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Is Gavin Menzies Argument Valid?

Essay by   •  February 16, 2012  •  Essay  •  384 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,973 Views

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I think Gavin Menzies does not have a valid argument about the Chinese discovering America. His argument is not valid, because he does not have enough evidence, many scholars disagree with his theories, and his statements are only theories and not real evidence. He does present conflicting arguments that try to prove that his theories are correct. For example, his statement that the Ming dynasty explored and went to India and southern Asia is probably true. However, some scholars say that there is no evidence that the Ming fleet actually sailed to those parts of the world past Africa.

Gavin Menzies claims that the Chinese were the first to map and circumnavigate the world. Menzies has a map of this evidence, but nobody knows the correct date of the map. Some arguments against his include that after the Ming fleet expedition, Zheng He's maps and artifacts were burned. So, if all of the evidence was burned, how does Menzies know that the Chinese were the ones to discover America? Also, Columbus' evidence is more well known and he is the one who is known to discover the new world.

Menzies says that Zheng He discovered the world before Columbus, because someone have had to create maps going to the Americas in order for Columbus to sail there. However, this is only a theory, and not clear-cut evidence. Some scholars say that Menzies' theories are a work of fiction presented as revisionist history. The scholars are the ones with the evidence, and not Gavin Menzies.

In the time of the Ming dynasty, the Chinese were seen as more advanced technologically and socially than Europe. Menzies says that the Ming fleet improved trade and only China could have sparked the trade improvement because they were so advanced. This helps Menzies argument, but does not prove that the Chinese could have sailed to the Americas before Columbus did.

Therefore, Gavin Menzies does not have a valid argument that proves the Chinese sailed to America in 1421. First, his "evidence" is only theory, and many scholars disprove his work. Also, he doesn't have enough evidence to prove the Chinese came here. Christopher Columbus is more well known than Zheng He, and there is more evidence making the argument that Columbus was the first to come to the Americas.

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