Even in the centuries which appear to us to be the most monstrous and foolish, the immortal appetite for beauty has always found satisfaction.
While all of this was happening in the West, China continued to flourish in its own realm. The Ming and Qing Empires would sustain China as a regional power until the early nineteenth century. But still, the goal of selling the fruits of the Renaissance and the New World to China was out of reach. But, that does not mean foreigners did not try to sell to China. There were some brief successes, but the history of trade with China is one marked by China—when it felt like it—exporting and selling products abroad, but almost never buying products from the outside world, accepting only silver and gold specie in return for their luxury wares. Why?
England, Spain, Portugal, France, and Holland colonized the New World and ...