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Chinese Culture And World Outlook Vs. European Culture And World Outlook

1224 words - 5 pages

Justin Wickett5/25/2004Chinese Culture and World Outlook Vs. European Culture and World Outlook During the 1400s to the 1700s, both the Chinese and the Europeans viewed themselves as superior cultures. Both the Chinese and the Europeans thought that they were the center of the world. The Europeans spread their culture and world outlooks outwards, but the Chinese decided to close their nation off from the outside world and tried to concentrate on themselves only. Although both the Chinese and the Europeans thought of themselves as dominating powers, they had completely different views when it came to cultural values and world outlook including religion, trade, and the treatment of women due to the fact that one empire decided to expand its reign while the other decided to shut itself off from the outside world. Before the European Enlightenment took place, the Catholic Church and the Pope controlled the European Empire. Europe was strictly a Catholic empire, and anyone who disagreed was considered a heretic. Soon after the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, thinkers started to work out theories about the universe that went against common Catholic beliefs. On top of the problems with thinkers and their new theories, Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation, which also challenged the Catholic Church. Although the Catholic Church was feared all throughout the European Empire, with all of the rebellious groups such as the thinkers and the Protestants rising up, it was hard for the Catholic Church to stay in power and to control the European Empire. Unlike post-Reformation Europe, the Chinese were good in avoiding the sectarian and religious warfare that the European Empire ran into. Unlike religions in Europe, there was little distinction between the Daoist, Buddhist, or other local cults in China. Unlike the Europeans, the Chinese believed in cosmetic unity and the fact that there was no Supreme Being that favored one group of people over another. They also believed the Emperor was the only one that had the Mandate of Heaven, thus enabling him to communicate with the gods. Almost all Chinese believed in Confucius teachings and tried to center their lives on the ideas he thought. Unlike the European Empire, the Chinese did not enforce a particular religion on the people and the emperor had no reason to ban certain religion practices. Because of this, the Chinese were considered to be very religiously tolerant. While expanding its reign, trade and foreign exploration on boats became a key to success for the European Empire. In 1942, Columbus sailed his ships to the New World where he learned trapping methods from the Native Americans. Also, because of this great new discovery, the European countries started trading tobacco and chocolate with the New World. The Europeans traded with the African countries and used African slaves in their fields to grow crops, and they also traded with the Chinese and got...

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