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This is my first time writing a Compare-Contrast essay (I know, kind of late), and English isn't my first language....so... yeah... please give me suggestions and a grade. Thank you :)
Prompt: For several hundred years the Mongols ruled over both Russia and China. After casting off Mongol domination, both areas began a process of political and cultural recovery. Compare and contrast these processes in Russia and China.
The Mongol Empire was a powerful empire that conquered places throughout Asia, Middle East and even part of Europe. But after its decline, its conquered territories all broke free and began their own recovery. In both Russia and China, centralized governments were established. In Russia there was a period of absolute rule or even reign of terror, followed by westernization, industrialization and developments. But in China, under the Ming Dynasty, Chinese culture prospered, but after a while of trade and international connections, China became isolated from other countries in both economically and culturally.
Russia, after breaking off from the Mongols, began a government under a divine-viewed monarch and a very centralized government. Ivan the Great came to power, he expanded their territory and Russia soon became the new center of Eastern Orthodoxy. And soon Ivan the Terrible began taking on the name czar, and under him, a reign of terror began. He executed disagreeing or rebelling citizens frequently. But still, Russia was very feudal, and they developed like Eastern countries instead of following the path of European countries. In the same way, in China, Zhu Yuanzhang began ruling the Ming Dynasty, he created a centralized bureaucracy, and the traditional Confucianism-based civil service exam was revived. As a result, Chinese art and culture flourished. A Chinese eunuch Zheng He was even hired to sail to the Indian Ocean, this significantly increased Chinas position and power in the world. Trade with other countries grew.
The two nations recovery path went opposite ways immediately after that. Around 100 years after Ivan the Terribles death, Czar Peter the Great came to power in Russia, and he was aimed at westernizing Russia, so he built a great navy and hired European scholars to westernize Russia. The result was huge, great modern cities were built, people dressed in a western way, and technologies were introduced to Russia. Later on Catherine the Great also made reforms and Russia was westernized even more. But in contrast, China, soon after Zheng Hes diplomatic voyage, Ming government restricted Chinas trade and contact with foreign nations. The main reason was that they were afraid that the foreign powers would invade China. China then focused on developing its own culture and art, porcelain technologies were improved, great novels & drama were written, and one of the world largest encyclopedias Yongle Encyclopedia was organized.
Russia and China, both previously under Mongol domination, both developed a central government but went separate ways culturally after their independence from the Mongols. Russia began westernizing and imitating other cultures, soon it became the third Rome, and thrived culturally. But China, after a short period of open trade, turned inward and isolated itself from other parts of the world. Although their culture reached a golden age as well, they were eventually conquered by the Manchus. And because of the isolation, it lacked technological/ industrial developments, and was eventually conquered partially by Great Britain and Portugal.