China&the west

Please answer two of the following questions in essays of approximately 4-5 double-spaced pages each.  Your answers should be thoughtful, well organized, clearly written, and demonstrate a command of the material covered in the readings and lectures.  The questions have been designed to be answered on the basis of the required readings for the course; if you wish to use other readings you may do so, but there is no expectation that you will.  Do take care to cite sources (including course readings) when you use them with page numbers, particularly when you quote them. 

A word of warning. The questions are intentionally broad, and I am sure that some of you could go on at great length in answering any of them. The challenge in that case is to compress what you know into something close to five pages, making your points and supporting them with pertinent historical details.

The completed exams must be submitted by midnight next Monday (May 24th).  Good luck!

1. Describe the role played by trade in the history of Sino-European relations from Yuan times to the Opium Wars.  In your answer you should consider both the commodities that were traded and the merchants who engaged in the trade.

2. Assess the roles of the Jesuits in China as mediators between Chinese and European culture and thought. In what ways, specifically, did they convey information about China to Europe, and about Europe to China? Which of these two processes do feel to have been more significant historically?

3. Both the 17th-18th centuries and the 19th century witnessed Westerners in significant numbers entering China and playing roles in Chinese affairs. What were the most important of these roles in each period and to what extent were they conditioned by differences in the economic and military power of the Chinese and Europeans?

 

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