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The Ming Dynasty: The Beginning of an End. By: Lisa Feng, Yige Yao, Joseph Kim, and Mark….Austin. The Elements of Change. The Ming Dynasty was established after the reign of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty.

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the ming dynasty the beginning of an end

The Ming Dynasty: The Beginning of an End

By: Lisa Feng, Yige Yao, Joseph Kim, and Mark….Austin

the elements of change
The Elements of Change
  • The Ming Dynasty was established after the reign of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty.
  • Towards the end of the Yuan Dynasty, a series of unfortunate incidents forced the Mongols to retreat back to their Manchu homelands to the north.
  • These incidents included sinicization of the later emperors which in turn led to lack of respect by Mongols and eventually the Chinese themselves.
  • Eventually, with the pressure of revolts and struggles, Zhu Yuanzhang captured Dadu. (known as Beijing now) The Yuan had run one of the shortest dynasties in Chinese history, lasting not even a century.
the establishment of the ming dynasty
The Establishment of the Ming Dynasty
  • China was in ruins when the Ming Dynasty inherited the land. Massive flooding of the Yellow River, extreme inflation, overtaxing, shattered infrastructure, and a crippled economy lay at the feet of the founders of the Ming.
  • The first emperor to rule the land was Hongwu. Hongwu and Zhu Yuanzhang were the same person, as Hongwu was more of a reign title.
  • Hongwu reintroduced the Chinese culture that the Mongols attempted to destroy. In fact, Hongwu tried to destroy every evidence of the very presence of Mongol rule in his land.
hongwu the first ruler
Hongwu: The First Ruler
  • Hongwu was intent on instilling the culture and pride of China back to his people.
  • He immediately got into rebuilding the state infrastructure. Some significant changes this action brought was the reconstruction of the Grand Canal and the Great Wall of China. He also established the capital in Nanjing.
  • Beyond all this, Hongwu is also very well known for reexamining and revising the Confucian Law Code.
hongwu the first ruler cont d
Hongwu: The First Ruler Cont’d
  • Hongwu, although having great trust in the eunuchs, had a great discrimination on the influential and powerful members of the gentry class.
  • Beyond the frequent public beatings he held in court, he killed a 100,000+ people through raids and his version of the secret police, the Jinyi Wei.
  • Hongwu was also very focused in controlling his people, especially the merchants. From monthly check ups of goods to forced resettlement, he attempted to halt trade and nullify the influence of the wealthy.
  • Ironically, his policies would eventually encourage the merchants to eventually pursue after more fortunes.
the yongle emperor the second founding of the ming dynasty
The Yongle Emperor: The Second Founding of the Ming Dynasty
  • After Hongwu died, his grandson, Zhu Yunwen took over the throne. However, only a few years after he took over power, his uncle, Zhu Di challenged his authority, and a showdown began. Eventually, Zhu Yunwen and his family was killed in a massive fire set on the palace of Nanjing.
  • After the incident, Zhu Di took over the throne as the Yongle Emperor.
  • He is especially well known for reversing and eliminating many of his father’s principles and policies. For this, he is known as the “second founder” of the Mind Dynasty.
the yongle emperor cont d
The Yongle Emperor: Cont’d
  • The Yongle Emperor immediately set forth on changing the location of the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. From there, he is very well known for making the Forbidden City.
  • He also set forth on rebuilding the state’s infrastructure.
  • Beyond that, he was also known to initiate bloody purges, but was different in setting a tone of respect for scholars and educated officers. He hired many educated persons to put together the Yongle Encyclopedia. The work was the greatest work of literature in depth and in length for that time.
the economy from failing to a superpower
The Economy: From Failing to a Superpower
  • The economy of the Ming was horrible to begin with. However global interactions from a short and long scale helped revive it to global dominance.
  • The major export of the Ming Dynasty was silk, lacquerware, and porcelain. After relations were cut off between the Japanese and the Chinese, Portugal entered to play as the intermediary.
  • Silver was the major import of the Ming Dynasty, but China experienced new goods from the Americas such as foods like sweet potatoes and maize.
ming economic relations with europe
Ming Economic Relations with Europe
  • The Ming Dynasty was very dependent on the Europeans in the silver trade business. Most of their silver imports came from the Americas.
  • After Spain cracked down on illegal smuggling of silver and Japanese closed all ports to trade with China, many of their sources of silver disappeared, having a devastating effect on the economy.
  • However, the decrease in import of silver from the Americas was due to demand, not the amount of supply.
major religions of the ming dynasty
Major Religions of the Ming Dynasty
  • The Ming Dynasty was painted with a wider variety of religions during the time.
  • Of course, one of the most common was the Chinese native folk religion.
  • Other major religious denominations that existed during the time was Daoism and Chinese Buddhism.
  • Although Christianity had been within Chinese borders since the Tang Dynasty, a reinforcement of energy came from the Jesuits. Although they suffered criticism, they boosted support rate.
social and gender relations and structures within the ming dynasty
Social and Gender Relations and Structures within the Ming Dynasty
  • In the Ming Dynasty, the society was mainly a patriarchal society. This was largely due to the teachings of Confucian philosophy and its impacts on Ming society.
  • From the Tang Dynasty, the practice of foot binding spiked during this dynasty.
  • Social structure between the rich and poor hardened during this time as opportunities for wealth and fame only fell on the rich.
population trends of the ming dynasty
Population Trends of the Ming Dynasty
  • Even with detrimental epidemics which are claimed to take lives in the millions, the Chinese population grew at a booming rate.
  • 100 million to 160 million from 1500 to 1600.
  • 160 million to 140 million from 1600 to 1650.
  • 140 million to 160 million from 1650 to 1700.
  • 160 million to 225 million from 1700 to 1750.
  • The statistics show a growth of more than 40% within the growth from 1700-1750.
  • The large population put extreme pressure on Chinese resources, but with silver trade booming and entrepreneurs gaining more opportunities, China was able to support its population.
the fall of the ming dynasty
The Fall of the Ming Dynasty
  • A great part of the fall of the Ming Dynasty was due to the booming growth in power of the Manchu to the north.
  • The Manchu attacked multiple times, and under great leaders, they were succesfully able to repel the Mongols.
  • After Mongols managed to enter through the walls, they slowly destroyed every area they could find. Eventually after capturing Shenyang, they established the Qing Dynasty which would be the next dynasty of China.