The Cross Cultural Exchanges in Early Days Essay

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The nature of cross-cultural exchanges in the early modern period

The phenomenon of cross-cultural experiences and exchanges started from the early years and was always the starting point of discovery of the other cultures. On the initial contacts, there were outstanding differences and concerns that the people involved had, with each of the groups of people thinking that the culture of the other was strange and inferior.


The evidence shows that cross-cultural exchanges in the early modern period were stereotypical and condescending. The people of a given nation always saw the other cultures as strange and hence inferior to their own. They tended to consider the cultures they came across as a possible undue interference with their noble and familiar culture. This corruption of their cultures was often discouraged by all means by either taking measures to discourage their own people from accepting the other culture, or trying as hard as they could to erode the other culture and assimilate the people to their culture.

One instance is in the Edicts of the Tokugawa Shogunate by David J.Lu., (2001) that showed how Japanese were discouraged from contacting any foreign cultures. Their government in the 1635 onwards banned any Japanese citizen from travelling out of Japan, indeed those who had travelled and lived out of the country were to be killed.

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The Japanese abhorred other culture apart from their own. The government did not allow any sheep to sail to foreign nations. They also looked at the foreign religions as misleading and hence were to be rejected. This is how stereotypical Japan was in the early modern period.

The other relevant instance is the description that is given in the excerpt from Alexander Falconbridge. Here, Alexander F., (1788) describes the slave trade experience he had at the coast of Africa in 1788. The cross cultural experience he had by visiting the coast of Africa was a culture shock to him and as can be seen, he describe the slave trade as it happened without putting in his personal opinion. This is an indication of the indifference in the negative effect his culture had on the cultures of the locals. It never seemed to bother him that the influx of the foreign cultures destabilized the local cultures and the slave trade disrupted the harmonious livelihood along the coast of Africa hitherto the arrival of his people.….....

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Alexander F., (1788). An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa, 1788 (excerpt). Retrieved June 17, 2018 from,%20An%20Account%20of%20the%20Slave%20Trade%20on%20the%20Coast%20of%20Africa,%201788.pdf

David J.Lu., (2001). The Edicts of the Tokugawa Shogunate: Excerpts from the Edict of 1635 Ordering the Closing of Japan: Addressed to the Joint Bugy? of Nagasaki. Retrieved June 17, 2018 from

Historical Association, (2018). Cortés Describes the Country. Retrieved June 17, 2018 from

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