Nobody cares about such pendantry when it ignores the actual strategic situation. You may as well argue that terrorist attacks by Islamic Fundamentalists are totally sane because it makes sense from their perspective.
Terrorists are not state actors and are not defined under either realism or neorealism and not even by neomarxism.
It is also not, despite your attempts to potray the contrary, about my "personal feelings" on the matter. Political power could have been maintained by granting religious freedoms instead of forcibly trying to convert everyone back to Catholicism. This is not a fucking new thing. Part of the reason why the Roman Empire lasted for so long was because of its religious tolerance.
The definition that does not care about what you think was the correct decision (Due to incomplete information). You are essentially just making up a definition that is only true to you
and is undefined virtually everywhere
You're wasting everyone's time by your "If I think it's right, then it's right" uselessness when clear strategic facts are already present for all to see. Rational decisions made with the wrong premise are not rational decision. States make them all the time.
Contradicted by the definition, you are stating what is to you, an intuitive observation based on your subjective understanding; but it doesn't make it true.
Your definition seems to be "any correct state decision that I agree with."
Also, again: The Ming DID trade extensively. The Ming also had a much bigger problems in the northern front. That's the important bits which you keep blithely ignoring with your vain attempts to say "MING TRADE MORE, RAR".
Your now ignoring my entire argument, that the problems in the north, were minor in the greater scheme of things, the mongols were eventually absorbed by the gunpowder wielding Qing. So the Ming with their superior economy and GDP would have eventually
done the same had they continued to grow relative to the rest of the world and continued to advance technologically. Had the Ming traded more extensively and not saw fit to ultimately relinquish their trade (per Kennedy), or to prevent the rising of the bourgeoisie as a social force, then they would've most likely continued to make significant economic and technological strides that would eventually allow them to finish off the Mongols at a time of their choosing.
Which the Muscovites wielding gunpowder armies had no problems doing during this same time period from the opposite side of Eurasia.
Then stop making a big deal of this "MIng could have saved themselves via maritime trade!" when they were engaging in Maritime trade extensively AND there were other demonstrably bigger issues at hand (like a Manchu invasion).
The Manchu invasion is what finished off the Ming who were already too far gone in their decline. They could have saved themselves by not declining (sounds like a tautology, but bear with me) through the methods Kennedy outlines that I paraphrased.
Also it is demonstrably false your statement regarding Ming trade; it was mostly in luxury goods and mostly did not affect the domestic economy and was unlikely to act as a stimulus in its state. Ming's trade is not really comparable to British and French trade for instance. Only with rapid expansion, and by actively seeking out markets for manufactured goods along the pacific and indian oceans would it affect the Ming economy in the direction we wish it too; (Until then it provides revenue, but not market stimulation).
Again, I state had the Ming not declined relatively in economic and military factors they would not been conquered, but would have instead done the conquering inevitably
; just as how Europe came to inevitably dominate 3/4 of the globe. It was just a matter of time, this is a matter of historical record.
Also the Manchu invaded much later than the duration of that extensive trading.
That is because you can't tell the fucking West and East Indies apart. French interests never expanded to the East Indies in a meaningful fashion. Their trade was around the New World (the West Indies). The big players in SE Asian trading were the Ming, the Spanish (plus the Portugese, who were under Spanish rule for a good bit of this time), then the Dutch. The English only expanded to this area much, much later, exemplified by Singapore. The French never really got there in a big way, their links generally stopping at India.
hat title went to France, who never aggressively entered the East Indies trade but was still the strongest single power in Europe for much of the post-Thirty Years war period.
Is what you said, I assumed you made the argument that "France was not a maritime trader but was a significant european power regardless" as that's the only argument you could've made that was understandable here. My mistake, you actually are not actually making any sense here. What are you responding to? Definitely not my argument. As the geographical spheres of influence for the maritime states at the time you specified (1500 was it?) means nothing in the context of this discussion, as economic power and influence are relative
, see below.
You're a complete idiot.
Your entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.
We are talking about the trade during the Ming period, which is the 1500s. This is why I pointed to the Dutch's massive trading power, which reached its height in this period (but was still nothing compared to France).
You should've been more clear because clearly this doesn't make all that much sense; as my thesis uses comparisons to just how powerful maritime states like England would eventually
become stretching into the 19th century (hence my emphasis on the importance of the bourgeoisie and the Opium Wars); and thus how powerful at a minimum the Ming could have become. If your specifically pointing out the Dutch of the 1500's purely because of "They were a maritime state but weren't that powerful" Then your entire argument is invalid because its clear you don't actually understand what I am trying to say and we're just talking past each other.
Sure pick the Dutch of 1500 (despite the fact they didn't set up a trade post on Taiwan until much later), but the Ming were clearly the most powerful nation in the world then and could've easily crushed the dutch. When your studying the rise and fall of nations snapshots taken at specific dates are not instructive, you need to examine the interaction of historical economic, political and social forces and try to fit together a theory as to why over so many years did the Ming decline.
Also the rate in which trade forms a large share of GDP increases with time, in 1500 oceanic trade was still in its infancy; but by the mid 1700's it was a crucial share of GDP of the leading maritime states. And for Britain and France crucial to their ambitions.
However in 1500 the Ming had over 1000 warships of much larger size and tonnage than anything Europe had, so 1500 doesn't matter so much. What matters is that they slowly declined due to bad decisions (made for rational, reasonable reasons), when if they had maintained consistent investment ala the British and French who slowly pooled more and more of their national income into their fleets and the resulting arms race. The Ming could have likely maintained technological parity, kept growing the size of their trade, and by the 1800's would've been far stronger than they were previously relative to everyone else; this is just basic economic theory.
Technological parity, as well as seamanship, are accumulative. It takes centuries to build up a naval tradition, China today has problems building up a blue water fleet because it has to catch up over a huge gap. The Ming of 1640 weren't going to address a 2 century long problem in under a decade, they needed to be working on it seriously continuously at least beginning from when they noticed problems arising from their previous bad decisions.
England did not win any of those wars in a meaningful sense, and more importantly did not win any of those wars alone.
England decisively defeated France during the Seven Years War and the Napoleonic Wars, and won considerably in the war of Spanish succession, and forced France towards a compromise peace during the war of Austrian succession (which is really just a precursor to the Seven Years War anyways).
However your claim that England "did not win alone" is irrelevant, what does this have to do with the Ming? The Ming is far larger, has over a hundred million people and Indian/Pacific trade potential at least as potentially profitable as the entire British empire during that period; where England required allies by paying for it the Ming could entirely raise its own levees as home. Why do you keep ignoring my argument here?
France did not cease to exist after any of those wars. It did not lose any significant portion of its national territory or population in any meaningful sense save for overseas colonies, and even then their biggest and riches colonial claim (the Lousiana territory) was actually sold to America and not lost in any "defeat".
The claim that France wasn't annexed is just being pedantic and doesn't substantially address my argument, I could go into detail as to what France lost but to what end? What point are you trying to make, how does this at all relate to my argument?
France was actually kicking Europe's ass for much of the 1700-1800s. To the point that everyone basically had to gang up on France in order to prevent her from completely dominating Europe. And even then, she actually secured Spain as a (virtually) permanent ally after the War of Spanish Succession. England on its own was completely helpless to stop French aggression - and had to rely on allies to do the ground fighting for them (i.e. Prussia in the Seven Year's War, which fought the lion's share of the land war, not England). Heck, Napoleon's defeat can be attributed more to the Russians than anyone else, despite the British blockade the French were still able to raise an army of, what, 600,000 men that was only ultimately destroyed by the Russians?
English trade kept it in the war. It gave the Brits a surplus to help fund other warring powers. But British trade in no way equalled the simple power of the French population and war machine, that's why they needed allies.
See above, what does this part of the Anglo-French rivalry have to do with the Ming's economic potential?
"Trade automatically wins!" is a very poor thesis by Kennedy et al, and the British vs France conflicts was in no way a validation of this idea because the Brits never actually fought the French alone, and they never actually "won" against them. And the secret to their success was ultimately alliance-building and maintaining a balance of power.
Have you ever read the book? And again, you've entirely misunderstood my argument.
Also, apologies I missed a paragraph as its late so here's my late reply to it:
For the Ming, while some of their policies went against free trade, you're forgetting that the Spanish were limiting their free trade too, coupled with the fact that the Dutch of this period were simply absolute genocidal bastards that most people literally would not trade with unless threatened with cannon fire. It's truer to say that the Ming exploited the SE Asian trade routes as best they could, but their focus had always been to the threat of the Mongols and the northern barbarians. The dynasty was founded on the premise of throwing off Mongol domination, and it ultimately fell to another invasion from the north.
This isn't a matter of free trade vs mercantalism, that's a false choice and not my argument. What matters is how the two nations make the best use of their trade. My argument rests in that all advantages and disadvantages are relative, so that even if the total volume of Ming trade was larger, or if the Spanish also had some anti-capitalistic practices the difference is that the Ming's feudal order prevented them from benefiting from theirs as well as the Spanish or the Dutch could from their trade.
Again, to point out here, the Mongols aren't the threat people keep making them out to be, over the long term
and would've been absorbed with an energetic and dynamic Ming; just as how they got absorbed by the Qing two centuries later.
I am going to ask you two questions, and I think its more important that you answer these than to continue to play Quote-Block games:
1) What do you consider to be the cause of the Ming's decline and eventual absorption by the Manchu.
2) What do you consider to be my argument, and I ask you to give a substantiated explanation as to what you believe it to be, so we are on the same page and not talking past each other. It is insufficient to state "More trade rar", explain why you think I believe trade to be important as well.