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what kept china from conquering (siam?) thailand? and koreas

 
 
OGIONIK
 
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 05:22 pm
why did they just make them give tribute? was their state of curent affairs so out of control they couldnt take them over without possibly wreaking havoc on their current holdings and losing them?
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 06:07 pm
opium
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 06:15 pm
are you being serious? ive read things about bureaucrats using it , they called it a plague i think. but i mean im remembering this from elementary schooll so i dont give it much credit.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 06:17 pm
Perhaps you can help the discussion by defining as to which period of time you are referring? This would help rein in the boundaries disucssion.

What are saying about Plague? I'm not following at all.
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 06:20 pm
i cant, it just felt weird that china didnt take over that area.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 06:23 pm
Sorry, but I just can't help you. I am just not following you. what is a plague? Maybe someone else can help?

I'll backtrack a bit:

The reason I mentioned opium and China is that during China's recent history...there were Opium Wars. Here is a link that will help you see what curtailed China's progress:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_Wars

However, this was more recent :

" Opium Wars... also known as the Anglo-Chinese Wars, lasted from 1839 to 1842 and 1856 to 1860 "
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 06:30 pm
oh easycakes i guess it was a buffer between east and west.

it was never taken over by a western state, thats where i first got interested in it, but china never took it over either.

i guess, well i read their rulers were quite "capable"


that seems to be the answer so far. haha, pretty simple.
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 06:33 pm
siam was able to pit french and british vs each other, coupled with the opium wars they would have had a certain control over the situation im sure..

capable leaders, seems the correct answer so far. thanks mate.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 06:33 pm
OGIONIK wrote:
i cant, it just felt weird that china didnt take over that area.


why would it be weird that China didn't take over Thailand or back when it was Siam?

Remember that back further in history in Asia, and other areas, there was far less organization to countries as sovereign powers...less than nations..more like regions. Warlords ruled...etc.
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 06:36 pm
im pretty sure the interior squabbling was what kept china from releasing its full military might against siam, they were gettin "tribute" from them so i dont think they were interested in any excessively wasteful military campaigns.

jeez, even the usa couldnt take over that area,wait where is vietnam HAHAHA?

i cant believe i have to look this up...
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 07:04 pm
I believe much of that area in question (Indo-China), depending on the timeframe (hence my request to define WHEN) was one people...Khmer...Viet, Thai...or at different times, was tribes...bands...etc.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 07:12 pm
OGIONIK wrote:

jeez, even the usa couldnt take over that area,wait where is vietnam HAHAHA?

i cant believe i have to look this up...



I'm confused a bit as to what your focus is. USA was involved in Vietnam from 1954-1973 is related to Thailand how? USA NEVER tried to take over Thailand. It did try to install and prop up a democratic gov't in Vietnam, though. and [allegedly] to try to prevent the spread of Communism in the region, particularly in VN.
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Feb, 2008 01:24 pm
well, i was referring to the general people of the area, they would have had some form of contact so i consider them, related but that was a tangent i do those alot. sorry Razz
0 Replies
 
Franklin51
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 May, 2008 09:06 pm
I know somewhat about Chinese history.

ancient china was a really big empire but also was a proud nation.
except their territory, they thought all the region outside was outskirt and all the people in there were barbarian.
in ' sunzi strategics', the famous strategic book in antient china, it believed that the best and safty way to defeat your enemies was to submit them by diplomatic way not by military way.
and chinese emperor believed that the tribute symbolized submission.

another reason I think is the threat from the northern country next to antient China, such as Mongolia, Tada, Houjing. every chinese emperor had to put a lot of amy to prevent the invasion fron the north.

from 19 century western country bagin to invade china
chinese power began to shrink and he could conquer or submit any country no more

it's just my opinion.
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2008 09:18 am
China has dominated East Asia for at least a thousand years. Chinese civilization, i.e., writing, religion, political forms, etc., were admired and copied by almost every country that came into contact with China. The relative strength and wealth made resistance to China appear futile to most neighboring countries. It wasn't necessary for China to "conquer" its neighbors by military force, it won them by its prestige and their envy.

The Mandarin term for what we call China translates to, "The Middle Kingdom". To the Han China is and always has been the Center of the World. Only in China is there true civilization, or anything of true worth. Outside Chna's borders, there are only howling barbarians and chaos. The northern barbarians of Mongolia and the Eurasian steppes were the most dangerous, and much of the Chinese military was focused on defending that long border. To the east, Korea and Japan presented no threat. Both Korea and Japan were importers of Chinese products and culture. Korea's rulers were apparently quite content to pay their respectful tributes to whatever Dynasty was in power. Nippon was from invasion by the Sea of Japan. Taiwan, also separated from China by water, was a poorer more primitive place. It payed less in tribute, and was generally left to its own devices though often under Chinese guidance.

Along the southern borders the terrain is more difficult. Northern China is relatively dry, and largely dependant upon water from the four major river systems. The south is wet, monsoon country with many rivers and thick almost impassable jungles. The aboriginal tribes of Southern Asia tended to be independent, tough warriors who fiercely defended their own territories. The Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese Cambodians, etc. produced rice in such abundance that rice could be traded north into china for products that could be made locally only with difficulty. They paid their tribute and the Chinese were satisfied to leave them mostly independent. It was just too much trouble to conquer them; the costs far outweighed the benefits.

To the southwest and west, the land rises dramatically up to the northern slopes of the Himalayan Mountains, the Tibetan Plateau and the great desert stretching away toward Europe. These are also distant lands that were difficult to access and the cost of conquest and occupation just wasn't worth the effort as a practical matter. Cultural dominance was all that was necessary to obtain pro forma allegiance and tribute on an irregular basis.

China was stable, except during the beginnings and endings of Dynastic Cycles. It had a large, well-organized and disciplined population. relatively rigid Confucian ideals dominated the political structure, but Taoism provided a touch of mysticism and spontaneousness. Buddhism "fit" easily into Chinese cultural norms and became the third great Chinese religion. Islam also entered China after the 8th century CE, and even today large numbers of Muslims can be found in Western and Northern China. Everyone got along pretty well, and the system continued to work right up until the late 18th century.

The dominate group in China has always been the Han, and the Han pretty early became confident of their own superiority over the rest of the world. That confidence over time became arrogance, and Han Chinese chauvinism and prejudice became one of their culturally defining characteristics. If anything wasn't Chinese, it was inferior and with little value. "Non-Han are all uncivilized barbarians who only want to plunder China for their own ignorant purposes." China became increasingly conservative, and backward looking. China was the inventor of many of the world's most important technologies, yet by the 18th century it was far behind Europe in development. China never saw much value in expansion , or exploring the rest of the world (not worth the effort), with only a few exceptions. The most notable exception were the great Chinese fleets that briefly in a single lifetime explored as far away as East Africa.

Understanding the Dynastic Cycle is important to understanding Chinese history, but that's another subject. The last of the traditional dynasties was the Ch'ing, and it was not Chinese, but Manchu. The Manchu were "invited" into China at the end of the Ming to restore order out of the chaos that accompanies Dynastic change. They came and restored order, and they stayed to rule.Chinese were required to shave their foreheads and wear a "pigtail". The Manchu began by ruthlessly occupying China, but by the end of their Dynastic Cycle they had become mostly assimilated by the dominant Chinese culture.

BTW, the Ch'ing government often referred to the destructive nature of opium addiction as a plague. Yet, they were forced by European military superiority to permit importation of opium from India. Opium addiction WAS a plague, and spread rapidly amongst the population with terrible social consequences to the system.
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2008 04:03 pm
Speaking of opium..

He said its the worst, but yet he picks up everyday.

poor guy.
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 May, 2008 06:22 pm
Who are you talking about? I doubt any of our members are opium smokers, but maybe you know some interesting gossip.
0 Replies
 
cello
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 May, 2008 07:48 am
That was a nice summary of Chinese history, Asherman, thank you. Myself I have not read much about Chinese history. All I know is that Chinese culture is very present in South-East Asia. If one looks at Japanese and Korean, the written languages have kind of similar characters and were probably derived from Chinese characters.

I don't see why the Chinese needed to "conquer" their neighboring countries. History has shown us that invaders and conquerers are not welcome and are sooner or later kicked out by native people, provided they are able to, even if it takes hundreds of years to do that.
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 19 May, 2008 11:20 am
Chinese is a monosyllabic , and is quite different from most other East Asian languages. The written forms of both Korean and Japanese were based upon the Chinese characters that evolved from archaic pictographs. Trying to adapt written Chinese to native polysyllabic languages was not entirely successful, and both written Korean and Japanese evolved away from Chinese Kanji characters. Though Chinese characters can still be found in both contemporary Korean and Japanese, each has its own distinctive script.

It is true that the Chinese didn't NEED to physically conquer and occupy kingdoms/regions. It is, however, a mistake to think that expansionism was a rationally arrived at wise decision. The Han didn't expand, because of their chauvinistic belief that nothing of value existed beyond themselves and the Middle Kingdom. The primary barbarian threat came from the nomadic warrior Mongols to the north. Against that threat there was The Wall, and the bulk of the Chinese army was continually aware of that threat. The west were desolate deserts separating China from mythic lands. The east, there was the endless Pacific Ocean. In steamy jungles of the south tribal kingdoms fiercely defended terratories that the Chinese regarded as next to worthless. The Tibetan Plateau was distant, barren, and didn't even rest along a trade route to the west. To the Chinese, none of their neighbors had anything worth the effort of conquest.

More over, the region peripheral to China was quite willing to pay a bit of annual tribute for the privilege of access to Chinese products, goods, and luxuries. The tribute reinforced the Chinese attitude that they were innately superior, and that any change would more likely result in loss of that superiority rather than in actual progress.
0 Replies
 
cello
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 09:13 pm
Ah, I didn't know that Japanese and Korean are polysyllabic. No wonder their characters look more fluid than Chinese.

It is strange to think that while China was well developed, the areas around it were still tribal like you said. I guess if they had wanted, they would have conquered those areas easily, even if it were just to get the land.
 

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