- from Age of Imperialism
In the late 1200s, after reading Marco Polo’s writings about his travels, many Europeans became fascinated by China. Merchants traveling the Silk Road to Asia brought back tales of riches and wonders.
As a result, many explorers set sail for China. Centuries later, when the Industrial Revolution launched European industry, China still had much to offer European traders. China itself, however, had little interest in Europeans and their goods. That didn’t stop the march of imperialism. Nations like Britain sought any means to gain a foothold in China, even if it meant defying the ruling dynasty itself. A dynasty is a series of rulers from one family.