Yes I think it is worth it to be fortune tellers and predict the future based on history. Abhishek’s predictions were correct in China’s isolationist policies. Sam was also mostly correct in her predictions about the continued dynastic policies. By looking back we can clearly see patterns and repeated behaviors and policies. By looking back at history we are able to look at repeated cycles and prevent them in the future. Since most of our predictions were correct we are able to predict our future and change it and prevent future mistakes and downfalls.
My predictions about religion were for the most part on track. China was very isolationist during this time so it’s understandable that Christianity died and neo-Confucianism becomes entrenched.
My predictions about gender role were slightly off. My prediction that it would become even more patriarchal were correct. I had said there was a very small chance the patriarchy would ease up a little but that was obviously wrong. Maybe the Manchus would allow some new ideas in, but they just adopted traditional TRADITIONAL Chinese values so obviously patriarchal society was strengthened.
Religion: I think religion will stay as it has throughout the years, Christianity and Islam will try to take a hold in China, but in the Ming and Qing dynasties they will still remain small and irrelevant to the general populous and Confucianism, Buddhism and new-Confucianism will still hold the major religious presence because throughout the years China has not adopted new ideas.
Gender: the patriarchal society will continue throughout the Ming and Qing dynasty it might ease a little but it will then go back to a predominantly patriarchal society because China has always been patriarchal and gets harsher through time, the introduction of new ideas might change the view but it is not likely.
The first graph is the population growth in Africa from the 1500s to the 1800s. There is a steady linear growth between the 16-1700s all increasing by about 10 million but from 15-1600s there looks like there was a small jump in population by about 12 million.
The second graph is the number of slaves exported. During the 16th century there was barely any slave exports, but by the 17th century the number grew exponentially and slave exports increased to about 20,000. From the 17th century to the 18th the number of slaves grew exponentially once again and it jumped to above 50,000 probably due to the increasing demand for slaves.
The third graph shows the destination of slaves. Half of them went to the Caribbean probably to work on Spanish plantations in very preferable plantation weather. More than a quarter then went to Brazil to Portuguese plantations in also preferable planting climates. Then the next most went to Central America and South America and the rest went to North America. There were probably more plantations already set up and worked for in the areas with more slaves and the north only used slaves to do domestic tasks and didn’t have many plantations for them to work on.
I think the population graph contradicts what the book says about African society. The book implies that many African males were taken and women had to take over their roles because there weren’t enough people yet the graph shows that African population was increasingly steadily throughout the slave trade period. The destination graph however was interesting because the book implies that Portugal and Spain bough many slaves to work on their plantations in the Americas, yet only a handful of slaves went there. Most of them went to the Caribbean and that is something that is barely explained in the book. The Spanish did have colonies there, but the ones in the Americas are mentioned more. The African slave export graph was supporting of what the book said about slave trade. As people found out about cheap labor the demand went up and more people were sold as slaves and shipped around the world, so that graph supports the book’s explanation of many saves being traded and circulated throughout the societies.
I think the reasons for differences in the development between Portuguese and Spanish colonies first started off with their different motivations. Portugal colonized Brazil after other countries started visiting, whereas Spain went out specifically looking for gold and silver. I think Portugal’s colonies was more of an “accidental” thing because the king gave out land grants to anyone that wanted to start colonizing or cultivating land, and the fact that after sugar plantations were successful did people go suggests no one knew about the fertile land. So Portugal was more of a fix the governmental structure as we go kind of a process. Spain however was set out on finding precious metals so they conquered intentionally. They had an idea of what areas had land or they thought had land so they were able to readily implant their own political structure. When it turned out there was little precious metals they had to turn to something else which ended up being agriculture. Spain was more forced into agriculture rather than Portugal.