowed with more minerals and other natural resources.

TheEuropeans, therefore, were able to access a number of raw materialsfor diversified production. While the Chinese only relied on themanufacturing industry, the European States engaged in farming too.Thus, European exploration and trade resulted to superior economiesbecause of aggressive leadership. The trading routes in the MiddleEast were very volatile as such, only a strong hostile governmentwould establish itself in the trade routes. The Ottoman and ByzantineEmpires were strong powers that ensured success of Europeanexploration and trade these areas.

Thesecond reason for the difference in results of exploration and tradeby Chinese and European States is the availability of favorableconditions for Europe. The geographic position of Europe allowed thecontinent access to the Africa, and more so to Asia in threedifferent routes. Europe is located at the extreme western end of theEastern trade routes. This position allowed the European middlemen toraise the cost of the precious commodities such as silk and spicesbefore passing them to the Chinese middlemen.

Thisallowed the European States to generate more income from trade thanChina. Other favorable geographic position, the medieval religiousfervor also enhanced the difference in exploration results betweenChina and Europe. European captains such as Vasco da Gama, Magellan,and Christopher Columbus had an embedded faith in God’s guidance intheir missions. The Chinese explorers lacked such faith. The Europeanexplorers took it as their duty to convert people to Christianity,thereby creating a dynamic attitude and quest among the Europeans toclaim the world as their own.

TheChinese Treasure Fleets were led by Captain Zheng He. These fleetsexplored the entire Indian Ocean trade network. The fleets extendedtheir voyage to as far as Africa, Arabian Peninsula, South East Asiaand India. Allaby and Garrat (2010) speculate that Captain Zheng Hemay have travelled across the Pacific Ocean to America too. TheChinese Treasure Fleets played a significant role in ensuring theexpansion of Chinese trade.

Accordingto Allaby and Garrat (2010), Spain and Portugal were also among thefirst European countries to establish exploration and tradingempires. However, Portugal was the first to begin distant maritimevoyages in its quest to identify better trading routes. ThePortuguese preferred trading in the Indian Ocean network to thePacific. The geographic characteristics of Portugal such as theextensive coastline that faced out towards the Atlantic made it idealfor longer nautical expeditions.

Spainled exploration westward across the Atlantic Ocean. While theSpaniards were driven by certain misconceptions, they were able toascribe to Columbus’ plan of exploring the Atlantic. EmbracingColumbus’ plan saw Spain drive out the Moors from the stronghold ofGranada. King Ferdinand of Spain ensured that Granada developed intoa major trading empire in Spain. The Island of San Salvador was alsoconquered through the Spanish expeditions.

TheChinese opted to end their voyages in the sixteenth century (Allabyand Garrat, 2010). The motive for ending these voyages was to createthe impression that the Chinese respected humanity. The impressionwas in respect of the effects of the European exploration that hadturned the areas where they explored into their own territories. TheChinese did not ascribe to slavery. From the Chinese connections andculture, the modern world leaders can appreciate the idea ofrespecting humanity whistle developing their areas of jurisdiction.


Allaby,M., &amp Garratt, R. (2010). Exploration:New lands, new worlds.New York: Facts On File.