Forbidden Religion to Hegemon of Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

In that same year as well, Portuguese ships reached China, re-establishing direct trade for the first time since its termination 150 years prior. The Chinese were particularly eager to purchase Spanish silver from the Andes, which the Portuguese provided in exchange for Chinese silk, highly coveted throughout Europe. The Portuguese even went as far as Japan, where they established contact briefly before that country's isolation. Expeditions were also sent to conquer Malacca and explore Borneo in 1511 and 1524.

Odd as it may seem, the Portuguese were the first to establish viceroys to govern over their colonies in India. Beginning under King Manuel I, the Portuguese presence in India was cemented by the appointment of the first viceroy, Francisco de Almeida, who governed from 1505-08. His capital was established at Cochin, where he waged wars against a number of Indian rulers for control of commerce in the region. His successor as viceroy, Alfonso D'Albequerque is more widely known for his conquests of Goa, Socotra, and Hormuz, which gave Portugal a short-lived monopoly on European trade with India.

Thus, the Maritime revolution is in no small part attributable to the enterprising spirit of Portuguese explorers, who provided a path by which many others followed. For better of worse, the Portuguese example would open the door to the great maritime empires of the next three hundred years.

3. In the disciplines of Geography, History, Political Science, and International Relations, a variety of terms are used to describe the landmasses governed by sovereign rulers and enclosed by marked boarders. Countries, states, nations, and nation-states have been used interchangeably by some, however, this is incorrect usage. In fact, these terms have distinct and important meanings. While the terms country and state have mainly political connotations, the term nation-state refers to both a group of people who consider themselves a nation as well as political entity. Thus, a nation-state is comprised of the political entity of say, Poland, and is inhabited by the Polish nation. It is possible for a nation to exist without a state, however. One such example is Native American nations, who are groups of people considered to be nations in that they share a cultural and perhaps ethnic background. Nation-states, however, are political entities with a sovereign government, worldwide recognition, and a suitable infrastructure that also share a common culture, and, therefore, are comprised of a nation. France, Poland, German, and even the United States, therefore, would fit the criteria for a nation state. Each not only meets the political requirements of a state, but each also contains a shared culture (Rosenberg). This does not mean, however, that each individual living in the nation-state must share the nation-state's culture. For example, the Amish in the United States reject the mainstream culture. This group is a nation unto itself. The only prerequisite necessary for meeting the nation requirement is that the majority of people belong to one nation. Furthermore, some states, like the United Kingdom, may contain more than one nation.

The nation-state had its beginnings in the treaty of Westphalia. The contract that ended the Thirty Years War, this treaty took Europe away from a land wrought with feuding princes, religious officials, and ruling families to one composed of sovereign entities. Before the Thirty Years War, Feudalism was the primary governmental system of Europe throughout the Middle Ages. The Feudal government was one in which rulers gave away land for military service. Thus, no established boundaries between kingdoms existed. Kings gave away land to those who served them in their military. Those who did not own land simply worked for landowners in a capacity that rendered them nearly as low as slaves ("Feudalism"). As land conquest was the primary cause of battle, one can see how this system would lead to quite a bit of conflict. Whenever the king wanted more land, all he had to do was send his warriors into battle. Unlike today, no checks and balance systems were put in place to stop foolish and selfish wars. The Feudal system established nations, or cultural groups, these groups were most often also impacted by religion. Religious differences between the German nations and their Protestant Reformation and the Holy Roman Empire, the pinnacle of Catholicism, lead to the Thirty Years War ("Thirty Years War"). The influx of feuding nations, religions, and ambitious rulers made putting a stop to the system of Feudal and religious rule necessary. Thus the Peace of Westphalia established the nation state.

Because of its status as a reaction to Europe's feudal system, the nation-state's first and foremost obligation to its people is the obligation of safety and security. With defined boarders, the nation state must give its people the benefit of safety within those boarders, limiting conquest for legitimate reasons, however difficult to define this may be. Furthermore, the existence of a nation state allows for the creation of a government that is more defined and rigid than the simple feudal system of family rule. While a monarchy may still be present, a more solid government with established hierarchy, courts of law, and other implements is the responsibility of the nation-sate. Finally, the nation-sate must promise to provide some sort of infrastructure for its people. With defined boarders, growth can now occur. The nation-state must prepare for that growth by providing an economy and other infrastructure that can sustain it. This means that such public goods such as the building of roads, maintaining of law, and social welfare can now be taken on by the government. Thus, the nation-state had its first debut with the Treaty of Westphalia, an antithesis to Feudalism, which allowed for no infrastructure and much warfare, the nation-state had obligations of safety, government, and infrastructure to its people.

Works Cited

Feudalism." Middle Ages.Org. n.d. Middle Ages.Org. 19 October 2008.

Kreis, Steven. "Renaissance Humanism." 2004. Lectures on Modern European

Intellectual History. 19 October 2008. The History Guide.

Middle Ages Religion." n.d. Middle Ages. Org. 19 October 2008. Middle Ages.Org.

Peace of Westphalia," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2008© 1997-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Renaissance," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2008© 1997-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Rosenberg, Matt. "Country, State, Nation: Defining and Independent Country." Geography. n.d. 19 October 2008.

Thirty Years' War," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2008© 1997-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

The following web sites were also consulted, though not quoted:

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