Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zheng He

Replica of one of the boats
The great Zheng He died today; I heard the news. It's 1435, and he passed away in China.
The Ming Dynasty has been ruling us since 1368, and restored Chinese culture after the Mongol invasion. It means "brilliant", which is pretty cool.
But let's go back to Zheng He. In 1405, he commanded the first of seven expeditions he would make to explore the outside world. He explored Africa as well as many other places outside of China. Some even say he discovered the Americas, but he didn't get the credit. When the fleets got back, the Ming destroyed and banned the building of the ships. Scholars didn't have interest in the outside world. This strict Chinese tradition eventually led to China's downfall. This was pretty important because he started a bit of dislike for Western culture as well as the outside world; Zheng He also started interest in the outside world from the common people.

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