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Mao Donald's and Mc Eggrolls? What IF China Ruled the World?

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We have recently learned a lot about what Europeans did when they took over Africa. But it didn't have to be this way. We have learned some amazing information that could have changed the course of history as we know itů

What if China had colonized Africa instead of Europeans? What if they had discovered America instead of Columbus? As it turns out, this all could have happened!

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The great Chinese explorer, Zheng He
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In the early 1400's a Chinese explorer called Admiral Zheng sailed from China to conquer the world. He led seven major expeditions, leading the largest navy the world would see for the next five hundred years. Zheng had 28,000 sailors on 300 ships, the longest of which were 400 feet. In 1492 Columbus had 90 sailors on three ships, the biggest of which was 85 feet long. Zheng's ships were also more advanced than any ship Europe had until 400 years later! Boy, the Chinese sure did have a head start!

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Zheng He's "treasure ship" (four hundred feet) and Columbus's St. Maria (eighty-five feet).
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Zheng He reached East Africa and learned about Europe from Arab trainers. The Chinese could easily have decided to trade with the Europeans and move on to America. However, China thought Europe was backwards and had nothing to offer. China didn't care about European wine, beads or wool. Instead, China valued things from Africa: ivory, medicines, spices, exotic woods, and specimens of native wildlife. So why did the Chinese not eventually take over Africa and the Americas instead of the Europeans? Because they didn't want to. They cared a lot more about culture, arts, education, and religion than power and money. They also tended to focus a lot more on what was going on in their own country than what was going on outside. Europeans were very anxious to get what other countries had! Just imagine if the Chinese had wanted to take over the world like the Europeans. Things would be a lot different. For one thing, you'd probably be reading this in Chinese right now! (1)

(1) Source: Nicholas D. Kristof, 1492: The Prequel

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