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  #1  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 06:36 PM
smjb smjb is offline
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East Asian discovery of the New World

I've noticed that a lot of the time when for whatever reason East Asians discover the Americas it results in Chinese colonies in southern California. Problem is, from what I understand of Chinese culture, it doesn't seem likely. Basically, they thought the world already belonged to them, and if barbarians weren't smart enough to recognize the fact, that was their own folly.

So I can see the Chinese discovering America, but not doing much about it, basically. But what about the Japanese or Koreans? I don't know much about what they were doing at the time, assuming a non-existent or virtually non-existent European presence outside their corner of the world.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:21 PM
Color-Copycat Color-Copycat is offline
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In regards to the Japanese and Koreans, we'd probably be looking at a few wayward shipwrecked fishermen, not a concerted expeditionary fleet.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:24 PM
Zuvarq Zuvarq is offline
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Chinese merchants ventured far and wide, to the Philippines and Indonesia. I think the isolationism of China is slightly overstated. If it would be in the interest of China, the emperor and leading generals would certainly support it. If not, merchants would go out and do it.

However, the best bet for China actually supporting expeditions is for a Mongol conquest of China and Japan. Otherwise it is true that the emperor wouldn't really care about some 'barbarian' lands to the east. Unless he heard about Mesoamerican gold.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:26 PM
Color-Copycat Color-Copycat is offline
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At any rate, the Chinese wouldn't be shooting for any Iberian style colonization efforts. All they'd do is establish a tribute system and send over some traders to take advantage of the local export/import market.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:36 PM
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I got a mental image of a situation similar to French fur traders from that.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:43 PM
Color-Copycat Color-Copycat is offline
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The precedent set by Chinese immigration to Southeast Asia would have Chinese traders and merchants setting up shop in coastal enclaves and urban centers, which are noticeably absent on the west coast of North America. Who knows what they might do... maybe a push into the interior isn't out of the realm of plausibility, as you speculate.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:48 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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Originally Posted by Zuvarq View Post
Chinese merchants ventured far and wide, to the Philippines and Indonesia. I think the isolationism of China is slightly overstated.
Compared to Europe or the Near East (their merchants, that is), that is hardly far and wide.

Certainly not anything that would provide a basis for "let's go across this gigantic ocean to a land full of raw materials but nothing developed".
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:52 PM
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Which is why I'm thinking they'd let someone else put in the effort of developing the resources of these places, assuming there is anyone else.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:55 PM
Zuvarq Zuvarq is offline
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Originally Posted by Elfwine View Post
Compared to Europe or the Near East (their merchants, that is), that is hardly far and wide.

Certainly not anything that would provide a basis for "let's go across this gigantic ocean to a land full of raw materials but nothing developed".
The Philippines and Southeast Asia were significantly less advanced than China when they started trading, and even had tribes that didn't live in cities. Didn't stop Chinese merchants from going there.

And Mesoamerica was undoubtedly very developed.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:59 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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Originally Posted by Zuvarq View Post
The Philippines and Southeast Asia were significantly less advanced than China when they started trading, and even had tribes that didn't live in cities. Didn't stop Chinese merchants from going there.

And Mesoamerica was undoubtedly very developed.
But they have valuable spices. California has . . . big trees.

Sure, with the benefit of knowledge we have, I'd say California is a great place to take, but I say this as a descendant of immigrants to a settler colony that seized the place for farmland and luckily discovered the gold there. For China - or Korea and Japan - it might as well be a continuation of the Great American Desert.


Meanwhile, Mesoamerica is another story - but still. It's a very long way from China in pursuit of something that they don't know about.

"Because it's there!" exploration doesn't seem to be part of Chinese culture (not really part of European culture in this era either, yes, but the point is that crossing the Pacific by sailing East would have to be based on that at least initially).
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:26 PM
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The Pacific is a good deal more difficult to cross than the Atlantic.
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  #12  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:47 PM
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Never said it would be easy.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:52 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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Never said it would be easy.
Difficult, unprofitable, and not ideologically desirable (as in not desired by ideology, not as in undesired by ideology) = not going to happen.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:56 PM
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历史的大金门 or History of the Grand Golden Gate Dajinmen

The history of the Golden Gate Area stretches back thousands of years where various groups of native Meiguo peoples, where the Yelamu were the most prominent of the Ohlone speaking people that made upmuch of the coastal area of central Meiguo. The Yelamu lived in several villages in the Golden Bay area, trading with related peoples far into the inland and up the coast, it is quite evident that even they may have known of the prominent geographical area they occupied, this would prove provident to all the people that would call the Golden Bay home. The famous and infamous fog of the Golden Gate is known to have discouraged the finding of the Bay Area many times, with preserved native Meiguo peoples accounts as the fog having capabilities of totally causing the opeing to the Bay area to disappear, this would prove fruitful later on, especially the well known Ambush of Li Ping.

Perhaps if it had not been the guidance of the Heavens or simple blind luck then the ships of Jin Ma may never have discovered the area! As accounts and myths go it was from seeing the reflected in the fog, golden hue of the surrounding hills, as they turn a color of the like during the dry summers or from other accounts following sea birds to their roosts or Yelamu fishermen. Whatever the case, in 1436 the modest fleet of Jin Ma discovered the entrance of the Golden Gate and in the spirit of Zheng He set down a small outpost, which would grow over the years to the largest city of the Western Hemisphere. Current to this period the power struggle between the Confucian scholars and the Merchants were ongoing, the expeditions of Zheng He had by this point established profitable relations of trade and established the Ming Tributary System, while no longer funded by the government the outlawing of building of ships, the proposed Haijin or Sea Ban order as advertised by many of the hardcore Confucian officials did not take place. As such the grand displaying and extremely costly voyages of Zheng He were over with many of his lieutenants heading much smaller and economically based voyages.

Jin Ma while under Zheng He's command, simply captained a supply vessel for the Equine Ships of the Treasure Fleets, but he had a family who had wealth and from his time in the navy gained insights to naval logstics. More then known as a 'eccentric' Jin Ma wished it is said to find the legendary Fusang, though his trips to the northeast were practical toward fur trading with the hunter-gathering Siberians of Eurasia's remote eastern coast. Whatever the point Jin Ma sailed and is internationally known as the Discoverer of Meiguo, or Americas to the Europeans. The dispute between who reached Meiguo first, between Jin Ma and Columbus finally being settled recently.

Once the Ming expedition entered the Golden Gate, possibilities of the usefulness of the Bay Area became abundant due to the nature of the geographical stronghold of the position. Their are no documents of tension between Jin Ma and the Yelamu inhabitants who appeared to be in awe of what had arrived in their home, and lacking the traits of land ownership the Chinese set up a camp near the Yelamu village of Amuctac which soon would totally overrun the native village by the 'visiting' Chinese. Jin Ma explored the extent of the Bay Area for a month, then southward for a ways before returning to China and leaving his son, Jin Peng in charge of the small settlement. His return would not be alone as Jin Ma returned not only with a bigger fleet with hundreds of sailors and workers but also envoys of the Ming Court who would go about gaining the 'loyalties' of the tribes, and in a small note while in the Golden Gate the envoys would be dissatisfied with the peoples discovered notes to the Emperor would remark favorably on the area (granted their disappointment would vanish with discovery of the Mexica).

Unfortunately, by 1440 the natives as far as the Mexica were shuddering with the effects of disease, thus leading to the Famous 'Goodwill' Missions of Jin Peng....
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:07 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:09 PM
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Words fail me.
"Alternate History".
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:13 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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"Alternate History".
There's a line between alternate history and fantasy.

And when someone describes the San Francisco Bay Area (speaking as a native of that region) as "(the) possibilities of the usefulness of the Bay Area became abundant due to the nature of the geographical stronghold of the position.", I call it fantasy.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:26 PM
democracy101 democracy101 is offline
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This has already been thoroughly discussed here, and while I will not thoroughly reiterate my points because of the large volume involved, I will say that it was mostly due to the general mindset of the region as a whole, as the governments were usually content with what they already possessed. In addition, each state already had a significant amount of trading contacts with other regions, so there was no particular reason for any of them to seek out new resources.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:32 PM
Grey Wolf Grey Wolf is offline
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There are quite a few scholars who believe there WAS an ancient Pacific trade route either to West Mexico, or to Peru. These are seen as basically trade exchanges, and apart from the movement of goods, left little lasting impression over the long term.

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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:34 PM
Malta Malta is offline
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This has already been thoroughly discussed here, and while I will not thoroughly reiterate my points because of the large volume involved, I will say that it was mostly due to the general mindset of the region as a whole, as the governments were usually content with what they already possessed. In addition, each state already had a significant amount of trading contacts with other regions, so there was no particular reason for any of them to seek out new resources.

I've already discussed the issue at large too. We have OTL examples of Actors beyond State Governments, such as private companies or the will of a few people, that pioneered exploration and settlement. Who also had their own varied reasons for doing so. For example in my TL the Ming government actually loathes the settlement of the New World and sees it as non-important (until it is too late), but quietly grumbles acceptance of the boons.

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Originally Posted by Elfwine View Post
There's a line between alternate history and fantasy.

And when someone describes the San Francisco Bay Area (speaking as a native of that region) as "(the) possibilities of the usefulness of the Bay Area became abundant due to the nature of the geographical stronghold of the position.", I call it fantasy.
Hmm, you know I never established the 'Author' of that little tidbit. I may or may not had in mind someone who never actually had been there at all.
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