Over the course of maritime expansion in the Indian and Atlantic oceans, many changes have occurred. First, they both wanted to explore other lands and expand their knowledge of what the world consisted of. Next, both areas have many different kinds of goods. China and other countries around the Indian Ocean wanted to trade with each other. The Indian Ocean was well mapped out and was easier to travel and trade in. The Atlantic was much more difficult to travel through.
The currents were aggressive, taking adventures like Vasco De Gama off course. The maritime expansion in the Indian and Atlantic oceans as long as the Europeans didn’t take over, would have been a better place if the Chinese continued their trade of knowledge, culture, and other manufactured goods.
Both of the continents had incentives to trade with each other and others to help fuel their economies and cultural backgrounds. The Europeans main objective was to spread their religion, Christianity.
Because China had so many people whom were not believers of a religion or unsure about their faith, the Europeans viewed this as a prime area to promote their religious views. Also, the Europeans were very interested in exploring new lands. Last, the Europeans were interested in trading products to strengthen their economy and learn what other countries use as part of their culture. The Chinese were also interested interacting with peoples in the Indian Ocean and Asia. The Emperor had large shoes to fill and wanted to live up to the Zhu Di’s image.
They also wanted to learn about the other cultures and religions. Most of all the Chinese wanted to trade goods with the latest settlers. The Emperor wanted to show that he was the rightful ruler.
The Europeans means and methods were strong and logical although they had a high quality fleet of ships they did not have the quantity. The Europeans main two methods were to trade to learn about new lands and also spread their religious beliefs. The Europeans wanted to trade their manufactured goods with the people of the east to help their economy and to learn how other societies function. The Europeans religion was one of the most important parts of their expedition. They knew that they could convert the people that they met.
The Chinese means and methods were much larger at the time. The Chinese had the largest naval fleet in the world. Zhang He said, “We have beheld in the ocean huge waves like mountains rising sky-high, and we have set eyes on barbarian regions.” Their ships were much larger than the Portuguese and the Chinese had many more of them. China had many more people than Portugal. Vasco de Gama was stunned when he realized how many people there actually were and knew opportunities were available. The Chinese moved many people to help build ships to help start their voyages.
The Chinese only had silk and other hard fabrics that were not as practical. The Chinese and the Europeans could have benefited from this and had many more opportunities to be better allies with the Europeans and could have been even bigger super power countries with larger armies.
The outcomes of these trades were good but could have been better if China had continued to expand trade with the others. If the Chinese continued to trade both areas of the world could have been better allies as well as having better militaries. The Chinese were the masters of the ocean and learning how to sail but if the Europeans had traded knowledge they would have both been much stronger.
The Europeans could have spread Christianity throughout China and the Chinese could have gotten more fabrics and other manufactured goods. From all of this, the Chinese did not end up with anything more than when they started. The Europeans greatly influenced the culture of the Americas with the Columbian exchange. The Chinese could have traveled to Europe and explore what the Portuguese had experienced. Overall the outcomes would have been much greater but the current outcome is more than acceptable.
Finally, The Atlantic and Indian oceans both had their troubles but the Indian oceans currents were more predictable. The Europeans were able to trade with the peoples of the Indian Ocean and spread their religion. The Europeans and Chinese had very different styles and sizes of ships. I believe that the Europeans and the Chinese empire could have accomplished more if they had continued to explore. I do think it is amazing that at this time the Europeans were able to cover so much of the world on the oceans.