Novo

Zakaj se je Kitajska lahko združila in ne Evropa?

Zakaj se je Kitajska lahko združila in ne Evropa?

Če pogledate zemljevid Kitajske skozi stoletja, boste običajno našli (približno od Han navzgor) ogromno množico, ki predstavlja Kitajsko. Po drugi strani pa pogledate zemljevid Evrope in običajno boste videli ogromno držav. Zakaj je Kitajska lahko združila Evropo in ne?


Kitajska (ali vsaj njeno jedro) je imela osrednjo, združujočo kulturo, zgrajeno okoli filozofov, kot sta Konfucij in Lao-tse, ki je bila privlačna za ljudi na širokem ozemlju. Prav tako je bil kitajski pisani jezik razvit iz piktogramov, ki so predstavljali "besede", ki pa so lahko na različnih lokacijah različno izgovorjene, vendar bi lahko imele enak pomen na širokih kopenskih območjih.

Ta jedrna kultura je bila zelo cenjena, kar pomeni, da so bili ljudje na "robovih" "Kitajske" pogosto odprti za asimilacijo ali sinicizacijo. Država pa je imela srečo, da so jo ob osvajanju bolj "zaostali" (vendar hujši) ljudje, kot so Mongoli in Mandžusi, z veseljem sprejeli kitajsko kulturo in jo tudi vsiljevali osvojenim ljudem.

V Evropi (s tveganjem prevelike poenostavitve) so bile tri glavne kulturne jezikovne skupine, latinsko, germansko in slovansko, s približno enako močjo in vplivom. Medtem ko se je razmerje moči skozi stoletja spreminjalo naprej in nazaj, nobena skupina ni postala prevladujoča. In pogosto svoje kulture niso mogli vsiliti manjšim podskupinam, ki so jih ovirale. Teoretično bi lahko latinščina izpolnjevala funkcijo skupnega jezika, kot je kitajščina, vendar (razen spremenjenih oblik, kot so francoščina, španščina ali italijanščina, na večini nekdanjih rimskih ozemelj), v ostalih ni nikoli prevzela oblasti Evrope. Tudi v večini Evrope ni bilo skupne kulture, vsaj do razsvetljenstva.


V Rim in Kitajska: Primerjalni pogledi na imperije starega sveta, prvo poglavje Walterja Scheidela, "Od" velike konvergence "do" prve velike razhajanj "", trdi, da se je kitajski slog vlade osredotočal na centralizacijo oblasti, medtem ko je rimski slog omogočal veliko avtonomije imenovanim uradniki.

Doba bojevitih držav se je stoletja spopadala med državami enake velikosti, kar je zahtevalo vladne reforme, ki so okrepile moč osrednje vlade. Qin je uvedel različne ukrepe, ki so oslabili moč plemičev, vzpostavil standarde po vsem kraljestvu (vse od jezika in valute do velikosti osi) in omogočil centralni vladi dostop do vseh področij družbe, pri čemer je bila končna moč v rokah kralj. Ko je Qin osvojil svoje nasprotujoče si države, je skušal ta isti sistem vsiliti po vsej Kitajski in kljub svoji retoriki je Han dejansko sprejel večino Qinovih institucij. Rim je imel razmeroma kratka obdobja, v katerih se je primerjal s nasprotniki podobne moči. Tako njena vojna prizadevanja niso zahtevala enake ravni notranjih reform in centralizacije. Scheidel piše tudi, da:

Poleg tega je bila protobirokratizacija logično nezdružljiva z vladnimi ureditvami Rimske republike, ki jih je nadzorovalo majhno število aristokratskih rodov, ki so se opirali na socialni kapital, odnose pokroviteljstva in manipulacijo obrednih predstav za ohranitev oblasti.

Scheidel ugotavlja, da so kitajska mesta običajno upravljali uradniki, ki so prišli izven regije. Tako so jih obravnavali kot upravnike, ki jih je imenovala vlada, in ne kot vodje skupnosti, ki so oblikovali mestne svete v mestih rimskega cesarstva. V času neenotnosti so kitajski vojskovodje bolj verjetno nastopili kot pretendenti na prestol kot kot predstavniki regionalnih interesov.

Kar zadeva filozofijo in religijo, je Kitajska temeljila na kombinaciji legalizma in konfucianizma. Oba sta poudarila pomen centraliziranega nadzora in urejene družbe. Rim je nastal najprej na poganstvu, nato na krščanstvu. Scheidel prvega ne omenja, Edward Gibbon pa trdi, da je poganstvo omogočilo večjo toleranco do lokalnih običajev na osvojenih območjih, zato je smiselno, da to omogoča tudi večje sprejemanje avtonomne vlade. Ko se je Rim obrnil na krščanstvo, je šlo za "cerkve, ki so se razvile zunaj in v nekem smislu v nasprotju s cesarsko državo" in zato "niso mogle ponuditi primerljivih storitev" v smislu upravljanja konfucijanskim učenjakom.


Mislim, da to izvira tako iz geografskih kot kulturnih dejavnikov. Sprva je skoraj tako, kot je rekel Jim Thio, le da morda niso ravno gore.

Če pogledate zgodnje kmetijske družbe na zahodu, bi to bile 1) ob reki Nil (Egipt) in 2) med rekama Tigris in Evfrat (Mezopotamija). To sta dva kraja, ki jih ne ločujejo gore, ampak morje in puščava. Pozneje so na otoku Kreti in na grškem polotoku obstajala tudi kmetijska društva (ki jih je morje odrezalo tako od Mezopotamije kot od Egipta). Če pogledate prve kmetijske družbe v vzhodni Aziji, bi se te nahajale predvsem med Rumeno reko in reko Yangtze, večinoma na Severnokitajski nižini.

Na zahodu je raznolika pokrajina preprečevala, da bi se zgodnje kulture neposredno "srečale" med seboj, in ko so se dejansko "spoznale", so postale že zelo različne. Ko se je podcelina, znana kot "Evropa", uveljavila (to se je zgodilo pozno, ker se Evropa nahaja severno od Kitajske; Evropa je približno na isti zemljepisni širini kot Japonska ali Koreja, ki kljub temu, da sta bili vsaj 1000 let pr. kmetijstvo, ki se je začelo pred 5000 pr. Za natančno opisovanje te vrste kulture bi trajalo veliko časa, skratka za individualistično kulturo, ki ji v resnici ni mar za vlado in državo. To je bila neke vrste kultura, ki se je poskušala distancirati od rimske vladavine in cesarstva, saj je bilo to pravilo v resnici nasilno.

Na drugi strani na Kitajskem ni bilo tako močnih geografskih ovir v zgodnjih fazah civilizacije. Zato so se različne države od zgodnjih časov nenehno spopadale med seboj (posledično so združevale različne kulture, da so oblikovale pravo Kitajsko). Legalistična in konfucijanska morala in politična etika, ki sta bili omenjeni tukaj, sta bili pravzaprav odgovor na te stalne spore. Kar zadeva to, pa konfucijanstvu pravzaprav ni bilo mar za verska prepričanja in lokalne običaje, bolj se je osredotočal na družbeni red in politiko.

Zato imamo na zahodu 1) zelo malo rodovitne zemlje za zgodnje kmetijstvo (za zgodnje kmetijstvo mora biti zemlja zelo rodovitna, tako da je kmetijstvo ugodnejše od zbiranja lovcev) 2) glavne religije/filozofije (platonizem, zoroastrizem, manihejstvo, Judaizem-> krščanstvo), ki se je začelo okoli 5. stoletja pred našim štetjem in se osredotočalo na združevanje zelo raznolikih kultur.

Po drugi strani pa imamo na Kitajskem 1) veliko rodovitne zemlje, ki obsega "Kitajsko", ki ima relativno malo naravnih meja, od katerih večina ni tako pomembna kot morje ali puščava. (Zaradi argumentacije so bili na Kitajskem v preteklosti težko dostopni kraji - deli Vietnama in Tajske na jugu in Koreja na severu. V nekaterih časih je Kitajska dejansko nadzorovala te dežele, a za kratek čas in ti narodi zagotovo ne trdijo, da so sami Kitajci - tako kot se Britanci ne trdijo, da so Rimljani.) Obstajale so tudi 2) glavne religije/filozofije (konfucijanstvo, legalizem, taoizem) niso poskušale združiti skupnih kultur, ampak so vrstni red stvari, ki je nad temi kulturami.


Napačna predpostavka, da Evropa nikoli ni bila politično enotna.

Prvič, v starih časih je bil kulturni razvoj različnih evropskih narodov zelo raznolik. Najnaprednejša ljudstva Evrope so sprejela grško kulturo, abecedo in bogove. To lahko vidite na primeru Etruščanov, ki so uporabljali grško abecedo in častili grške bogove. Enako lahko rečemo za balkanska ljudstva, španska ljudstva in do neke mere tudi za Italijane. Germanska in keltska ljudstva so takrat za svoje jezike uporabljala tudi grško abecedo.

Grška civilizacija na svojem vrhuncu ni vključevala le najbolj civiliziranih delov Evrope, temveč tudi dele Bližnjega vzhoda in Afrike. Severna Evropa ni bila vključena predvsem zato, ker takrat še ni bila tako razvita.

Kasneje je sledila rimska civilizacija, ki je vključevala tudi najbolj civilizirane dele Evrope in Sredozemlja z nekaterimi drugimi območji kot državami odjemalci.

V srednjem veku sta katoliška cerkev in Sveti sedež prevzela isto vlogo.

Šele z visokim srednjim vekom so evropski narodi začeli uveljavljati suverenost, deloma zaradi padca avtoritete in prestiža cerkve.


Najprej statistični podatki kažejo, da je bila Kitajska 44% svojega časa pod enotno vladavino. Za Evropo je to 18%. Zato želimo vedeti, zakaj (in upajmo, da je to vprašanje smiselno). Torej je a primerjalno zgodovino vprašanje. Za vzpostavitev primerjalne zgodovine je treba vložiti veliko truda in ne slepo primerjavo. Na to temo je zelo dober uvod Rim in Kitajska, primerjalni pogledi na imperije starega sveta, uredili Walter Scheidel & al. Njegovo prvo poglavje, teza Walterja Scheidela "Od" velike konvergence "do" prve velike razhajanj ": nastanek rimske in Qin-Han države in njene posledice", daje okus nedavnemu znanstvenemu delu o tem vprašanju.

Treba je opozoriti, da pojem "ponovna združitev"ne leži v temeljih Rima ali cesarstva Qin-Han, saj nista imela koncepta ponovne združitve."Ponovna združitev"je zgolj politična vizija (Evropa) ali resničnost (Kitajska), ustvarjena v kaosu po razpadu imperijev. Scheidel trdi,"Trajektoriji oblikovanja države so se signalno razlikovali od šestega stoletja pr. naprej", kdaj "Justinijanov poskus ponovne združitve prvotnega rimskega cesarstva je bil le delno uspešen"in Evropa je na koncu prišla"v skupini politik, v katerih so uravnotežilni mehanizmi preprečili nastanek jedrskega imperija"ker"v 6 c.e. Kitajska je v nasprotju s cesarsko ponovno združitvijo obnovila birokratsko državo, ki je v veliki meri uspela«(str. 5-6).

Za raziskovanje globljega razloga takega izida, če obstaja, je avtor predlagal, da "lahko so bili pomembni številni dejavniki. "Pravzaprav vsi dejavniki ne podpirajo ponovne združitve Kitajske in proti Evropi. Eden od primerov je geografija. Sredozemlje je omogočilo veliko hitrejši in varnejši promet, ki je povezoval pokrajine rimskega cesarstva, medtem ko so reke in gore na Kitajskem komunicirale dražji zanj. Drug primer je religija. Po Rimu se je krščanstvo razširilo po Evropi. Nasprotno pa se je na Kitajskem več religij, zlasti budizem in taoizem, borilo za moč in vire, ki so se razširili na čas po ponovni združitvi Kitajske pod Tangom.

Med številnimi dejavniki, ki spodbujajo ponovno združitev Kitajske, je v članku eden velikih začetnikov zmogljivosti države. "Res je, da so konfucijanski učenjaki zagotovili primeren instrument za upravljanje države, medtem ko je odsotnost enakovredne skupine na krščanskem zahodu post-rimskim režimom oteževala vzdrževanje ali obnovo "močne" države"(str. 21). Kitajska je sčasoma premagala tuje izzive in ponovno obnovila enotni imperij (Sui-Tang). Podobnih izzivov v Evropi niso uspešno obvladali.


Po Evropi je vedno nekdo uporabljal strategijo razdeli in osvoji. Ko je bil rimski imperij na vrhuncu, so nenehno napadali ali podpirali sovražnike najmočnejših germanskih plemen, da bi zagotovili, da nobeno od njih ne bo postalo premočno. Tudi tisti, ki so obupano poskušali postati prijatelji z Rimljani ... če bi bili premočni ... mir je bil nemogoč. Kot je spominsko rekel Avgust, rimski cesar: "Poskrbeli bomo, da bomo vedno podpirali šibkejšo stran, da se bodo lahko borili proti močnejšim, mi pa lepo sedimo in germanska plemena nam ne predstavljajo več težav" Avgust , Rim, 9.d. Vir: Bitka proti Rimu 2/2 (Youtube).

Enako je bilo pozneje, razen takrat so Britanci skrbeli, da nihče ne bi postal preveč močan. Večina afriških držav, ki so jih ustvarili, so bili narodi, ki jih domačini v resnici niso želeli ustvariti in so bili narejeni posebej z mislijo na državljansko vojno. Sudan na primer: Videographic: Zgodovina sodobnega Sudana (YouTube).

Ko so Francozi leta 1812 postali močni, so Britanci naredili vse, da bi jih oslabili. Nato se je Nemčija začela povečevati leta 1880 in do leta 1910 so se jim tokrat pridružili Britanci.

Tudi pri posilstvu v Versaillu leta 1919 je bila strategija loči in osvoji, temeljito uporabljena za srednjo Evropo. Češkoslovaška in Poljska sta nastali na zraku, Nemčija pa se je skrčila in morala plačati ogromne globe itd. Tudi Avstro-Ogrska, glavni zaveznik Nemčije, je bila popolnoma razpuščena. Zemljevid Evrope leta 1900:

Zemljevid Evrope, 1900.

Torej ta delitev v Evropi ni naključje, ampak zasnova. Enako velja za Bližnji vzhod in Afriko.

Toda zakaj nekdo ni ohranil delitve znotraj Kitajske na enak način ... no, zahod je v 19. stoletju poskušal razbiti Kitajsko, država je bila razdeljena na pokrajine, vsaka pod jurisdikcijo določene zahodne države. Težava je bila v tem, da so bili Kitajci veliko bolj naseljeni kot ves zahodni svet skupaj, poleg tega pa je bilo potovanje na to razdaljo še vedno precej drago. Zato je bilo vzdrževanje velike vojske, ki je bila tako daleč, logistično težko. Tudi protizahodno razpoloženje na Kitajskem je s časom raslo in sčasoma postalo tako, da je življenje tamkajšnjih zahodnjakov postalo slabo. Tudi ZDA so bile proti kakršnim koli trgovinskim omejitvam s Kitajsko.


Velike civilizacije Evrazije so se večinoma dvignile okoli rek, ki gredo skozi velike rodovitne ravnice. To velja za mezopotamsko, egipčansko, indijsko in kitajsko civilizacijo.

Edini evropski kandidat, vzhodnoevropske ravnice z Volgo, je bilo prehladno in z ostrimi zimami, da bi omogočile veliko neolitsko/bronasto dobo. Kot taka Evropa v tem času ni bila kandidatka za združitev in zmožnost ohranjanja evropskega imperija skupaj brez ene velike reke, saj je srce komunikacije verjetno nastala šele v času renesanse.

Da se Evropa torej ni združila šele v zadnjih nekaj desetletjih (in tudi takrat je precej razdeljena na dva dela: Rusija in EU), s čisto geografskega vidika ni presenetljivo. Evropa je "polotok polotokov" in ni geografskih značilnosti za rast civilizacije.

Težje vprašanje je, zakaj je le Rimu uspelo združiti Sredozemlje.


Poglejte internet. Brez vstopne ovire. Zato google zgrabi vso nišo. To so take stvari. Zdaj pa poglejte lokalno trgovino. Zakaj se ne razširijo vse do arabskega?

Odgovor je nekaj, kar se imenuje vstopna ovira. Razširitev googla na soseda je tako draga kot na arabskega. Tako se širijo povsod. Vaša lokalna kavarna nima tega razkošja.

Enako velja na Kitajskem. Brez gora pomeni, da za najbolj discipliniranega, pametnega, meritokratskega kralja ni vstopne ovire, da bi se razširil povsod (to je res slabo, vendar zveni pozitivno).

V Evropi imajo gore, ki silijo kralje, da vzdržujejo niše.

Kitajska vsebuje veliko zemlje. Poslovno gledano ni vstopne ovire za tiste, ki imajo nižje mejne stroške, da se razširijo na novo ozemlje.

Evropa je gorata.

Reci, da zmagujem. Morda imam najboljšo vojsko. Ljudje se me lahko bolj bojijo. Za mene je to, da se zjebeš z drugimi, ceneje kot za mene, da se boriš proti meni. A žal je vse te gore težko potovati. Kmetje ne govorijo mojega jezika.

Z drugimi besedami, v Evropi je branilec dobil več prednosti "domačega ozemlja". Na Kitajskem imajo napadalci približno enako prednost kot branilci.

Opomba: Primer treh kraljestvenih obdobij na Kitajskem, kjer Kitajska NI združena, dejansko podpira moje stališče. Cao Cao ne more osvojiti Sun Quan ravno zato, ker je na poti reka (ali tako poenostavljeno rečeno). Tako meja naravnega stanja pogosto sovpada s težko prehodnim terenom. Evropa ga ima več kot Kitajska.


Kitajski vladarji so vzpostavili obsežen sistem izobraževanja in letnih izpitov, ki vsem v državi omogoča služenje vladi in dvig družbe. Ta namerno zasnovan sistem za mobilnost navzgor ni bil viden v nobeni drugi državi tistega časa in je morda služil kot katalizator za vse ljudi, da bi se asimilirali in postali zvesti državljani. Pravzaprav so bile te filozofije in vrednote (predvsem Konfucij) del njihovega študija in so bile preizkušene na nacionalnih izpitih.


Menim, da je to deloma povezano z dostopom do obale. Države in mestne države, zlasti v starejših časih, so za trgovanje in uspeh potrebovale ladijske poti. Regije, ki se nahajajo v notranjosti celine, so bile močno odvisne od obalnih regij, da bi jim omogočile dostop do teh trgovskih poti. Tako so te obalne regije postale bogate in močne, medtem ko so bile tiste v notranjosti nekoliko prikrajšane. Zaradi tega so obalna območja zlahka izvajala moč in vpliv, zato je bilo smiselno, da so sodelovala tudi tista, ki so bolj v notranjosti.

Če pogledate Evropo, noben del ni oddaljen od obale, zato je bilo igrišče veliko bolj enakomerno in zaradi lažjega dostopa do morja so lahko bolj samozadostni. Na Kitajskem so imela vzhodna območja očitno trgovsko prednost, zato so se velika mesta, kot sta Peking in Šanghaj, razvila na vzhodni obali.

Seveda so obstajale tudi notranje trgovske poti, tako kot pot svile, zato ni povsem enostransko. Zato je smiselno, da so celinske in obalne regije sodelovale, da bi čim bolje izkoristile mednarodno trgovino.


Temelj ideala kitajščine za različna sinitska ljudstva (severni Han, Wu, kantonski, min itd.) Je bil morda močnejši od krščanstva v Evropi in prestiža rimskega cesarstva. Poleg (in z njimi povezanih) sta bila nacionalizem in individualizem v Evropi lahko dejavnik, Kitajci pa bolj družbena skupnost.


Mislim, da ne gre le za to, da je "kitajska kultura bila boljša od vseh drugih v regiji, medtem ko so bile evropske kulture med seboj enakovredne", kot pravi sprejeti odgovor.

Namesto tega mislim, da je to preprosto povezano z zgodovino.

V Evropi je bilo obdobje močnih mestnih držav. Ideja je bila, da bi skupina ljudi, ki so se združili, da bi živeli v velikem mestu, nadzorovali in uporabljali vire svoje zemlje zase in jim ne bi bilo treba deliti (prisilno ali ne) z drugimi. Menili so, da mora vsako mesto skrbeti zase.

Ta pojem je ostal pri Evropejcih skozi stoletja in vedno so bile skupine, ki so raje ohranjale majhne meje in jih širitev ni zanimala, vse, kar so želele, je bilo skrbeti za svojo skupnost.

Tudi ko so se pojavile stvari, kot je rimski imperij, se je sčasoma razpadel zaradi želje, da bi morali biti ljudje del manjših, bolj intimnih skupin in ne velikih narodov in imperijev. To se je ponavljalo skozi zgodovino - in kadar koli narod poskuša prevzeti velike količine zemlje v Evropi, se sčasoma raztopi nazaj v veliko manjše skupine. Ker ljudje tako želijo.

Na Kitajskem se to ni zgodilo. Ni bilo velikega obdobja "mesto-država", v katerem bi se ljudje navezali na idejo, da stvari ostanejo lokalne. Tudi med manjšimi državami, ki so na začetku obstajale, se zdi, da jih je bolj zanimalo osvajanje sosedov, ne pa skrb zase.

To ostaja še danes. Kitajska je ena največjih držav na svetu, Evropa pa je polna veliko manjših držav, ki se še vedno razpadajo, da bi bile čim manjše (Črna gora se je pred nekaj leti ločila od Srbije). Kdaj je skupina na Kitajskem nazadnje ločena od države? Kaj pa mirno ločena? Še dolgo ne!

Tudi zato so koncepti, kot je komunizem, priljubljeni na Kitajskem, kjer ni občutka za lokalizacijo. V svoji zgodovini so vedno delili zemljo in vire s čim več ljudmi (vsi v velikem kraljestvu). Medtem je v Evropi, od časa mestnih držav do danes, vedno obstajal občutek lokalnosti z vsem. Ljudje si želijo le deliti vire s svojo družino in bližnjimi sosedi, ne želijo jih deliti z ljudmi stotine kilometrov stran. Zato so koncepti, kot je komunizem, v Evropi propadli, tam še nikoli ni bilo zgodovine »deljenja« v velikem obsegu.


Naj v to razpravo vložim svoja dva centa. Drugi razlogi, zaradi katerih se je Kitajska lahko združila zaradi rase in vere.

Kitajska ima eno prevladujočo etnično skupino Han, ki si deli skupni pisni jezik („hanzi“) in skupne družinske vezi (milijoni Li, Zhang, Chen itd.).

Kitajci so na splošno versko agnostiki. Zato na Kitajskem že tisočletja sobivajo budizem in taoizem. Kitajci bolj verjamejo v "srečo", tj. karma kot katera koli posebna religija.


Združitev Kitajske

Kublaijev dosežek je bil ponovna vzpostavitev enotnosti Kitajske, ki je bila razdeljena od konca dinastije Tang (618–907). Njegov dosežek je bil toliko večji, ker je bil barbar (v kitajskih očeh) pa tudi nomadski osvajalec. Tudi v kitajskem uradnem zgodovinopisju pa mongolski Kublai obravnavajo s spoštovanjem. Že leta 1260 je na kitajski način uvedel obdobje vladavine do svoje vladavine, leta 1271, osem let pred razpadom pesmi Nan, pa je razglasil svojo dinastijo pod naslovom Da Yuan ali »Veliki izvor«. Nikoli ni bival v Karakorumu, kratkotrajni prestolnici Ögödeija, ampak je ustanovil lastno prestolnico v današnjem Pekingu, mestu, ki je bilo v tistem času znano kot Dadu, "velika prestolnica".

Končno osvajanje pesmi Nan je trajalo nekaj let. Kublai bi se lahko zadovoljil z vladanjem severne Kitajske in prepuščanjem pesmi nominalno obvladovanju južne Kitajske, toda pridržanje pesmi in slabo ravnanje z odposlanci, ki jih je poslal, so ga prepričali, da je treba odločno obravnavati padajoči režim na jugu. Vojaške operacije so se znova začele leta 1267. Cesarja Song Duzonga so očitno slabo postregli njegovi zadnji ministri, ki naj bi ga napačno obveščali o resničnem stanju, medtem ko so številni poveljniki pesmi prostovoljno odšli k Mongolom. Leta 1276 je Kublajev general Bayan ujel otroškega cesarja dnevne pesmi, vendar so lojalisti na jugu odložili neizogiben konec do leta 1279.

Ker je bila vsa Kitajska v rokah Mongolov, so mongolska osvajanja na jugu in vzhodu dosegla svojo dejansko mejo. Kublai, ki je želel obnoviti kitajski ugled, se je vpletel v vrsto dragih in težavnih vojn, ki so prinesle malo donosa. V različnih časih so od obrobnih kraljestev zahtevali davek: od Mjanmara (Burme), od Annama in Champa v celinski jugovzhodni Aziji, od Jave (zdaj v Indoneziji) in od Japonske. Mongolska vojska je v teh pohodih doživela nekaj katastrofalnih porazov. Invazijske flote, poslane na Japonsko v letih 1274 in 1281, so bile tako rekoč uničene, čeprav je bila njihova izguba tako zaradi neviht (v teh letih japonskih tajfunov kamikaze) kot zaradi japonskega upora.

Kublai ni bil nikoli popolnoma obupan zaradi ravnodušnih rezultatov teh kolonialnih vojn niti zaradi njihovih stroškov, zato so jih končali šele pod njegovim naslednikom Temürjem. Marco Polo meni, da je Kublai želel priključiti Japonsko samo zato, ker so ga navdušila poročila o njenem velikem bogastvu. Zdi pa se, da so se njegove kolonialne vojne vodile predvsem s političnim ciljem - ponovno vzpostaviti Kitajsko kot središče sveta.


Zakaj se na Kitajskem ni zgodila industrijska revolucija

Ekonomskim zgodovinarjem, kot je Joel Mokyr, ni nič neizogibnega glede neverjetnega bogastva in zdravja sodobnega sveta. Toda za iskrico v majhnem kotičku Evrope, ki je sprožila industrijsko revolucijo - ki je razširila neverjeten napredek v tehnologiji in življenjskem standardu najprej po severni atlantski obali v letih 1700 in 1800 in postopoma po vsem svetu - bi lahko vsi živeli grdo, brutalno in kratko življenje naših prednikov stoletja prej.

Mokyr, ki poučuje na severozahodni univerzi, se v naslednji knjigi "Kultura rasti: izvor sodobnega gospodarstva" poglobi v skrivnost, kako je svet iz revščine postal tako bogat v samo nekaj stoletjih.

Na podlagi stoletnih filozofij in znanstvenega napredka Mokyr trdi, da obstaja razlog za industrijsko revolucijo v Evropi in ne na primer na Kitajskem, ki je v prejšnjih stoletjih kazala znake napredovanja več: Evropa je razvila edinstveno kulturo konkurenčni znanstveni in intelektualni napredek, ki je bil brez primere in sploh ni bil vnaprej določen.

Ta intervju je bil urejen zaradi dolžine in jasnosti.

Zakaj je pomembno razmisliti o tem vprašanju, zakaj je prišlo do industrijske revolucije?

To je vprašanje, ki si ga je treba zastaviti, če želimo vedeti, kako smo postali to, kar smo. 19. in 20. stoletje sta v mnogih pogledih najbolj spreminjajoča se stoletja v celotni zgodovini človeštva. Do približno leta 1800 je bila velika večina ljudi na tem planetu revnih. Ko rečem reven, mislim, da so bili večino svojega življenja na robu fizične lakote.

Pričakovana življenjska doba leta 1750 je bila največ okoli 38, ponekod pa precej nižja. Zamisel, da bi danes živeli 80 let in večino teh preživeli v prostem času, je povsem nepričakovana. Nižji srednji razred v zahodnih in azijskih industrializiranih družbah ima danes višji življenjski standard kot papež in cesarji pred nekaj stoletji v vseh razsežnostih. To je rezultat ene stvari: naše sposobnosti, da razumemo sile narave in jih izkoristimo za svoje gospodarske potrebe.

Če bi razumeli, kako se je to zgodilo, bi razumeli človeško zgodovino. Tisoče let so se materialni pogoji, v katerih so ljudje živeli, zelo malo spremenili. Nato se nenadoma, leta 1800, le poveča.

To je prišlo iz zahodne Evrope in je izšlo v Severni Ameriki po letu 1800. Če ne bi bilo tako, bi z vami gledali na pričakovano življenjsko dobo morda 40 let in verjetno ne bi srkali kapučina iz domišljijski stroj in se pogovarjam s tabo na pametnem telefonu. Poglejte, kaj smo dosegli v vseh dimenzijah. Tehnologija ni samo povečala naših prihodkov, spremenila je vsak vidik vsakdanjega življenja.

Vprašanje je, ali je bilo vse to neizogibno? Moj odgovor je, absolutno ne.

Zakaj je torej prišlo do te dramatične spremembe? In zakaj se je začelo v Evropi in ne na Kitajskem?

Kitajska ima v svojih znanstvenih dosežkih veličastno preteklost. Pa vendar tega nikoli niso mogli spremeniti v gospodarsko rast, kot je to storil Zahod. Če pogledate Evropo in Kitajsko v 19. stoletju, Evropa napreduje z osupljivo hitrostjo. Gradi železniško omrežje, parnike, tovarne. V začetku 20. stoletja je bilo videti, da bodo Kitajsko popolnoma okupirale imperialistične sile. Jasno je, da sta se tehnološki in gospodarski razvoj vzhoda in zahoda od leta 1850 dalje razlikovala. Vprašanje za 64.000 dolarjev je "Zakaj?"

Ljudje so dali različne odgovore, jaz pa svoje. Eden od načinov razmišljanja o tem je kultura. A če trdim: "Hej, Kitajci imajo drugačno kulturo, ker so bili konfuciani, Evropejci pa kristjani," tega ne kupim niti za sekundo. Je veliko bolj subtilno in zapleteno. Tako bi lahko izrazil, da kultura ni neodvisna od političnih in institucionalnih okoliščin.

Kitajska in Evropa sta si v marsičem različni, a eno je, da Kitajska po mongolskem osvajanju v 12. stoletju ostaja enotno cesarstvo, ki ga vodi ena sama mandarinska birokracija. Nič ne konkurira Kitajski in ji ne grozi. Leta 1644 so plemena Manchu vdrla na Kitajsko, vendar ne spremenijo strukture države. Naučili so se govoriti kitajsko, oblačiti se po kitajsko in jesti kot kitajsko.

V Evropi nikomur ne uspe poenoteti in imate stalno konkurenco. Francozi so zaskrbljeni za Angleže, Angleži za Špance, Španci za Turke. Tako so vsi na dlani, kar ekonomisti takoj prepoznajo kot konkurenčni model. Za napredek želite sistem, ki je konkurenčen, ne sistem, v katerem prevladuje ena moč.

Mislim, da je to glavna razlika. Ne samo, da Kitajska nima industrijske revolucije, nima Galilea, Newtona ali Descartesa, ljudi, ki so napovedali, da je vse, kar so ljudje počeli pred njimi, narobe. To je težko narediti v kateri koli družbi, vendar je bilo v Evropi lažje kot na Kitajskem. Razlog je ravno v tem, da je bila Evropa razdrobljena, in ko kdo reče nekaj zelo novega in radikalnega, če se vlada odloči, da je heretik in jim grozi s pregonom, spakirajo kovček in gredo čez mejo.

Evropa ustvarja konkurenčen svet, ki spodbuja intelektualne inovacije. Obstaja reformacija, ki pravi, da je vera, ki ste jo imeli do zdaj, napačna. Enako se dogaja v astronomiji, kemiji, medicini, matematiki in filozofiji. Sčasoma se to odraža na tem, kako izdelujemo tekstil in čevlje ter kako pridelujemo koruzo.

Pojasniti želim, da zelo malo resnih zgodovinarjev meni, da Kitajska ni uspela. Kitajska si je želela stabilnosti in varnosti in to jim je dolgo uspelo. Evropejci ne želijo stabilnosti. Želijo si napredka. Seveda stabilnost Kitajske motijo ​​Evropejci, ki se pojavljajo z močnejšimi ladjami in puškami. Sčasoma se Kitajska pod napadom evropske modernosti sesuje. To je precej tragična zgodba.

Vaša knjiga govori o tem, kako je industrijska revolucija nastala zaradi raje "uporabnega znanja" in povezave, ki nastane med družbeno elito in produktivnim sektorjem družbe. Razloži to.

Med Columbusovim potovanjem v Ameriko leta 1492 in smrtjo Isaaca Newtona leta 1727 se dnevni red raziskav v Evropi spremeni. Večino človeške zgodovine so ljudje preučevali znanost in naravne pojave ne zato, da bi bili materialno boljši, ampak samo zato, da bi zadovoljili radovednost. Stari Grki so dosegli fantastičen znanstveni napredek, vendar je le malo primerov, ko ga uporabljajo za karkoli. Aristotel pravzaprav pravi, da se znanosti ne sme uporabljati, ker je delo nekaj za nižje sloje. Učeni ljudje niso delali, delovni ljudje pa se niso učili.

Pred industrijsko revolucijo so učenci v Evropi spremenili agendo. Pravijo: "Glej, morali bi preučiti naravo, vendar bi morali to narediti, da bi izboljšali naše materialno blaginjo." Ljudem danes to zveni popolnoma očitno. Toda to ni bilo leta 1600. Do 18. stoletja je to postalo soglasje. That’s what I call the Industrial Enlightenment.

Many of the scientific issues they were trying to solve, they couldn’t. But they kept trying, and by the 19 th century, they start cracking problems. Electricity is one example. For 100 years, people struggle with trying to harness its power. Only by the 1860s is electrical generation cracked, and then all of a sudden you get Thomas Edison, electrical lighting and street cars. The same thing happened in the understanding of infectious disease, which is the main reason life expectancy goes up. These advances took a long time. But they never gave up, and in the end they cracked it. If you think about it, this is quite astonishing.

Now we haven’t cracked everything. I can’t tell you if we are going to crack nuclear fusion. But that’s what this game is all about, that nature is comprehensible, and we can understand and use it. We can never understand 100 percent of it, but we can do better and better.

In China today, people often talk about the country’s rich history of invention, for example of printing, gunpowder and the compass. And you mention that China had its own Enlightenment. So how was that different?

China was extremely innovative in its heyday, which is basically under the Song dynasty, which ended in 1279. At that time, European and Islamic travelers realized that China was leading the world in technology. And China does have kind of an Enlightenment. And yet, in the end, they did not turn that innovation into sustained economic growth.

I believe the fundamental reason is China’s position as a single empire, and also its bureaucracy, which is a unique and peculiar animal. On the one hand, it is very progressive, because it is a meritocracy. In Europe, the people who were in power were the sons and nephews of other people in power. But in China there’s an examination, and the people who did the best rose in the Mandarin civil service. So you’d think, “Wow, that’s very progressive.” Except if you look at what they were studying for these exams, they were simply regurgitating the classics. It was the perfect tool to keep reproducing from the same mold generation after generation.

In Europe, something different happens. People study classical knowledge, Ptolemy and Hippocrates and Archimedes, and they begin to say, “Most of this stuff is wrong.” You couldn’t do that in China. If you said “This stuff is wrong,” you failed your exam. But in Europe, the ability to challenge received wisdom is irrepressible.

In the 17 th century, Europeans build microscopes, telescopes and barometers that allow them to study nature in a way the classics never could. And they become rather cocky. There’s a French philosopher in the late 16 th century, Pierre de La Ramée, who writes a book with the title “Everything Aristotle Has Said Is Wrong.” That’s chutzpah. A century earlier, he would have been strung up.

For example, Aristotle famously thought that a vacuum was impossible. Then one day, Europeans build a vacuum pump. The only conclusion they could reach is Aristotle is wrong. If he was wrong about that, could he be wrong about other things? You bet. Aristotle thought all the stars in the heavens were completely fixed nothing is added and nothing is subtracted. In 1573, a Danish astronomer called Tycho Brahe observes a supernova. There was a star there before, and now it’s not. So people start being skeptical, and skepticism leads to what I call contestability. Arguments are decided not on authority, but on evidence, logic and mathematical proof.

That seems perfectly normal to us, but it’s something that had to be learned. It’s something no other society pulls off. In other places, wisdom and knowledge were revealed to our forefathers, and if you want to know the truth, you have to study their writings, whether it’s the Bible, or Confucius, or the Koran, or the Talmud.

What implications does all this have for our world today?

There’s a debate about the extent to which everything that can be invented has been invented. Have we picked all the low hanging fruit, can we continue to grow the way we did? I take a very optimistic view. I think if you want to summarize the future of technology, the short summary is, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

The reason I say this is because science advances in part because people have the tools to work on problems. In the scientific advances of the 17 th century, the microscope, the telescope and the barometer play a very important role. Now, if you ask what science has to work with today, it boggles the mind. We have microscopes that see the sub-molecular level. We have telescopes that see galaxies nobody dreamed existed. We have labs full of computers. A computer can find nanoscopic needles in a hay stack the size of Montana. The question is not, “What do computers do for our research?” The question people ask today is, “How the hell did anyone do anything before we had computers?”

We are going to make so much more progress, simply because we have more powerful tools. As science advances, it will push our capability of controlling nature further. Now, the problems also get harder. We are dealing with issues like climate change and desertification. But our capability of solving them is going even faster, which is why I’m optimistic.


Reference

Allen, Robert C (2009), The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective, Cambridge University Press.

Allen, Robert C, Jean-Pascal Bassino, Christine Moll-Murata, and Jan Luiten van Zanden (2011), “Wages, Prices, and Living Standards in China, Japan, and Europe, 1738-1925”, to be published in Economic History Review, letn. 64, issue 1.

Pomeranz, K (2000), The Great Divergence. China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy, Princeton University Press.


The Northern Song Wars (960–1127): Stalemate and Disaster

For about 150 years, the result of the Song wars was stalemate. They couldn't conquer their neighbors, but they didn't lose significant territory to them either. So they maintained their territorial integrity, and they were able to prosper in their boundaries until 1127.

When Emperor Taizu began reigning over empire in 960, the Liao Empire in the northeast was a military threat. The court also desired the territory of the Western Xia in the northwest. There were conflicts with the Viets in the south. First Taizu and then his descendants tried to address these foreign affairs issues. Instead of just trying to live at peace with these powerful neighbors, they choose to invade with disastrous results.

The Failed Invasion of the Western Xia

The Western Xia Mausoleum. Ruins such as this one are all the architecture that remains of the Western Xia.

The Tangut people had a large kingdom called Western Xia (1038–1227) in the northwest that controlled access to the strategic Gansu land corridor, a huge long valley, that permitted travel and trade on the Silk Road. The Tangut people had been a part of the Tang Empire, but they formed a large kingdom of their own when the Tang Empire disintegrated.

As the Song Empire expanded in the late 900s, they resisted them. The Song Dynasty thought that if they could gain the Xia territory, they could perhaps reestablish the lucrative Silk Road trade that benefited the earlier Han (206 BC – 220 AD) and Tang Dynasties.

The Song Dynasty managed to win several military victories over the Tanguts in the early 11th century. Then, a leading scientist and scientific writer named Shen Kuo (1031-1095) who wrote a then leading-edge scientific book called The Dream Pool Essays undertook to lead an army against them. This expedition was a disaster, and the Tanguts regained territory they had lost earlier.

Defeated Again in an Invasion of the Viets

The Song court, stymied in the northwest, next wanted to expand south to annex the Viet territory. The Ly Dynasty behaved as vassals, but the Song court thought that the country was weak enough to conquer.

In response, the Ly Dynasty sent an army of perhaps 100,000 to Nanning and soundly defeated three Song armies. From 1075 to 1077, the Ly Dynasty in Vietnam fought them. This war ended in a stalemate also. Captives and captured land were mutually exchanged.

These two failed invasions weakened their military strength and the court's finances. They may have been key factors in the dynasty's downfall.

Their Disastrous War Against the Liao Empire in 1125

The Liao Empire (907–1125) was an aggressive enemy na severovzhodu. They forced the Northern Song Dynasty to give some tribute in 1005. The Northern Song Dynasty sought to defeat the Liao. They allied themselves with the Jurchens (or Jin) and started a war that ended in their disaster in the year 1125.

The combined armies of the Jurchens and the Song defeated the Liao Empire. Then the Jurchens turned against the Song Empire and captured Kaifeng that was the Song capital city. Oni captured the emperor and much of the ruling clan in 1129. Eventually, the Jin captured about 40 percent of the Northern Song Empire's territory.

A member of the emperor's clan evaded capture, and he became the first emperor of the Southern Song with the imperial name Gaozong. He evaded Jurchen attempts to capture him and an attempted Song coup. The Jurchens made Kaifeng their capital and founded the Jin Empire (1115–1234).


How did Qin Shi Huangdi unify China? Essay Sample

Qin Shi Huangdi or commonly known as just Qin Shi Huang, was the emperor of China from 221BC. Qin Shi Huang (then known as Ying Zheng) became the King of Qin at the age of 13 but did not assume control until he was 22. He was the one responsible for unifying china. Qin Shi Huang assumed autocratic control, introducing a new currency, and by creating a unified system of weights and measures, writing and currency. Qin Shi Huang was both a brutal tyrant and a great leader. He used violence to take control of china, killed scholars and burnt books to wipe out heresy and brutality was the basis of his greatest achievements. Today, Qin Shi Huang is still well known by his brutal tyrannous style of leadership rather then his many great achievements.

Ying Zheng (Qin Shi Huang) became the King of Qin at a tender age of 13 following the death of his father, Chuang Xiang, but did not assume control until the year 238BC, when he was 22 years old. Before that, the state affairs and power fell into the hands of Lu Buwei, a high-ranking minister of state, and the empress dowager. When Ying Zheng took control, he immediately erased the power of both the Empress Dowager and that of Lu Buwei to suppress a rebellion.

After the rebellion, Zheng set about reforming and strengthening his kingdom. He searched for outside advice and promoted a new elite of both civil and military officials (including mandarins such as Li Si and Wang Wan) and then carried out the improvements advocated by his father, developing the military and agriculture. Soon Qin became the strongest of the seven warring states and between 230 BC and 221BC, Zheng succeeded in defeating all his opponents. He found himself master of all the former warring states, and for the first time in history, China became a unified, multi-nationality empire under a central government.

After unification, Zheng ordered his ministers to discuss possible titles for a supreme ruler of the country and a name for the empire. Zheng considered is accomplishments far greater then those of ‘San Huang’ and ‘Wu Di’, rulers in the ancient times, so he used the given names of these two predecessors to make the title ‘Huang Di’ meaning the word emperor. Zheng then divided the country into 36 prefectures, broken down further into counties, townships, rings and lis. They were put under control of military and administrative officials who were all directly appointed or removed by the emperor himself. This meant that the emperor had both the military and administrative powers of China concentrated in his hands.

Qin Shi Huang was also responsible for the ‘three unifications’ and the construction of a road system. The unifications were of weights and measures, of the Chinese written language, which made it easier for the different parts of the country to communicate, and of currency, which involved the abolition of the currencies of the former six kingdoms in exchange for Qin coins. Qin Shi Huang’s introduction of these ‘three unifications’ and the road system not only benefited the economic development, cultural exchanges and transportation, but has also had a strong and lasting influence on China.

As a result of wanting a continuing anarchy rule, in 213 BC, Li Si convinced Qin Shi Huang that he should control what people read in order to stop open criticism of his government and avoid trouble in the future. He attempted to wipe out heresy by burning almost all classic works, excluding books on medicine, divination and agriculture. Tragically, this brutal act meant that much of the acquired ancient knowledge and wisdom were lost. This led to the criticism from many Confucian scholars, of who condemned him for having become a tyrant.

This rose to another act of brutality from Qin Shi Huang. Over four hundred and sixty scholars were buried alive in Xianyang, accused of ‘spreading vicious rumours to confuse the black-headed people.’ Many more scholars became prisoners or were banished to the frontier regions and those who dared to disregard the law or express their opinions on state affairs would be killed along with their entire families.

Even the great wall was built on the basis of Qin Shi Huang’s brutality. When he wished to protect his empire from attack by the Xiongnu, he sent hundreds of thousands of ‘convicts’ (many were scholars), ex-soldiers and peasants from the defeated states into the cold mountains where they were forced to work. It was said that ‘each stone in the Great wall cost a human life’, a price of which Qin Shi Huang did not show much care.

Qin Shi Huang’s brutal actions earned the hatred of almost everyone, he ruled with force, through a strict adherence to the law. Qin Shi Huang believed that in order for him to rule with relative peace, all his subjects should suffer. He tried to change the past by burning books so that the people had no other way of leadership to compare him to. Thus they are unable to criticize him. He also taxed the peasants heavily and forced them into labour. Qin Shi Huang can also be compared to the more recent Mao Zedong. They were both leaders who ruled with force. Both expelled ‘the old ways’ attempting to erase history so that there left nothing to compare them with. And both ultimately condemned innocent lives for, well, their piece of mind.

Qin Shi Huang quite obviously made great contributions, which overshadowed those of his predecessors. His name has been kept alive in the mind of all the Chinese, whether in admiration or hatred. But one thing is known for sure Qin Shi Huang used violence to take control of China, and continued to rule his empire with brutality and in dispute. For a leader who used brutality as a lever for greatness, mass murder as a retort for peace, sacrifice as a building block for protection, surely his rule was a brutal tyranny. But, Qin Shi Huang was in fact a peculiar but great leader, and the eternal emperor.


Power sources

The outstanding feature of this achievement was a revolution in the sources of power. With no large slave labour force to draw on, Europe experienced a labour shortage that stimulated a search for alternative sources of power and the introduction of laboursaving machinery. The first instrument of this power revolution was the horse. By the invention of the horseshoe, the padded, rigid horse collar, and the stirrup, all of which first appeared in the West in the centuries of the Dark Ages, the horse was transformed from an ancillary beast of burden useful only for light duties into a highly versatile source of energy in peace and war. Once the horse could be harnessed to the heavy plow by means of the horse collar, it became a more efficient draft animal than the ox, and the introduction of the stirrup made the mounted warrior supreme in medieval warfare and initiated complex social changes to sustain the great expense of the knight, his armour, and his steed, in a society close to the subsistence line.

Even more significant was the success of medieval technology in harnessing water and wind power. The Romans had pioneered the use of waterpower in the later empire, and some of their techniques probably survived. The type of water mill that flourished first in northern Europe, however, appears to have been the Norse mill, using a horizontally mounted waterwheel driving a pair of grindstones directly, without the intervention of gearing. Examples of this simple type of mill survive in Scandinavia and in the Shetlands it also occurred in southern Europe, where it was known as the Greek mill. It is possible that a proportion of the 5,624 mills recorded in the Domesday Book of England in 1086 were of this type, although it is probable that by that date the vertically mounted undershot wheel had established itself as more appropriate to the gentle landscape of England the Norse mill requires a good head of water to turn the wheel at an adequate grinding speed without gearing for the upper millstone (the practice of rotating the upper stone above a stationary bed stone became universal at an early date). Most of the Domesday water mills were used for grinding grain, but in the following centuries other important uses were devised in fulling cloth (shrinking and felting woolen fabrics), sawing wood, and crushing vegetable seeds for oil. Overshot wheels also were introduced where there was sufficient head of water, and the competence of the medieval millwrights in building mills and earthworks and in constructing increasingly elaborate trains of gearing grew correspondingly.

The sail had been used to harness wind power from the dawn of civilization, but the windmill was unknown in the West until the end of the 12th century. Present evidence suggests that the windmill developed spontaneously in the West though there are precedents in Persia and China, the question remains open. What is certain is that the windmill became widely used in Europe in the Middle Ages. Wind power is generally less reliable than waterpower, but where the latter is deficient wind power is an attractive substitute. Such conditions are found in areas that suffer from drought or from a shortage of surface water and also in low-lying areas where rivers offer little energy. Windmills have thus flourished in places such as Spain or the downlands of England on the one hand, and in the fenlands and polders of the Netherlands on the other hand. The first type of windmill to be widely adopted was the post-mill, in which the whole body of the mill pivots on a post and can be turned to face the sails into the wind. By the 15th century, however, many were adopting the tower-mill type of construction, in which the body of the mill remains stationary with only the cap moving to turn the sails into the wind. As with the water mill, the development of the windmill brought not only greater mechanical power but also greater knowledge of mechanical contrivances, which was applied in making clocks and other devices.


Does it matter who discovered America?

But if the Pacific hasn't discouraged exploration and no economic incentive so far encountered in history has made China more inclined to exploration than Europe, why didn't China discover America? Perhaps the best way to answer this is by asking another question: What would China have gained if it had discovered America before Europe? And the answer to that is: Almost nothing because Europe would still have colonized the Americas first.

Zakaj? Because even though the Chinese discovered Taiwan and the Philippines before the Europeans did and had all the advantages of proximity, Europe colonized those places first too. [6] And if China was unable or unwilling to profit from such nearby discoveries, there is little reason to believe it would have behaved differently had it encountered vastly more distant lands.

So China failed to discover America because there was little value in doing so. Had they succeeded, history would probably have turned out pretty much the same, just with an even grander, more expensive period of wasted Chinese exploration. Romantic yes, but regimes don't survive long by squandering their resources to cater for the romantic notions of future historians.

Indeed, when Europeans arrived in the East in the 16th century with evidence of the wealth of the New World, the Chinese made little effort to expel them from their new colonies or even to adopt their military and naval technology [7] - things that the Europeans would certainly have attempted had the situation been reversed. The writing was appearing on the wall, yet still China did not rouse.

However one Eastern empire did act - updating its military, building modern ships, and sending expeditions to European colonies from the Straits of Malacca to Mexico. That country was Japan and what it did next is instructive.


Priporočeno branje

Daylight Savings Time Is Terrible: Here's a Simple Plan to Fix It

Books by Friends

Who's Behind Hong Kong's Counter-Protests?

China hasn't always had one time zone. In 1912, the year after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the newly empowered Republic of China established five different time zones in the country, ranging from five and a half to eight and a half hours past Greenwich Mean Time. But in 1949, as the Communist Party consolidated control of the country, Chairman Mao Zedong decreed that all of China would henceforth be on Beijing time for the purposes of national unity.

Given the state of the nation in those days, Mao’s reasoning was legitimate: Just two decades before, China was a fragmented country, with large swathes (such as Xinjiang) beyond the de facto control of the central government. And this decision to unify the whole country under one time zone was hardly unprecedented: newly-independent India, for example, had instituted a similar policy just two years before.

For most people in China, the single time-zone is at most a mild inconvenience, a scheduling quirk that simply requires a little adjustment. But in Xinjiang, the question of time divides the region’s population. Among Han Chinese, Justin Jacobs, a Xinjiang expert at American University, told me, use of Beijing Standard Time is universal: “that there’s another clock is not even something the Han think about.” But much of the Uighur population prefers to use their own time. In Urumqi, a city in Xinjiang's east populated mostly by the Han, Beijing Standard Time suffices. But as you head further west, into areas further away from Beijing (and with a higher concentration of Uighurs), knowing “which time” to use becomes trickier. In Xinjiang's extreme west, near China’s border with Pakistan, Beijing Standard Time is so irrelevant that it isn't even used on bus timetables.

Why does this discrepancy exist? For the Uighur population, using their own time is more than just restoring the clock to a more natural equilibrium: it’s also about politics. As hope for greater autonomy within China has faded—due to a combination of government suppression and Han migration—Uighurs consider their time as, in the words of the writer Ruth Ingram, a psychological tool for independence.

Over the last six decades, Uighurs have chafed under Beijing policies that have restricted their ability to study in their language and practice their Islamic faith and rendered it difficult for them to cope in a Han-dominated Chinese society. Within Xinjiang, Uighurs and Han populations are largely segregated, breeding resentment that occasionally boils over into violence. Most recently, Chinese authorities arrested three Uighurs in connection to a jeep collision in Tiananmen Square last week that killed two and injured 40. Beijing has blamed the East Turkestan Islamic Group, a UN-designated terrorist organization that supports Uighur independence, though others have doubted its ability to pull off such an attack. In any event, the Tiananmen episode seems assured to worsen an already tense situation in Xinjiang.

On the list of causal explanations for Han-Uighur tension, the use of Beijing Standard Time in Xinjiang would rank low. But the time zone issue does represent, in a way, the limits of the Communist Party’s approach to its westernmost province. Since gaining control of China in 1949, the Party has attempted to smooth out the country's vast regional differences by using policies to affirm, occasionally by force, national unity. But in treating a vast, complex region like Xinjiang as just another Chinese province, Beijing has prevented the population from forging a trans-ethnic identity, one based around Xinjiang's unique geography and distance from Beijing. Whatever China decides to do with its time zone may ultimately matter little to the country’s political or economic situations—but re-thinking the logic behind instituting the time zone in the first place could instead pay dividends.


Poglej si posnetek: Štajerca na Kitajskem (November 2021).

Video, Sitemap-Video, Sitemap-Videos