Though usually depicted as an aspect of the "European miracle", it is argued that imperial expansion is better understood as a world-wide phenomenon of the late medieval and early modern period, in which expanding societies grew outwards and collided from widely separated centres. This first volume in the Expanding World Series examines the potential for worldwide expansion by any region, whether it was China, the Middle East, Africa or the Americas, at the end of the Middle Ages and then explores why these nations failed or gave the initiative to the Europeans.
'What is new here is a resolutely global and multicultural approach, both in the subject matter and in the choice of authors whose selections are included…..although the materials are intended for specialists and libraries, they will eventually contribute to changing the angle of vision in textbooks and trade books.' Choice 'European and Non-European Societies and Christianity and Missions along with the other volumes in An Expanding World should become a standard collection for any academic library. The invaluable bibliography, the variety of themes, and the historical problems will engage students of all levels, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral, in many aspects of early modern and world history for years to come.' Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. XXX, No. 1
Contents: Introduction; Competing technologies: China, Europe and the seas between, Joseph Needham; The Southeast Asian ship: an historical approach, Pierre-Yves Manguin; Méthodes de navigation et cartographie nautique dans l’Océan Indien avant le XVIe siècle, A. Teixeira da Mota; Contending worlds: The treasure-ships of Zheng He: Chinese maritime imperialism in the age of discovery, Robert Finlay; The first Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia in the 15th century, Pin-Tsun Chang; The Ming maritime enterprise and China’s knowledge of Africa prior to the Age of Great Discoveries, Kuei-Sheng Chang; The decline of Middle Eastern trade, 1100-1850, Charles Issawi; The uniqueness of the East, Chris Wickham; Islam: a comment, Michael Cook; The evolution of the Ottoman seaborne empire in the age of the oceanic discoveries, 1453-1525, Andrew C. Hess; Trade and statecraft in the Western Archipelago at the dawn of the European age, Kenneth R. Hall; Le Niger: voie de communication des grands états du Soudan occidental jusqu’Ã la fin du XVIe siècle, Michal Tymowski; The global balance: The history of population and settlement in Eurasia, Abbott Payson Usher; The containment of Islam and the background to European expansion, K. N. Chaudhuri; Index.