Intercultural Interactions

Starting from the 1200s, the world was tightly joined together. Even though it was minimal, areas such as sub-Saharan Africa had contact with the other continents and countries such as Asia, China, Russia, and even a few parts of Europe. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the premodern world system existed, and it provided great connections between countries during the medieval period (Unit 1 1.2). It offered great trading networks and cross-cultural contacts, but it eventually collapsed due to several reasons such as famine, war, political issues, and plague.

The collapse of the premodern world system was the end of the cross-cultural network, and Starting from the late 1400s, the new world system was founded. Compare to the premodern world system; the new world system generated new ways to understand the globe, new ways to understand the difference between each country and continent, new ways of understanding the society, and provided both connections and conflicts between the countries and the continents (Unit 1 1.10).

During the early modern world, compared to the premodern world, most of the systems were developed and changed.

The countries’ government systems improved, the trading system became more straightforward and more efficient and each country was able to make trades much more accessible than before, and even religions were shared and learned by each other. Just by looking at this, the early modern world system looks perfect, and everything seems to be beneficial to each other. However, there were a lot of downsides to the cross-cultural system and trading systems such as colonizing the other empire and the disappearance of the different cultures and countries.

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Religion was a significant role that providing the most durable power during the early modern world, and it made the most substantial impact on politics as well. In the 1500s Islamic world took the largest area of the world’s territory, spreading out Islamic power to Spain and China. Not just spreading their religious study, they were also forced to obey the Islamic laws by Mohammed. For example, Mongol warriors of China were converted to Islam, and they began to spread their religion, study, and rules to Africa, Middle East Persia, and even France. It was the largest civilization during this period (Unit 2 2.2). Because of this vast civilization, until today’s modern world, the leaders of Mohammed’s successors such as the Al-Qaeda army, and Mahdi army are taking a significant role in the Islamic world (Unit 2 2.3). This is one of the worst downsides of cross-cultural interactions. The idea of cross-cultural interactions works and makes improvements when each empire, country, and continents share their culture, religion, and politics without causing the disappearance of other nations’ culture and religion.

One of the greatest cross-cultural interactions that happened in Asia was in Japan. Unlike how China was halted and banned during the 16th century, Japan was in a great situation where they had a tremendous opportunity to learn western technology and culture. Starting from 1542, the Japanese were able to learn the printing method of western countries, the discovery of potato and tobacco, and even became close to Christianity (Unit 4 4.3). However, starting from the 1600s as the new leader of Japan, Tokugawa Shogunate took the major role in Japan and decided to block all the trade and cross-cultural interactions that they have been doing with western countries, except for Dutch and China. However, Tokugawa Shogunate made significant improvements in the political system and military systems (Unit 4 4.4). During the 15th and 16th centuries, even with the short period of trading time, Japan made tremendous improvements by accepting primary western cultures, religion, and technology, and was also organized enough to absorb it into their own cultures under the Tokugawa Shogunate ruling. They did not completely block all the trades but accepted several trades from Dutch and China.

If we look at the broad view of the cross-cultural interactions during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, it can be seen as a strong empire civilizing large areas and colonizing other empires, such as the Islamic world civilized the largest area of the world including Asia, and Europe, and the successors of the Islamic world such as Al-Qaeda is still ruling the Islamic regions. However, on the other side, multiple empires and countries such as Japan were very successful through cross-cultural interactions during the early modern world. And even though the dominance, and colonization, most of the empires and countries are now freed from each other, and they shared every religion and culture. Most of the result of the cross-cultural interactions during the early modern world was painful, but still shared everything, and this is the reason how the modern world right now is connected and directed to each other

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Intercultural Interactions. (2022, May 08). Retrieved from

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