Marco Polo's Influence On Sino-European Relations

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Topic1: The role played by trade in the history of Sino-European relations from Yuan times to the Opium Wars

Trade is often a form of national economic development, while trade can have a great influence on national relations. From Yuan to Ming, trade had a positive impact on the relationship between China and Europe, it helps to keep in good touch and promote economic development; From Qing to Opium Wars, trade was the main reason that England brought to war in China.

Marco Polo as a traveler and a merchant from Venice, was the first one who truly shortens the distance between China and Europe. Before him, silk, porcelain and tea had always been a strong link between China and Europe. "Marco Polo Travels" dedicated his 17-year old living
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Because Marco Polo’s travel was widely spread in Europe at the time, and the book made an exaggerated breathtaking description of the prosperity of the East. He praised the prosperity of China 's prosperous: developed commerce, bustling market, beautiful silk, breathtaking spectacular capital, convenient traffic, circulation of paper money, etc. For example, one area of special interests lies in Polo 's interest with the spices, foods, material for clothing and adornment as well as native wood and building styles. This made sense because of Marco 's career that he was a merchant. Thus Europeans once thought China was a land which “everywhere is gold and spices and everyone wears silk clothe” with strong longing. They wished to come to China one day and achieve the golden dream of the rich country. On the one hand, with the development of Europe after the 15th century and the germination of capitalism, the relationship between commodity money seriously affected the feudal natural economy and currency became a medium of circulation. That led to a strong desire of rare metal whatever hierarchies. While at the end of the Middle Ages, the most profitable trade was Toyo Trading which could provide western Europe with goods from China and India. On the other hand, after the rise of Turkey at that time, the traditional trade routes between Europe and Asia had to be under the control of the Turkish Empire. China 's merchandise such as silk, porcelain, spices and other commodities had to be transferred through Persia, Arabia, Turkey, Italy and other countries. That complex processing caused a substantial appreciation of prices of these merchandise. Not only cannot meet the needs of the Western European market, but also made a great amount of gold, silver and other precious metals outflows. In such an environment, the Western European countries wanted to find a new route

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