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By Richard Bulliet, Pamela Crossley, Daniel Headrick, Steven Hirsch, Lyman Johnson

The Earth and Its Peoples used to be one of many first texts to offer international historical past in a balanced, international framework, moving the point of interest clear of political facilities of energy. This really worldwide textual content for the area background survey path employs a primary theme--the interplay of people and the environment--to evaluate diverse occasions, areas, and societies. specific emphasis is given to know-how (in its broadest feel) and the way technological improvement underlies all human job. hugely acclaimed of their fields of analysis, the authors deliver a big selection of workmanship to this system. a mix of robust scholarship and distinct pedagogy provides the booklet its acceptance for rigor and scholar accessibility. The Fourth variation good points large new insurance of worldwide occasions, together with globalization within the new millennium. assurance of China has additionally been generally reorganized and rewritten.

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Extra resources for The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History

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Ref. p. xx 2f. 35. Courtesy, The Dixon Library, State Library of New South Wales) population is descended from Africans who had crossed the 300 miles (500 kilometers) from the mainland to Madagascar, most likely in the centuries leading up to 1500. Other peoples had been using the Indian Ocean for trade since ancient times. The landmasses of Southeast Asia and eastern Africa that enclose the Indian Ocean on each side, and the Indian subcontinent that juts into its middle, provided coasts that seafarers might safely follow and coves for protection.

The fact that most of the ports the fleets visited were important in the Indian Ocean trade suggests that enhancing China’s commerce was also a motive. Yet because the expeditions were far larger than needed for exploration or promoting trade, their main purpose probably was to inspire awe of Ming power and achievements. The Ming expeditions into the Indian Ocean Basin were launched on a scale that reflected imperial China’s resources and importance. The first consisted of sixty-two specially built “treasure ships,” large Chinese junks each about 300 feet long by 150 feet wide (90 by 45 meters).

It would give them new markets for their exports and access to imports cheaper than those that reached them through the middlemen of the overland routes to the Mediterranean. This reaction was evident along the Gold Coast of West Africa, first visited by the Portuguese in 1471. Miners in the hinterland had long sold their gold to African traders, who took it to the trading cities along the southern edge of the Sahara, where it was sold to traders who had crossed the desert from North Africa. Recognizing that they might get more favorable terms from the new visitors from the sea, coastal Africans were ready to negotiate with the royal representative of Portugal who arrived in 1482 seeking permission to erect a trading fort.

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