Construction of the Past Produced by Those in Power

The views about the Chinese spread in Europe, views that portrayed the Chinese as rampant baby-makers who practised bad medicine and perpetrated a trade imbalance with the rest of the world. Women were largely ignored, or, if they are mentioned at all, were subsumed under the analyses of men during any given period. These were the images that were presented by the typical dead white man analyses. However, these views have been largely corrected today, and, even in the era before the 1960s, were contradicted by individual, powerful voices that corrected these historical oversights and gave life and voice to those who were oppressed by the traditional historical analyses.Typical historical analyses are not kind to the minority in any society. In Europe, for instance, there was an inherent bias against Chinese medicine, due to the way that Europeans historically viewed such treatments as acupuncture and herbal remedies, which is that these remedies are not based upon any empiricism. This is an example of historical bias, and one that has proved, largely, to be wrong, for these treatments are based upon empirical observation. Yet traditional European canon dismissed these treatments because of the view that was held by the majority that the Eastern medicines are not helpful and are not well-studied (Goldstone, 2000, p. 176).Likewise, the historical notion that the Chinese were historically not eager to trade with the West, while the West was eager to trade with the Chinese, ignoring the historical evidence that the Chinese in the 14th Century did attempt to trade with the West, sending large fleets to Africa, before pulling back (Goldstone, 2000, p. 176). The Chinese reason for pulling back is also under historical review, as the traditional historical view was that the Chinese pulled back on its trade because its despotic leaders ordered it to do so.

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