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C O U R S E 
A History of the World since 1300
Jeremy Adelman, Princeton University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Political Reverberations of Ming Consolidation
Notes taken on June 18, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
16th century China exemplifies the ways in which the arrival of new wealth can lead to new concentrations of authority and power
but it is hard to predict at the outset the affect this wealth will have, not only on the country but on the surrounding political landscape
what was happening in China (Ming dynasty 1368–1644) began to have an effect on its surroundings
hitherto the primary source of silver for China
Japan in the 17th century was beset with internal quarrels not unlike Europe at this time
regional warlords and ruling households called Diamyos struggling for power
you would think that the civil wars would have helped Europe penetrate and conquer Japan as they did South America, and e.g. the Dutch in South Asia
indeed merchants and missionaries did arrive at the doorstep in Japan
however, the external threat can have different effects on a country
reasons why Japan did not get colonized
1. had an shared Buddhist faith
2. proximity to China, they need to stay together
3. Japan had fought off aggressive armies before, e.g. the Mongols, Portuguese, Dutch
Japan holding together against the external forces (European/China), resulted in the consolidation of the Tokogawa Shogunate
kept the Europeans to their outskirts
up a militaristic state system
a country squeezed between Japan and China, powerful neighbors
receiving increasing pressures from the north as well: Russia
Muscovy was turning into Russia
silver powered in to Lithuania and Poland
merchants moved to Russia to by staples: e.g. furs
the center of Eurasia was beginning to get filled in, fueled by money and capital
the main lure of the region furs and pelts, e.g. from beavers, by the Nenet hunters in Siberia
drove the frontier into Siberia, a phenomenon similar to North America in the 19th century
fighting protracted war against Mongols
1580s a series of triumphs by Russia
Russia eventually reached the Pacific ocean
Peter the Great (1672-1725)
created new capital, St. Petersburg
led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political system with a modern, scientific, Europe-oriented, and rationalist system
expansion eventually led to encounter with China in central Asia