A Global History of Trade and Conflict since 1500 by Francine McKenzie Lucia Coppolaro

By Francine McKenzie Lucia Coppolaro

This ebook explains the motives and outcomes of the intersection of 2 transformative worldwide forces - alternate and clash - considering that 1500. The 9 historic case reviews - interspersed over 500 years and spanning the globe - make an enormous ancient contribution to the iconic debate approximately even if alternate makes peace much more likely.

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Was the ministry anxious to prevent the revenue from being diverted to the eunuch agency, which seems likely; or was it concerned lest diplomacy be submerged by revenue concerns? It is difficult to say. 1452–1510) was Zhengde’s chief eunuch. Just two weeks after turning Bi Zhen’s request down, Zhengde ordered the arrest and execution of Liu Jin on the charge of plotting to overthrow him. Whether that charge was true is open to question. What is undeniable is that Liu operated a massive scheme of kickbacks and intimidation that had corrupted and demoralized the entire state bureaucracy while the Zhengde emperor looked the other way.

The first was the impact of Portuguese misconduct on Ming policy more generally. As this chapter has noted, some officials in Canton had been attempting during the 1510s to let maritime foreign relations shift away from tribute restrictions towards more open trade. Despite periodic objections, they had some success in deflecting the court’s half-hearted attempts to keep the old tribute system intact. There was no notion that trade should be free. Ming officials understood that international trade should be conducted as a state monopoly, and that goods coming in be registered, inspected and, now, taxed.

Wars have been pursued in the name of free trade. There was also the specific commercial variant – trade war – that provoked anxiety throughout the twentieth century. The casualties would no doubt be counted differently from battlefield deaths, but the suffering was expected to 18 A Global History of Trade and Conflict Since 1500 be far-reaching and acute. Although it would be understandable to expect that a volume examining the historical intersection of trade and conflict would be a tale of destruction, such a conclusion would misrepresent the powerfully transformative, if painful, impact of trade and conflict that was experienced 500 years ago and today.

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