To trace the historical profile of the Zheng maritime organization and of a figure of such international standing as Zheng Chenggong (1624-1662) implies facing a number of difficulties which are intrinsically linked to the extreme peculiarity of the figure himself and to the extraordinary international stage -particularly Far Eastern maritime events of the 17th century- of which he was without doubt one of the most prominent actors. Many elements need to be considered and followed during the course of their evolution: the long-suffering process of Chinese dynastic transition which opposed the strong and undefeated Manchu invaders and the decadent Ming dynasty (1368-1644); the increasingly aggressive and relentless European presence which thrust its own rivalries and internecine fighting in Europe at that time onto the Far East: the careful choice of a defense policy by the recently established shogun Tokugawa (1603-1867) in Japan, who observed the events taking place in China in quiet silence and at the same time safeguarded national integrity by embarking on the sakoku route (the "closed-Country" policy); the economic, political and military interests that intermingled, blended and clashed explosively, making the seas of the Far East one of the most contested and important markets in the world economy of the 17th century. As they become evident, each of these very schematically described elements constitutes by itself a complex and multifarious collection of factors in rapid and continuous transformation. Of course, they cannot be nor is it appropriate for them to be specifically examined in this work, but it is necessary to consider them in the correct light. The maritime aspect is without doubt essential for an accurate appraisal and understanding of the role and historical significance longed for by the Zheng family and in particular by Zheng Chenggong, "Lord of the Seas of China", as he was later described by one of our missionaries, Tommaso Maria Gentili (died 1888). His economic, military and political might lay in the very powerful mercantile organization under his command which, by actually running a monopoly on the Far Eastern shipping trade carried out by the Chinese, guaranteed him a constant and considerable influx of capital. This enabled him not only to finance an offensive against the Manchu but to widen and reinforce hegemony over the seas. At the same time all of this led to a veritable political and military organization which was equipped with a precise and stable internal command structure and was capable of facing up to headstrong European expansionism.

Shiqi shiji Zhengshi Haishang Jituan zai dongya de guoji jiaose 17世纪郑氏海上集团在东亚的国际角色

CARIOTI, Patrizia
2012

Abstract

To trace the historical profile of the Zheng maritime organization and of a figure of such international standing as Zheng Chenggong (1624-1662) implies facing a number of difficulties which are intrinsically linked to the extreme peculiarity of the figure himself and to the extraordinary international stage -particularly Far Eastern maritime events of the 17th century- of which he was without doubt one of the most prominent actors. Many elements need to be considered and followed during the course of their evolution: the long-suffering process of Chinese dynastic transition which opposed the strong and undefeated Manchu invaders and the decadent Ming dynasty (1368-1644); the increasingly aggressive and relentless European presence which thrust its own rivalries and internecine fighting in Europe at that time onto the Far East: the careful choice of a defense policy by the recently established shogun Tokugawa (1603-1867) in Japan, who observed the events taking place in China in quiet silence and at the same time safeguarded national integrity by embarking on the sakoku route (the "closed-Country" policy); the economic, political and military interests that intermingled, blended and clashed explosively, making the seas of the Far East one of the most contested and important markets in the world economy of the 17th century. As they become evident, each of these very schematically described elements constitutes by itself a complex and multifarious collection of factors in rapid and continuous transformation. Of course, they cannot be nor is it appropriate for them to be specifically examined in this work, but it is necessary to consider them in the correct light. The maritime aspect is without doubt essential for an accurate appraisal and understanding of the role and historical significance longed for by the Zheng family and in particular by Zheng Chenggong, "Lord of the Seas of China", as he was later described by one of our missionaries, Tommaso Maria Gentili (died 1888). His economic, military and political might lay in the very powerful mercantile organization under his command which, by actually running a monopoly on the Far Eastern shipping trade carried out by the Chinese, guaranteed him a constant and considerable influx of capital. This enabled him not only to finance an offensive against the Manchu but to widen and reinforce hegemony over the seas. At the same time all of this led to a veritable political and military organization which was equipped with a precise and stable internal command structure and was capable of facing up to headstrong European expansionism.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11574/36878
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