Why didn't the ancient Chinese dominate the world?

December 20th, 2013  

Topic: Why didn't the ancient Chinese dominate the world?

We all know that the Chinese were responsible for many inventions including gunpowder. What is less well known is that they didn't only use them for fireworks.

From the 9th century onwards, well before being known elsewhere, the Chinese developed gradually more advanced weaponry including flame throwers, rockets, the forerunner of guns and cannons, and bombs.

One such bomb was an advanced biological weapon called the 'bone-burning and bruising fire oil magic bomb' which contained pellets of iron and shards of porcelain coated with a stew of tung oil, urine, sal-ammoniac, faeces and scallion juice. This fearsome weapon was guaranteed to wound the skin and bones and blind enemies. Another weapon was a sort of self-loading cannon which could take on streams of infantry

However, these weapons (and their wall) didn't prevent successive invasions, although those tribes became assimilated and part of the Chinese.
December 21st, 2013  
I think, putting it very simply that they had enough problems managing their own huge empire without trying to manage more.

Had they have seen enough need I have little doubt they may have tried.

Look at the number of truly advanced civilisations in the past that all just fell in a hole for one reason or another. Egyptians, Mayans, India, ......
December 22nd, 2013  
At one point they explored widely and had troops in Ceylon. Then a xenophobic Emperor called it all off and had long range Junks destroyed. There has been speculation that if not for him a Chinese Junk might have reached England before English ships made it to China.
December 22nd, 2013  
I think they did dominate the world. Their world. Just as the Romans did, or the Aztecs and so many others. At that time no one new how "big" the world really was.
December 23rd, 2013  
Good point, although perhaps I should have said medieval Chinese rather than ancient, since that's the era when gunpowder was developed there.

Perhaps Britain was the right size to dominate, not too big and self contained, although even then there was Scotland and civil wars. Most of the empire was achieved though a strong navy necessitated by being an island, occupying strategic islands and points. The larger lands were conquered through the dominance of primitive natives, with the exception of India which was originally a trading post.

If the Chinese could have prevented frequent invasions, and used their superior shipbuilding and gunpowder techniques they might have dominated.
December 23rd, 2013  
China decided to look inwards rather that outwards as Europe did, Japan did much the same thing
February 25th, 2014  
china (dynesty han) is more powerful than Roman Empire before 2000 years
February 25th, 2014  
Not more powerful, different.
April 16th, 2014  
Their neighbors to the north did a pretty good job, Genghis Khan and his armies.
May 5th, 2016  
Want to know the BIGGEST reason the English dominated the world vs any other group? The language - English was easy to spread and easy to learn. Even after they would conquer or what not, the locals would easily pick up the English language. Communication like that severely decreases animosity between the conquered and the conquered (Plus it unites the Empire in someways). One of the biggest keys to success of the British Empire.

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