Introduction of A History of Asia

timer Asked: Jan 21st, 2021

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please answer the following questions:

Demonstrate that Monsoon Asia shares a few patterns that distinguish it from the rest of Asia and makes it an appropriate unit of study.

According to the text, what makes south Indian and Southeast Asian civilizations distinguishable in relation to the rest of Monsoon Asia?

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Introduction Introduction: Monsoon Asia as a Unit of StudyIntroduction: Monsoon Asia as a Unit of Study Monsoon Asia as a Unit of Study Copyright © 2019. Taylor & Francis Group. All rights reserved. H alf the World Lies in Asia east of Afghanistan and south of Siberia: half of its people and far more than half of its historical experience, for the oldest living civilized traditions grew there. India and China developed sophisticated cultures and technologies long before Europe and led the world for more than two thousand years, economically and politically as well as culturally and technologically. Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia evolved their own high civilizations during the many centuries after the fall of Rome while Europe endured waves of devastating invasions and the long medieval period. The great Asian traditions and the vigorously growing modern states and economies of Asia offer the student a rich and varied record of human experience, in literature, philosophy, and the arts, in statecraft and empire building, in the varied lives of their people, but perhaps most of all in the many different approaches to universal human conditions and problems. India, China, and Southeast Asia, well over one and a half times the size of all of Europe, are all equally rich in their cultural variety. Japan, though smaller than the others, offers still another set of experiences, additionally fascinating because of Japanese success in meeting the modern West on its own terms. Each of these major civilizations deserves study, and increasingly, their histories are part of the college and university curriculum. But they also need to be seen as part of the larger Asian whole, just as we study, for example, France within Europe and European history as a composite of the history of its parts. This book provides the beginning student with an introduction to Asian history through the histories of its major civilized traditions. As the treatment progresses, successive chapters relate them to each other and to Western history, until the great traditions of Eurasia begin to merge in the age of European expansion at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Knowledge of Asia is vital to understanding the world in which we live, a world where Asia is more and more deeply woven into our lives. But the richness and depth of the Asian experience are ­perhaps even more important rewards awaiting the student who begins with this book. Geography The continent of Asia is bordered in the west by convention at Suez, the Bosporus at Istanbul, and the Ural Mountains in the Russian Federation; it is, thus, the eastern four-fifths of the single landmass of Eurasia, encompassing over 17 million square miles, and by far the largest of the continents. But these conventional lines do not mark any major or abrupt change in landscape or culture, especially not along the principal line of the Urals. This range is relatively low and easily crossed; on both sides of it the northern coniferous forest that covers much of northern Europe and most of northern Asia continues with few breaks, an area of sparse population, little rainfall, and great seasonal temperature extremes. The southern third of the former Soviet Union east of the line of the Urals is similarly an extension of what lies to the west, an area of aridity that merges eastward into the sparsely populated desert whose traditional nomadic or oasis cultures still contrast sharply with Russian culture and with those of India, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. Much of this arid desert area of Central Asia was conquered by Muslim invaders beginning in the eighth century c.e., further establishing the area’s similarity with the Arab lands to the west and with adjoining Iran. Most of the inhabitants of Central Asia are of Turkish origin; some of the Turkish groups moved steadily westward and, by the fifteenth century, had conquered Anatolia, modern Turkey. The southern and eastern rim of Asia is a very different place, both physically and culturally. Rainfall is generally adequate despite occasional dry years in some areas, and temperatures are more moderate, under the influence of the sea. Except in the northern fringes, winters are relatively mild, for the same reason. This is the area called “monsoon Asia,” set off from the rest of Asia by high mountain ranges along most of its landward borders, which help to keep the climatic influence of the sea out of Central Asia. The word monsoon is of Arab origin and originally meant “season” or “seasonal wind.” In summer the huge landmass of Eurasia, 1 Murphey, Rhoads, and Kristin Stapleton. A History of Asia, Taylor & Francis Group, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central, Created from aul on 2020-11-25 10:20:19. 2 Introduction: Monsoon Asia as a Unit of Study RUSSIAN Monsoon Asia FEDERATION Centimeters Inches Under 25 MONGOLIA 25–50 10–20 50–100 20–40 100–150 40–60 Over 150 Over 60 JAP AN CHINA AFGHANISTAN N A PAKIST Under 10 TAIWAN BANGLADESH INDIA BURMA (MYANMAR) THAILAND VIETNAM PHILIPPINES CAMBODIA SRI LANKA MALAYSIA A S I I N D O N E 0 250 500 750 1000 Miles Map 0.1 Precipitation in Monsoon Asia Copyright © 2019. Taylor & Francis Group. All rights reserved. Note the patterns: heaviest rainfall near the sea and along the Himalayan front. whose center is farther from the sea than any part of the globe, heats up rapidly and generates a mass of hot air. As it rises, cooler air, which in its passage across the water picks up moisture, is drawn in from the surrounding oceans. On reaching the land, these maritime air masses release their moisture as rain, especially where they encounter hills or mountains, which force them to rise and hence cool them enough to produce condensation. There is thus a pattern of relatively heavy summer rainfall along the southeastern crescent of Eurasia, on the oceanic side of the mountains that divide it from Central Asia. In winter the flow of air is reversed. The center of Eurasia, relatively little affected by the moderating influences of the sea, cools rapidly, and by December a mass of cold, heavy air begins to dominate the area. The sea remains relatively warm, storing the summer’s heat, and winds blow out from the cold center toward the sea with its warm, rising air. In the northern parts of monsoon Asia, these outblowing winter winds can produce low temperatures but little or no rainfall, because they originate in dry Central Asia. By May or June, depending on the area, Central Asia has begun to heat up again, and moist maritime air masses are drawn in once more, bringing the monsoonal rains. The oversimplified description above basically fits what usually happens, but the mechanisms of the monsoon are in fact far more complex. The arrival and duration of the monsoon in spring or summer are notoriously unreliable, varying widely from year to year in many areas and producing floods in one year and droughts in another. The islands of Southeast Asia also derive rain from the winter monsoon, because by the time it reaches them it has passed over large stretches of sea and picked up considerable moisture. The same is true to a lesser extent for Japan. Population Densities The general adequacy of rainfall and the generally mild winters under the protection of mountain ranges to landward have provided a basis for the sharpest of all d ­ istinctions between what is appropriately called monsoon Asia and the rest of the continent: half of the world’s people live here, as they have during all of recorded history (although monsoon Asia’s preponderance was even greater until a century or two ago), while most of the rest of Asia is one of the most thinly settled areas of the world (see the map above). Murphey, Rhoads, and Kristin Stapleton. A History of Asia, Taylor & Francis Group, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central, Created from aul on 2020-11-25 10:20:19. 3 Introduction: Monsoon Asia as a Unit of Study RUSSIAN FEDERATION Per Sq. Km. Per Sq. Mi. 0–25 0–10 MONGOLIA Harbin Tokyo Yokohama Shenyang Seoul Beijing Tianjin AFGHANISTAN K PA NE Kolkata Hyderaˉ baˉ d MA INDIA BUR Ahmadaˉ baˉ d Rangoon Chennair Bangkok SRI LANKA Hong Kong Manila VIETNAM THAILAND Over 98 Over 250 2,000,000–5,000,000 Taipei LAOS 125–250 TAIWAN Guangzhou BANGLADESH 49–98 Over 5,000,000 Chongqing PA L Delhi 25–125 Selected Metropolitan Areas Wuhan Chengdu Lahore Karachi Mumbai JAPAN Shanghai CHINA AN IST Pusan Nagoya Osaka Kobe Kyoto 10–49 PHILIPPINES CAMBODIA Ho Chi Minh City MALAYSIA Singapore A S I I N D O N E Jakarta 0 250 500 750 1000 Miles Map 0.2 Population Density, Monsoon Asia Copyright © 2019. Taylor & Francis Group. All rights reserved. Note the coincidence of heavy rainfall and dense population. The major exceptions are northeastern China, where level land takes precedence, and the islands of Indonesia (except for Java), where mountains and jungle exclude dense settlement. The hilly or mountainous parts of monsoon Asia, including much of Southeast Asia, west China, Korea, and Japan, are in fact rather thinly peopled, while in the lowlands along the coasts and river basins population densities reach the highest levels in the world. Monsoon Asia developed a highly distinctive set of cultures, based from the beginning on productive agricultural systems in this generally warm, wet area, which also contains extensive plains, river valleys, and deltas. The first Asian civilizations arose on an agricultural base in the great river valleys described in later chapters, and agriculture remains the dominant employment and the major source of production in much of monsoon Asia. It was agricultural wealth that supported the successive empires and brilliant cultures of monsoon Asia, and that kept its people as a whole almost certainly better off materially than people anywhere else. It was richer than Europe until recently, probably sometime in the eighteenth century, as European observers noted from the time of Marco Polo (1254–1324 c.e.) on. The expansion of the Chinese state and empire beginning under the Han dynasty in the second century b.c.e. progressively incorporated under Chinese control a number of areas that do not fit very closely with the above generalizations about monsoon Asia. Given the absence of effective political or military rivals to the west and north, the Chinese state first conquered the area now known as Xinjiang, sometimes called Chinese Turkestan, a largely desert area still inhabited mainly by Turkic peoples, and then added much of arid Mongolia to protect itself against nomadic raids. Later Chinese expansion with the same motives conquered the huge Himalayan area of Tibet, although its tiny population remained overwhelmingly Tibetan until largescale migrations from other parts of China in recent years. Finally, in the seventeenth century, an originally nomadic group, the Manchus, conquered China and added their Manchurian homeland to the empire. Manchuria is monsoonal in the sense that it gets most of its sparse rainfall in summer as part of the monsoonal pattern, but it has a long and bitterly cold winter, and much of it is marginal for Murphey, Rhoads, and Kristin Stapleton. A History of Asia, Taylor & Francis Group, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central, Created from aul on 2020-11-25 10:20:19. Copyright © 2019. Taylor & Francis Group. All rights reserved. 4 Introduction: Monsoon Asia as a Unit of Study agriculture. Most of Mongolia and Xinjiang are too dry for farming and belong both climatically and culturally to Central Asia. Tibet is an alpine desert, too dry, too cold, and too high to permit agriculture except in a few tiny areas. Taken together, these marginal regions compose over half of contemporary China’s area; Tibet, Xinjiang, and Mongolia (only the southernmost section, “Inner Mongolia,” is part of today’s China) are each nearly the size of Western Europe, but they contain much less than 1 percent of China’s population, and even Manchuria contains less than 10 percent. Most of China’s people, and the roots and body of Chinese civilization, have always been located in the eastern and southern parts of the country, where agriculture has strong advantages. The empire expanded into the outer areas mentioned above in the absence of major topographic barriers (except for Tibet) but reached its limits roughly along the line formed by the main chain of the Himalayas and its northern extensions, which form the western and northwestern boundaries of Tibet and Xinjiang; other mountain ranges helped to limit Chinese expansion into northern Mongolia. But the cultures of the people of these areas, including their languages, have until very recently remained strikingly different from those found in the heartland of China, as is still the case in Tibet. The other major area that lies on the margins of monsoon Asia in physical terms, Pakistan, has from earliest times been inhabited by people who belonged to the major stream of Indian culture, and indeed this area saw the birth of civilization on the subcontinent. Much of Pakistan is desert or near-desert, but irrigation since late Neolithic times, especially along the Indus River and its tributaries, has made possible a productive agricultural system and a dense population. Despite its marginality in climatic terms, most of Pakistan gets its limited rainfall in summer as part of the monsoonal system, of which it lies on the fringes, as does northwestern China. The high and steep mountain ranges that form the western and northwestern borders of Pakistan have always drawn a relatively sharp line between the peoples and cultures of the Indian subcontinent and those to the west in the Persian and Arab world of the Middle East. Like the distinction between the monsoon realm and the rest of Asia as a whole, that line is perhaps clearest of all in terms of population density. by mountains and seas into many subregions with different cultures, in many cases also inhabited by ethnically different people. The four major subregions of monsoon Asia—India, China, Southeast Asia, and Northeast Asia (Korea and Japan)—are divided from each other in all of these ways, and each is further subdivided, to varying degrees, into internal regions. But there is a broad range of institutions, ideas, values, conditions, and solutions that have long been distinctively Asian, common to each of the four major parts of monsoon Asia, different at least in degree from those elsewhere, and evolving in Asia in distinctive ways. These include, among many others, the basic importance of the extended family and kin network and its multiple roles; the respect for and importance attached to learning, for its own sake and as the path to worldly success; the veneration of age and its real or fancied wisdom and authority; the traditional subjugation and submissive roles of women, at least in the public sphere (although Southeast Asia and southern India are qualified exceptions); the hierarchical structuring of society; the awareness of and importance attached to the past; the primacy of group welfare over individual interest; and many more distinctively Asian cultural traits common to all parts of monsoon Asia. Agriculture Most of Asia has traditionally been and many parts remain primarily agrarian. Although Japanese industry developed rapidly in the 1920s, and by 2018, China, India, and South Korea have become major industrial and commercial economies, Asian agriculture, including that of Japan today, has always been distinctive for its labor intensiveness, still in most areas primarily human labor, including that involved in the construction and maintenance of irrigation s­ ystems. Common Cultural Patterns Apart from the all-important characteristic of population density, monsoon Asia—the area east of Afghanistan and south of what is now the Russian Federation—has other common features that make it an appropriate unit of study. Even the monsoon part of Asia is a very large area, nearly twice the size of all of Europe to the Urals, and it is divided Figure 0.1 Rice paddies in south-central Thailand. This scene is typical of warm, wet Asia and of its great river valleys and plains, which are highly productive agriculturally. (R. Murphey) Murphey, Rhoads, and Kristin Stapleton. A History of Asia, Taylor & Francis Group, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central, Created from aul on 2020-11-25 10:20:19. Introduction: Monsoon Asia as a Unit of Study This too goes back to the origins of the great Asian civilizations, which arose on the basis of agricultural surpluses produced by labor-intensive, largely hand cultivation supported by irrigation. From the beginning, Asian per-acre crop yields have been higher than anywhere else in the world. With the addition of manuring in later periods and chemical fertilization more recently, they are still the highest in the world, especially in Japan. High yields have always supported large populations in monsoon Asia, concentrated in the plains, river valleys, and deltas, where level land and fertile alluvial (river silt) soils have also maximized output in this region of generally warm temperatures, long growing seasons, and normally adequate rainfall. Since approximately the first millennium b.c.e. or even earlier, monsoon Asia has contained the largest and most productive agricultural areas in the world. As one consequence, population densities per square mile have also remained high throughout this period, especially on cultivated land, and higher than anywhere else until the present. This was to some degree a chicken-and-egg situation. Productive land supported a growing population, which not only generated a need for more food but also provided the labor required to increase yields still further. This has been the consistent pattern of the agrarian and population history of each of the major regions of monsoon Asia over the past four thousand years. Copyright © 2019. Taylor & Francis Group. All rights reserved. Social Hierarchy Very high population densities have had much to do with the equally consistent nature of Asian societies, especially their emphases on group effort and group welfare, their mistrust of individualism, and their dependence on clearly stated and sanctioned rules for behavior. Although the image of the hermit sage emerged early across Asia as a cultural alternative, individuals have almost always been subject to group direction and subordinate to group interest. They were fitted into the larger structure of societies that were hierarchically organized; each individual has always had his or her defined place and prescribed role. Individual happiness and welfare, like those of the societies as a whole, have always been seen as resting on such a structure. Most of these societies remain patriarchal and male dominant, although there are regional variations; the primary institution has always been the family, where the oldest member rules, sometimes a female but usually a male. The chief virtue extolled by all Asian societies is respect and deference to one’s elders and to all others of higher status. Age and learning are equated with wisdom, an understandable idea in any agricultural society, where accumulated experience is the best guide to life’s problems, and where the few learned men are looked up to by the mass of illiterates. 5 It has always seemed strange to Asians that others elsewhere do not share to the same degree their own deference to age and to learning—and that they do not put the same high value on education as bot ...
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