Civilization: The West and the Rest - Chapter 1, Competition (Two Rivers, The Eunuch and the Unicorn, The Spice Race, The Mediocre Kingdom) Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 1, Competition (Two Rivers, The Eunuch and the Unicorn, The Spice Race, The Mediocre Kingdom) Summary and Analysis

Why did China fall behind while Europe moved ahead in the 18th century? Adam Smith thought that the Chinese did not encourage foreign commerce, whereas others blamed tyranny and even Confucianism. And yet in the 15th century a trip along two rivers, the Thames and the Yangzi, would have given you a different picture. The Yangzi was coated with development and great populations, along with a Grand Canal. Nanjing, on the Yangzi, was the largest city in the world in 1420, with between half a million and a million people. The Forbidden City, Beijing, was finished in 1420, making Ming China the greatest civilization in the world.

The life along the Thames was a backwater...

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This section contains 970 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Civilization: The West and the Rest Study Guide
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