Download 1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies PDF

By Gavin Menzies

On March eight, 1421, the most important fleet the realm had ever visible set sail from China to "proceed the entire approach to the ends of the earth to gather tribute from the barbarians past the seas." while the fleet again domestic in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and fiscal chaos. the good ships have been left to rot at their moorings and the files in their trips have been destroyed. misplaced within the lengthy, self-imposed isolation that used to be the data that chinese language ships had reached the United States seventy years ahead of Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century prior to Magellan. they usually colonized the USA ahead of the Europeans, transplanting the valuable financial vegetation that experience on the grounds that fed and clothed the area.

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Between 1793 and the mid-1830s Britain, now the pre-eminent sea power in the world, determined to wrest trading concessions from the Chinese government, although Macartney himself dismissed as a wild suggestion the notion that British negotiators should push for the concession of a Macao-like enclave or insular station. The huge corporate monopoly that was the British East India Company controlled the lucrative tea trade between China, India and Europe. China was not at all interested in balancing trade by importing products from Britain.

G. William Longstaff for Charles Elliot, Captain Glessing for the real-life Captain Edward Belcher and even one, Horatio Sinclair, as Gideon Chase. Other novelists of early Hong Kong such as Dean Barrett (Hangman's Point, 1998) happily fuse fictional protagonists with factual participants of the action. Clavell's version, in spite of excellent explanations of the development of the opium trade and the taking of Hong Kong, jars the more one knows about the real-life players. Both the novel and Daryl Duke's film adaptation, starring Bryan Brown as Struan and the lissome Joan Chen as his Chinese mistress May-may, offer authentic and atmospheric depictions of the "Possession ceremony" on the beach at Sheung Wan.

15 HONG KONG Palmerston's lack of prescience about Hong Kong's potential for future development was, of course, shared by his Chinese counterparts. While despising the troublesome barbarians and treating them with the disdain they merited, it was clearly politic to make a minor concession to them. Plagued with internal disturbances and insurrections in this period, which culminated in the great upheavals of the Taiping Rebellion, the Manchus could afford to lose a minor territorial outpost that most of them probably never knew existed until Elliot made his demands.

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