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The Mongol AND Ming. Mongol Origins. Nomadic horse people N. China Grasslands Raised horses, tended sheep Felt tents: Yerts, Ger Language: Altaic (Rel. To Turkic, Manchurian) Could not marry between tribes and clans. Organization. Families-->Clans-->Tribes-->

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The Mongol AND Ming

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mongol origins
Mongol Origins
  • Nomadic horse people
  • N. China Grasslands
  • Raised horses, tended sheep
  • Felt tents: Yerts, Ger
  • Language: Altaic (Rel. To Turkic, Manchurian)
  • Could not marry between tribes and clans
  • Families-->Clans-->Tribes-->
  • Tribes gathered during annual migration
  • Chiefs elected. Based on nobility, military ability, wisdom, leadership skills
  • Religion: Shamanism
  • Nature deities, but key God is the Sky God
  • Sacred color: blue
temujin ghengis khan
Temujin: Ghengis Khan
  • b. 1167, son of tribal chief
  • Father poisoned…fled as youth
  • Returned as adult, avenged father, Eventually chief
    • By age forty had unified all Mongol tribes
    • Battles, alliances, ability to survive
    • Elected as the Great Khan
    • Amazing talents along with sons and grandsons
positive aspects of the mongol conquests
positive aspects of the Mongol conquests
  • promoted commercial and cultural exchanges global civilizations
  • stable government based on precedents in
  • provided lengthy period of peace
mongol army tactics
Mongol Army Tactics
  • All males 15-70 served in army
  • Organized into“Myriads” (10,000’s)
  • Units within each of 1000, 100, and 10
  • Unpaid
  • Elaborate signals
  • Soldiers supplied military equipment
  • Intelligence gathering high priority
  • Foreign experts and advisors
  • Every man carried own supplies; had 2 horses.
  • Loyalty oaths
  • Creation of Yasa, law code
divisions at genghis khan s death
Divisions at Genghis Khan’s Death
  • Four Khanates
    • Kipchak Khanate (Golden Hoarde)
      • Russia
    • IlKhanate
      • Persia
    • Chagatai Khanate
      • Mongolia
    • Great Khanate
      • China, Outer Mongolia, Border States, to which the others owed allegiance. Later became the Yuan Dynasty
China under Mongol Rule
  • Kublai Khan conquered all of China and defeated the Song.
  • Ruled from Cambulac (Beijing)
  • Called himself the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368)
  • Building Projects
  • Religious Toleration
  • Ethnic Ranking
  • Marco Polo spent 17 years in Kublai’s service
decline and succession
Decline and succession
  • Chinese never really accepted as legitimate
  • Succession wars between heirs and generals
  • High Taxes, Corrupt officials
  • Paper money controversy
  • Yellow River changed course and flooded Grand Canal among other natural disasters
  • Decentralization & Rise of Warlords
  • Last Khan fled to Mongolia in 1368 after the Red Turbans Buddhist led revolts
The Ming Restore Chinese Rule
  • After Kublai Khan’s death, the Chinese despised the foreign Mongol rulers.
  • Zhu Yuanzhang defeated the Mongols back to the other side of the great wall & began the Ming (brilliant) Dynasty
  • The Ming ended foreign rule and restored Chinese traditions.
  • Revival of the arts & better methods of printing which led to a flood of books

China under Ming Rule

Rebuilding China

  • 1368, peasant named Zhu Yuanzhang, rebel army, overthrew last Mongol emperor
  • Zhu took name Hongwu, “vastly martial,” founded Ming dynasty
  • Ming means “brilliant”; dynasty lasted nearly 300 years, until 1644
  • rulers gained control of Korea, Mongolia, parts of Central, Southeast Asia
  • worked to rebuild China
  • Reduced taxes, improved trade, agriculture, increased stability

The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

In addition, Hongwu worked to eliminate Mongol influences and revive traditional Chinese values and practices, like Confucian principles.


Ming Economy and Society

  • Prosperity
  • Improved methods of irrigation increased farm production
  • Peasants produced huge rice crops in southern river valleys
  • Growth of Crops, Population
  • 1500s, new crops like corn, sweet potatoes from Americas reached China
  • crops further increased farm output
  • Stability, plentiful food led to substantial population growth
  • Growth of Cities, Industries
  • As population grew, so did cities
  • Industries like manufacture of porcelain, silk expanded in response to growing European demand
  • At same time, China remained mainly agricultural society
social hierarchy and mobility
Social hierarchy and mobility
  • scholar-officials, farmers, artisans, and merchants
  • scholar-official-landlord
    • learning, political power, and economic wealth
  • local elite (gentry) and lineage
  • lack of work ethic
    • literati’s long gown
    • foot-binding for women
china s tributary system
China’s Tributary System
  • Traditional system for managing foreign relations
  • The ``Central Kingdom” worldview
  • Ming dynasty had the most extensive tributary system
    • tributes from East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and even West Asia and Africa

Values, Traditions

  • To obtain government officials educated in Confucian ideas, Hongwu restored, improved civil service examination system
  • To root out corruption, increased influence of censors, officials who monitored government
  • Expanded Power
  • Hongwu also greatly expanded power as emperor
  • Did away with positions of some high level officials, took over more control of government
  • As result, Ming emperors more powerful than in previous dynasties
  • Eliminated anyone challenging authority; killed thousands of rivals


  • In 1398 Hongwu died
  • Following power struggle, son Yonglo became emperor
    • Ruled from 1402 until 1424
    • Moved Ming capital to Beijing, in northeast China
    • Built vast imperial city at center of Beijing
    • City complex became known as Forbidden City because most people forbidden from entering
zheng he s fleet 1405 1433
Zheng He’s fleet (1405 - 1433)
  • Over 300 ships & 20,000 men
  • trade and commerce
  • Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia, and East Africa
China and the World

1405 – the voyages by Zheng He - to promote trade & collect tribute.

  • Showed others the power of the Chinese empire.
  • After he died, sea trading was halted b/c Confucian scholars were loyal to tradition & didn’t want foreign influence.
  • China missed its opportunity.

Outside Influences

  • European Influence
  • Some Europeans gained influence in China
  • One was Matteo Ricci, Italian Jesuit priest; arrived 1583
  • European Learning
  • Ricci learned Chinese, adopted customs to gain acceptance
  • Introduced European learning in math, science
  • Mongol Threat
  • Ming also faced renewed Mongol threat to north
  • To improve defense, Ming restored China’s Great Wall
  • Great Wall
  • Parts of earlier walls repaired, but most construction new
  • Much of Great Wall seen today built during Ming period

Ming Foreign Relations

Beginning of Isolation

  • 1500s, move toward isolation gained full force
  • Ming heavily restricted foreign trade and travel
  • Foreign merchants allowed to trade only at few ports, during certain times
  • Policies impossible to enforce; smugglers carried out brisk trade with foreign merchants
  • Arrival of European traders, Christian missionaries influenced decision to isolate China
  • Europeans introduced new goods and ideas
  • Ming disliked European influences
  • Sought to preserve Chinese traditions

Ming Foreign Relations

The policy to end the voyages was part of a move in Ming China toward isolation from the outside world.


The Manchu

Reasons for Decline

  • Ming China weakened; the Manchu, a people to northwest in Manchuria, saw their chance
  • 1644, Manchu swept into Beijing, took capital
  • Last Ming emperor killed himself to avoid capture
  • Manchu formed own dynasty; gave it Chinese name—Qing
  • Late 1500s, Ming Dynasty began to decline
  • Weak rulers took throne, corruption increased under their rule
  • Defense efforts drained treasury; rulers raised taxes
  • 1600s, high taxes, crop failures led to famine, hardship; rebellions broke out

Ming Decline