Exploring New Waters Essay

1497 words - 6 pages

Forty years ago, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, opening a gateway of possibilities. It was the beginning of a new age of exploration. After Neil Armstrong’s landing, the US spent forty more years on space exploration. This lead to the US spending billions of tax payers dollars on satellites, visits to Mars and the Moon, and launching numerous rockets into space. However, recently the US has been forced to focus on other issues such as national security, depleting economy, and many others. With all of these issues happening at once, the US is having trouble figuring out how much funding should be put into programs like NASA. Although these issues are important, we must not sacrifice our knowledge for exploration in exchange for only national issues. Instead we have to “deal with the reality of world events,” and “we should not let terrorism set the agenda. H. G. Wells said many years ago that "human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe" (Dick). As a nation we must take care of our country but we almost expand our knowledge. Like the early explorers, the actions of today’s explorers will influence the next generation as we continue to explore the final frontier.
From 1405-1433, Commander Zheng He explored the ocean representing the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) of China. Sailing across the Indian Ocean he traveled across East Africa, Makkah, and the Persian Gulf. During his voyages he traded with the foreigners and brought back giraffes, lions, ostriches and leopards for the Chinese emperor in exchange for stones, ivory and dyestuffs. Zheng He’s journeys in China increased China’s resources, foreign affairs, and military power. However after his death in the year 1433, the Chinese government burnt a majority of the official records of his voyages focusing on their own economic problems instead of exploration. Exploration was expensive and the Chinese Emperor was not satisfied with the gifts Zheng He bought back from his adventures.
China’s lack of effort in exploration following the aftermath of Zheng He’s death lead to the rise of the European globalization. While the Chinese focused on their economy, the Europeans conquered Hawaii, and North America turning it into European territories. English became the dominant language and countries developed a more western style of thinking. China loss valuable resources during the Opium war because the British had more advanced technology like guns. Also during the Boxer Rebellion the Chinese believed that by practicing “boxing and calisthenic rituals (hence the nickname, the "Boxers") arts” they could make themselves “impervious to bullets” (Rosenberg). The Chinese suffered a humiliating loss to the British. China also lost resources and territory to the Japanese during World War II and Rape of Nanking. It was not until the aftermath of World War II when the Chinese regained their territory and slowly rose to the super power it is today.
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