East Asian discovery of the New World

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by smjb, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. smjb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    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.
     
  2. Color-Copycat Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Location:
    Новоро́ссия (HOBO-RUSSIA)
    In regards to the Japanese and Koreans, we'd probably be looking at a few wayward shipwrecked fishermen, not a concerted expeditionary fleet.
     
  3. Zuvarq Pinche pendejo güey

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    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.
     
  4. Color-Copycat Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Location:
    Новоро́ссия (HOBO-RUSSIA)
    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.
     
  5. smjb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    I got a mental image of a situation similar to French fur traders from that.
     
  6. Color-Copycat Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Location:
    Новоро́ссия (HOBO-RUSSIA)
    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.
     
  7. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    West of Constantinople
    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".
     
  8. smjb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    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.
     
  9. Zuvarq Pinche pendejo güey

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    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.
     
  10. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    West of Constantinople
    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).
     
  11. d32123 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    北林海, 卡斯凯迪亚自治区
    The Pacific is a good deal more difficult to cross than the Atlantic.
     
  12. smjb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Never said it would be easy.
     
  13. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    West of Constantinople
    Difficult, unprofitable, and not ideologically desirable (as in not desired by ideology, not as in undesired by ideology) = not going to happen.
     
  14. Malta Kirked

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimare
    Bam
    http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=161233

     
  15. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    West of Constantinople
    Words fail me.
     
  16. Malta Kirked

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimare
    "Alternate History".
     
  17. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    West of Constantinople
    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.
     
  18. democracy101 Better than communism

    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.
     
  19. Grey Wolf Me?

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Deepest Wales
    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.

    Best Regards
    Grey Wolf
     
  20. Malta Kirked

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimare

    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.

    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.