- Slides: 22
Ming China (1368 -1644) Collapse of Yuan: The Mongol Yuan dynasty fell due to: Financial Mismanagement Assassination Factional Fighting Bubonic Plague Most Mongols fled China and returned to the steppes of Central Asia.
Beginning of the Ming Hongwu (Zhu Yuanzhang) ◦ led the rebellion that forced the Mongols out. ◦ Came from a poor family ◦ His parents and most other family members died from plague ◦ Grew up in a Buddhist Monastery.
Ming Government Hongwu set out to centralize the government ◦ encouraged nationalist feelings ◦ reestablished Confucian education & Civil Service systems ◦ Instituted direct rule of the emperor ◦ discouraged Mongol ways such as clothing and names ◦ moved to end trade with central Asia, ◦ closed much of the border ◦ attempted to eradicate paper money ◦ banned slavery ◦ BUT kept Mongol government organizational patterns Mongol translators, the provincial structure, Muslim calendar makers.
Ming Government Ming Emperors relied heavily on Mandarins (a special class of powerful officials) and eunuchs.
Economic Recovery: Irrigation systems were rebuilt - agricultural production soared. Manufacture of porcelain, lacquer ware and silk and cotton textiles encouraged Domestic trade flourished while Chinese merchants also sought markets outside China without the support of the government.
Ming Social hierarchy based on age, sex, kinship Emperor claimed to be moral & spiritual benefactor of all Chinese Many women during the Ming dynasty had political power mainly in the household Rich women were educated and read popular novels
Began Cultural Revival: Chinese names and dress encouraged Confucian and Neo-Confucian schools established Novels, like Water Margin and Romance of the Three Kingdoms Ming, blue on white porcelain, was perfected.
Yongle Emperor Yongle organized the preparation of the Yongle Encyclopedia vast collection of all the significant works of Chinese history, philosophy and literature. 23, 000 manuscript rolls project to print the encyclopedia was abandoned because of cost.
Cultural Diffusion • . Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci - first European allowed into the Forbidden City Translated Chinese texts into Latin and vice versa, and worked closely with his Chinese associate, Xu Guanggi, on mathematical work
The 1602 Ricci map It is called Kunyu Wanguo Quantu, & was printed by Matteo Ricci upon request of Wanli Emperor It was very large - 5 ft high and 12 ft wide
1604, two page colored Japanese copy of the 1602 map
Economic Revival: Yongle sponsored a series of naval expeditions to the Indian Ocean led by Zheng He to ◦ Stop Japanese pirates ◦ Encourage expatriate Chinese to pay tax and return home ◦ Extend the tributary area ◦ Look for threats to China He restored trade with the Middle East and brought Southeast Asia under Ming rule. Yongle’s enemies claimed he was a Mongol. The voyages were VERY expensive.
Zheng He: Muslim, seven voyages, went as far as the Swahili Coast, demanded taxes and allegiance from Chinese merchants living abroad (attacked Sumatra when they resisted), established commerce, created tributary states and survey the Indian Ocean.
The treasure ships were 400 feet long. (Columbus’s Santa Maria was 85 feet)
Mongols! Oh no! Concern with the Mongols, and financial woes, led to the end of the naval expeditions, movement of the capital to the northern city of Beijing and the building of the Great Wall on the ruins of the walls built during the Qin Dynasty.
Stagnation Technological innovation slowed due to many years of peace and the reintroduction of the Civil Service system - took many of the brightest men out of the active economy. A population increase also caused a surplus of labor which lowered the incentives for mechanization. Natural resources became scarce; mining was limited in order to keep the price of metals high and large areas of forest in China were cut for housing and coffins. Transfer of technology was discouraged and some information like gunpowder making was censored.
Ming Decline: Ming Emperors ruled from the “Forbidden City” and often lost touch with the outside world for decades, depending on news from eunuchs and other servants. Eunuchs used their power to enrich themselves leading to corruption and inefficiency. Pirates raided coastal cities slowing trade.
Last Straw… A Little Ice Age in the 17 th century caused widespread drought, famine and farmer uprisings throughout China The government was not prepared- starving peasants revolted, aided by Manchu invaders from north of Korea. The last Ming Emperor and his family committed suicide.
Where do ya go when ya want somethin' to eat? ” Orders execution of entire family except sons. Hangs himself from “Guilty Scholar Tree”.
Famous last words “I am insufficient in virtues and weak in conducts, hence the heavenly punishment, and the ministers also failed me. Having no dignity to face my ancestors, I would undress my crown and cover my face with hair. Mutilate my body as you wish, but do not harm a single civilian. ”