PODCAST: HISTORY UNPLUGGED
J. Edgar Hoover’s 50-Year Career of Blackmail, Entrapment, and Taking Down Communist Spies

Loading...

What would have happened if China discovered America before Europe? More
importantly, what would have happened if it colonized America? It is a
plausible scenario. Prior to the nineteenth century, China was the wealthiest, most
technologically advanced civilization in the world and dominated trade along the Pacific coast. Its navy was well funded and dwarfed its rivals. Furthermore, at the height of its power it was helmed by Zheng He, the most towering figure in 4,000 years of Chinese naval history and maritime expeditions in the pre-modern world. He led seven voyages across the Eastern maritime world. He commanded a fleet of 27,800 sailors on 62 treasure ships – each with nine masts and larger than a football field, weighing 2,000 tons. The ships ferried porcelains, silks, and exotic treasures that were sold into the markets that dotted the Indian Ocean coastline or were gifted to their rulers. Each ship was twice as large as the first transatlantic steamer, built four hundred years later. They were so massive that all the combined fleets of Columbus and Vasco da Gama could have fit on a single deck of a single vessel of Zheng He. If he had ever encountered Columbus in the Atlantic, it would be like an African black rhinoceros and a meerkat eyeing each other from opposite sides of a watering hole on the savanna.

Loading...
Loading...
Cite This Article
"Travelers and Explorers, Part 4: Zheng He — the Admiral Who Turned the Indian Ocean Into a Chinese Lake" History on the Net
© 2000-2024, Salem Media.
April 13, 2024 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/travelers-and-explorers-part-4-zheng-he-the-admiral-who-turned-the-indian-ocean-into-a-chinese-lake>
More Citation Information.
×