Imperial Expansion in Global Asia, 1400 to 1800
The early modern era, roughly around 1400 to 1800, was significantly marked by empire expansions. Asian empires like Timur in Central Eurasia, the Ming and Qing, as well as the Mughals, Ottomans, and Safavids expanded their territories through military conquest and commercial penetration. As they established political control over much more vast tracts of land, new commercial networks and culture interactions were also emerged. Also, it was a time of global imperial expansion. Asia was connected to the broader global interacting patterns with the increasing involvement of western Europeans.
The Ming (1368-1644) and later the Qing (1644–1911) dynasties of China expanded broadly across central Asia into Mongolia, Turkestan, and Tibet. The Ming dynasty put a considerable emphasis on oceanic exploration. A dramatic example of the Ming’s prowess at the time can be seen in the expansive voyages of Zheng He. He commanded the Ming dynasty's fleet of immense trading vessels on expeditions ranging as far as Africa between 1405 and 1423, helping to extend Chinese maritime and commercial influence throughout the regions bordering the Indian Ocean. His Muslim faith and prestigious position in government reminds us of the ethnic and religious diversity of the vast Chinese empire. Later in the Qing dynasty, China undertook a territory expansion beyond its boundary to control vast, multicultural, multi-climatic realm with centralizing state authority, increasingly regularized bureaucratic and professionalized administrations. Corresponds with the expansive era of Kangxi, the greatest success in territory consolidation occurred in the mid-eighteenth century with the definitive conquest and administrative incorporation of Mongolia and Xingjiang, bought China to it’s largest size.
The Mughals, Ottomans, and Safavids rose as expansive and prosperous Muslim empires in the 1400s and 1500s, promoting the revival of Islam. Ottomans migrated into Anatolia in the late thirteenth century and established a state in western Anatolia that challenged the Byzantines in southeastern Europe. By 1453, they had conquered Constantinople, which became their imperial capital, Istanbul. The Ottomans continued to expand, and by the eighteenth century, they ruled a large empire that included all of southeastern Europe, the Crimea, North Africa, and the Middle East to the borders of Persia. The expansion of regional and long-distance mobility across...