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Transcript of Zheng He
7. Where did He explore?
4. What motives did the sponsoring country have in launching voyages of exploration?
The purpose of the expeditions remains a debate.
Most historians agree that:
The purpose of the expeditions was not to collect treasure or trade or convert or conquer or even gather scientific information.(There was some trade but it was not the main motive)
China (Ming Dynasty) wanted to display their power. (Basically, they wanted to show off)
Other possible reasons why the Chinese voyages took place include the desire of the new emperor to find his predecessor, who had escaped from China and was thought to be plotting revenge.
Another motive of the voyages was to pick up and drop off ambassadors, envoys and tributes.
China also just wanted to know more about the world
In the end:
Voyages ended because the court deemed them as wasteful
Maps, constellation maps, and other information, used by Zheng He and his men, were burned, so that people of future generations would not repeat what was deemed "a waste of funds."
5. How was the voyage funded?
Emperor Yongle sponsored Zheng He's voyages after he gained powder.
The Emperor and his government provided the funds for the expeditions.
Yongle also paid for his impulsive forays into Mongolia.
Yongle used Chinese taxes to pay for the enormous fleet and its voyages
1st voyage (1405–1407)
Champa, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Aru, Samudera, Lambri, Ceylon, Qiulon, Kollam, Cochin, Calicut
2nd voyage (1407–1409)
Champa, Java, Siam, Cochin, Ceylon, Calicut
3rd voyage (1409–1411)
Champa, Java, Malacca, Semudera, Ceylon, Quilon, Cochin, Calicut, Siam, Lambri, Kayal, Coimbatore, Puttanpur
4th voyage (1413–1415)
Champa, Kelantan, Pahang, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Semudera, Lambri, Ceylon, Cochin, Calicut, Kayal, Hormuz, Maldives, Mogadishu, Barawa, Malindi, Aden, Muscat, Dhofar
5th voyage (1417–1419)
Ryukyu, Champa, Pahang, Java, Malacca, Samudera, Lambri, Bengal, Ceylon, Sharwayn, Cochin, Calicut, Hormuz, Maldives, Mogadishu, Barawa, Malindi, Aden
6th voyage (1421–1422)
Champa, Bengal, Ceylon, Calicut, Cochin, Maldives, Hormuz, Djofar, Aden, Mogadishu, Brava
7th voyage (1430–1433)
Champa, Java, Palembang, Malacca, Semudera, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bengal, Ceylon, Calicut, Hormuz, Aden, Ganbali, Bengal, Laccadive and Maldive Islands, Djofar, Lasa, Aden, Mecca, Mogadishu, Brava
Ways of the World
7 expeditions to the "western" or Indian Ocean
On 1st voyage He had 317 ships and had a crew of 28,000 people
He traded goods
Many of his crewmen were regular military personnel
8. How did his exploration help his country? What effects did the discoveries have on the sponsor country?
Knowledge of the area
Traded with the country He traveled to
He diffused culture to the countries he explored
He brought wealth back to the emperor
Spread worship of Mazu (Chinese sea goddess)
Tried to establish control over maritime trade
Involved foreign countries in the tributay system
6. What did the ship(s) look like? How were they designed? What innovations in
technology were used on the expedition(s) and for what purpose?
The ships Zheng He used were called "Chinese Treasure Ships"
These ships were some of the largest ships of their time
Most historians believe the ships to be more than 100 meters long!
The majority of the ships were made of wood and iron
They created stability with wide ships that had V-shaped hulls
The sides of the ships had holes to drain water in stormy weather
The ships had mobile rudders
The ships were also equipped with 24 cast-bronze cannons
Zheng He and his crew used compasses to guide the sailing direction during daytime, and made use of star observation and compass orientation to keep course at night.
Used lanterns at night, trumpets/conch shells, maps, and nautical charts
Much of the information about Zheng He's technology was burnt
9. What discoveries did he make? What effect did his discovery have on the area that he
explored or discovered (native population, etc)?
10. What year(s) did he explore?
11. How long was his voyage? If more than one, how long did each voyage last?
1. Where was the explorer from originally?
Born in Kunyang (in present day Jinning county) , Yunnan province, China
Born in 1371 C.E.
Died in 1433 C.E.
Originally named Ma He
Born into a Muslim family that moved to China during the Tang and Song dynasties
Ming Dynasty conquered his province in 1378 and he was taken to the imperial Chinese capital and served as a court eunuch (castrated)
2. For what country did he explore?
In 1405 Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty sent him out on his first exploration mission to the Western Sea (SE Asia)
3. What were his motives in launching his voyages of exploration?
He first set sail in 1405, commanding 62 ships and 27,800 men, this voyage ended in 1407
Second voyage from 1407-1409
Third voyage from 1409-1411
Fourth voyage from 1413-1415
Fifth voyage from 1417-1419
Sixth voyage from 1421-1422
Died on his seventh voyage (which began in 1430) in 1433 in Calicut, his fleet returned home that summer
He made a total of 7 voyages throughout his life, taking him to Champa, Java, Siam, Malacca, Ceylon, and many other places.
Collectively, his voyages took up 19 years - that's close to a third of his life
Each voyage lasted about 3 years and helped to extend Chinese maritime and commercial influence throughout the regions bordering the Indian Ocean
On his second journey, he encountered treachery from the king of Ceylon, King Alagonakkara, Zheng defeated his forces and took the king back to Nanjing as a captive
On his fourth voyage, Zheng brought the envoys of more than 30 states of South and Southeast Asia to pay homage to the Chinese emperor
In 1421 his sixth voyage was lunched to take home foreign emissaries from China
He was the best known of the Yongle emperor’s diplomatic agents
China's economy was destroyed when in 1400 the prince of Yan revolted against his nephew, the Jianwen emperor, taking the throne in 1402 as the Yongle emperor
(1402 - 1424) under the Yongle administration the war-devastated Chinese economy was soon restored
The Ming court wanted to display its naval power to keep the south and southeast Asian countries in line
The Chinese had been expanding their power out to sea for 300 years
Extensive seaborne commerce had developed because of this
The main reason for Chinese seeking trade over seas was to become connected to more trade routes, and to obtain spices, aromatics, and raw industrial materials
All of these explorations lead to advancements in seafaring technology, expanded trade greatly, and shared new concepts and ideas both to China and foreign countries
The emperor selected Ma He, or Zheng He as he was renamed by the emperor, because he had become a court eunuch of great influence
He was chosen to be the commander in chief of the missions to the "Western Oceans"
He first set sail in 1405, carrying many soldiers on board with him