Zheng He

Doug Irving

Zheng He's early life

Zheng He was born into a devout Muslim family in Yunnan, China in 1371. His original name was Ma He, which he kept until later in life. In 1381, he was captured and sent to serve the Prince Zhu Di. Eventually, Ma He became one of Zhu Di's closest companions, and his personal advisor. He was put in command of several campaigns against the Mongols and was a very successful tactician and leader. Once Zhu Di secured the throne over his nephew, Zhu Yunwen, Ma He had his name changed to Zheng He.

The Reason Zheng He Explored.

Zheng He's main reason for exploring was gold. Not literally gold, but other valuables such as silk, silver, spices, and perfumes. Once Zhu Di became emperor, he planned to repair old trade routes and trade partnerships. The previous emperor had been an isolationist, and traded as little as possible, which crippled surrounding economies. Zhu Di sent Zheng He with a fleet of ships called the treasure fleet to re establish trade routes, and bring back goods.

Admiral Zheng's Accomplishments.

- He successfully re established old trade routes.

- He caused a huge boom in China's economy.

- Opened up new trade routes.

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