China's Great Armada, Admiral Zheng He

At the following Link, view the National Geographic Documentary “China’s Great Armada, Admiral Zheng He”

An alternate text for the film can be viewed in the National Geographic Magazine at the following site:

You are also required to read the primary document on the MINDTAP site for primary documents in Chapter 17:

The Tribute System in Action (A Decree of Emperor Qianlong) found in Section 1B of Chapter 17.

Answer the following study questions in a 400-word-minimum essay, quoting your two sources (the documentary film and the primary document) from above at least once each in the essay to help support your conclusions. Make sure you provide parenthetical citations of your sources after all quoted materials. Do not answer in bullet points or in a numbered list. I want this composed as an essay. At the end of your essay you must post a study question of your own for your fellow students to consider and answer in their response posts.

1. Give FULL identification of the documentary film and the primary document : When were they written and/or produced? by whom? where? why? who were the intended audiences?

2. What was significant about the discoveries made by Zheng He in terms of world exploration of the 15th century? Draw comparisons of motivations and actions of Zheng He with the European explorers at the end of the 15th century.

3. Why wasn’t it China that discovered the New World? If they had, do you think they would have capitalized on it? Why or Why not?

4. How does the decree by Emperor Qianlong centuries later still reflect the reasons as to why China withdrew from world exploration and trade during the Ming Dynasty?

5. How could history have been different HAD China continued its maritime empire after the adventures of Zheng He instead of retreating from the world stage?


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