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Homework. Read pages 307-311 in the textbook. Answer questions 3-4 on page 311. Due tomorrow. Bring in your textbook as soon as possible!. Aim: Why Didn’t China Discover the New World?. June 10, 2014. I. Decline of the Yuan Dynasty.

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  • Read pages 307-311 in the textbook. Answer questions 3-4 on page 311. Due tomorrow.
  • Bring in your textbook as soon as possible!
i decline of the yuan dynasty
I. Decline of the Yuan Dynasty

A. Kublai Khan wastes money/equipment/lives on unsuccessful invasions of Japan and SE Asia (Vietnam, Indonesia)

B. Kublai dies in 1294. His descendants are weak, corrupt, fight amongst themselves for power.

C. During the 1300s, peasant rebellions chip away at Yuan power

D. In 1368, peasant rebels led by Ming Hongwu overthrow the Mongols. Yuan Dynasty ends, Ming dynasty begins.

ii the ming dynasty 1368 1644
II. The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
  • Ming Hongwu (1368-1398) – Peasant leader who defeated the Mongols. Starts the Ming dynasty.

1. Strengthens centralized gov, restores civil service exams.

2. Pacifies border regions

3. Redistributes land to the peasants.

ii the ming dynasty 1368 16441
II. The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

B. Yung Lo / Yongle (1402-1424): Son of Ming Hongwu

1. Expands China in the South

(including Vietnam)

2. Capital is in Beijing

(“Forbidden City” is the

massive palace where he lives).

Will be China’s capital until

the 20th century.

3. Sponsors numerous sea

voyages, to be led by a court

official named Zheng He

iii sea voyages 1405 1433
III. Sea Voyages (1405-1433)
  • Why would China under the Ming Dynasty have

supported voyages of exploration?

  • Gaining Tributary States (territories under Chinese control that will pay tribute/taxes)
  • Demonstrates China’s power / technology
  • Military advantages
  • Chance to acquire new goods, trade routes and markets
  • Scientific / cultural curiosity
B. China has the technological resources to explore the world, but domestic and cultural issues put an end to Chinese sea exploration:
  • They were too expensive (China lacked an effective system of taxation).
  • Wars with the Mongols in the 1400s were a distraction
  • Rise of Neo-Confucianism (emphasized spiritual pursuits over material wealth)
  • Many would not participate in the voyages because they had to care for the tombs of their ancestors.
  • Ethnocentrism and xenophobia

C. China enters a period of isolation while Spain and Portugal go on to explore the Americas. China falls behind!