Ming Dynasty China

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Ming Dynasty China

  1. 1. Ming China 1368-1644
  2. 2. Age of Exploration Begins 1500s • The Portuguese, led by Vasco da Gama, were the first Europeans to reach the Indian Ocean by sea in 1497 • They joined a vast, diverse trade network controlled by Arab Muslim traders • European rulers had political & religious reasons to want to find an all-water route to Asia – wanted to get around the overland routes controlled by the Italians and Muslims who charged large fees
  3. 3. Global Trade Network – 1650-1750 • Europeans lacked goods desired by Asians, so large quantities of silver (mostly from the New World) were required to bring Asian goods back to Europe • First the Portuguese, then the Spanish, French, Dutch, and British found their way into the Indian Ocean trade network • British, French, and Dutch established trading companies in the East – joint-stock companies such as the British East India Company that were funded by private investors • British eventually would control all of India ** East Asia will increasingly get pulled into the global marketplace despite attempts at isolating themselves from foreign influences and conflicts
  4. 4. Ming Dynasty China (1368-1644) • Goal of the Ming: restore China’s power and traditions • How can they achieve this goal? – By extending China’s power outside of its borders? – By turning inward and focusing on the preservation of China’s history and culture?
  5. 5. Ming Dynasty China (1368-1644) • Defeated the Mongols in 1368 • Reestablished Confucian based government • Attempted to eliminate all signs of foreign rule and promoted a return to traditional Chinese values and traditions • Second emperor moved the capital to Beijing and constructed the Forbidden City
  6. 6. Recovery in China - Overview Ming ChinaPolitical Development Mongols collapsed in 1368. Hongwu Emperor, established the Ming Dynasty. Erase memory of Mongol occupation. Confucian education and civil service reinstated. Private merchants traded and manufactured porcelain, silk, and cotton. Ming “Brilliant” Dynasty lasted until 1644. Intellectual Development Neo-Confucianism promoted Yongle Encyclopedia promoted Chinese traditions. Jesuit missionaries (Mateo Ricci) introduce European technology and beliefs. Wider production of printed materials. Novels written in Chinese.
  7. 7. Ming Ruling Principles Confucian beliefs about the relationship between the ruler and the ruled—everyone must fulfill their roles and duties Ruler seen as example of proper behavior Ritual provides social cohesion Government is a meritocracy (awarded for talents and effort) Examination system reinstated
  8. 8. Hongwu Emperor / Ming Taizu • Demands increased respect for the emperor • Continues to rule from Yuan capital of Nanjing • Wants people to obey, misdeeds punished quickly • Revised the legal code and taxes •Established a large military but it was not efficient •Employed eunuchs (castrated boys/men – often prisoners of war) in the expectation that servants whose fortunes depended on the emperors’ favor would work to advance the emperors’ interests •Eunuchs gained political influence during the Ming due to access to the emperor and to the women of the court •Hongwu mistrusted many—ordered killings / purges of officials, may have been mentally ill
  9. 9. Hongwu Emperor / Focus on Agriculture • Restored farming lands devastated by warfare • Improved irrigation and rice production • Cash crops – commercial farming of cotton and sugarcane encouraged • Fish farming • Increased trade eventually brought new crops from the Americas in the 16th century – corn, sweet potatoes, chili peppers – effects were increased population but also soil depletion over time
  10. 10. Zhu Di, Yongle Emperor (ruled 1402-1424) • Born Zhu Di—seized throne by force from his nephew • Used terror to keep government officials in line • Moved the capital to Beijing in north---better able to secure China’s borders and watch for an invasion from Mongols & Manchus • Aggressive foreign policy – militaristic & outward looking: – attacked Mongolia in 5 campaigns and beat back the Mongols – Conquered Vietnam in 1407 (held it for only 2 decades) • Built Beijing’s Forbidden City to house his palace and government buildings—closed to all commoners and foreigners • Continued to support the extension of the Great Wall as a barrier against the nomadic tribes in the north • Renovated the Grand Canal – deepened and broadened it – acted as a lifeline for the new Beijing capital supplying food
  11. 11. • Restored China after years of Mongol neglect – Brought back civil service exams – Restored farm land / planted New World crops – Rebuilt canals, reservoirs, and irrigation works – Planted a billion trees and reforested China – Helped the economy rebound – Saw population growth – Began extensive maritime expeditions & then turned inward Ming Dynasty China (1368-1644)
  12. 12. Ming Dynasty: Relations with the Outside World
  13. 13. Tribute System: Foundation of Ming Foreign Policy • Tribute system was the centerpiece of the Chinese world order. • Involved: The giving of gifts and the ritual of foreign ambassadors kowtowing in front of the Chinese Emperor were part of a hierarchy that placed the emperor at the center of the world. • Seen as foreign acceptance of the superior status of the Chinese emperor and thus of China itself • China's rulers viewed trade as subordinate to tribute. Tribute missions were presented with valuable gifts that showcased China's economic and cultural supremacy. • Foreign states were granted limited trading privileges with China • Trade with China was more important to the foreigners than it was to the Chinese rulers who prided themselves on their self-sufficiency **Kowtowing before the emperor
  14. 14. Beijing’s Forbidden City **Constructed by Yongle Emperor in the 15th century
  15. 15. Forbidden City: 1407-1420 constructed (hundreds of thousands of workers involved) Purpose: House the emperor and the government---all commoners and foreigners are banned
  16. 16. Ming Maritime Missions • Launched by Emperor Yongle in 1405 • Launched six expeditions in 28 years • Largest expeditions in history up to that time • First expedition led by Zheng He included: – 300 boats – 27,000 crew members – 180 physicians – 5 astrologers – Carpenters, tailors, accountants, merchants, cooks, soldiers, and sailors
  17. 17. Shipbuilding in the southern Fujian province was well established by the time of the Ming **Replica of Zheng He’s ships being constructed
  18. 18. But the real peak in Chinese maritime prowess is symbolized in the extraordinary tale of one man: Admiral Zheng He. During his 28 year naval career, Admiral Zheng visited 37 countries and commanded a single fleet whose numbers surpassed the combined fleets of all Europe. Some scholars argue that Zheng He sailed into the Atlantic and possibly to the Americas (Chinese map – 1418) Painting of a giraffe brought back to the Ming emperor by Zheng He—no one in China had seen a giraffe before and believed it was related to the mythical unicorn
  19. 19. Purpose of Chinese Expeditions • Establish Chinese power and prestige in the world • Zheng He knew where he was going—these were not voyages of exploration—goal was to show the world that the Ming had expelled the Mongols and returned China to its former glory (also to re- establish tribute system) • Did not seek to: – Conquer territory – Spread culture – Gain control of foreign markets
  20. 20. Goals of Zheng He’s Expeditions 1. Established tributary relations with regions throughout the eastern hemisphere – rulers acknowledge China’s superiority 1. Demonstrate China’s technological advances 2. Opening trade routes / increasing trade 3. Seek new medical advances / medicine 4. Use force if necessary to put down pirates and to force submission to China
  21. 21. A stationary full-size model of a "middle-sized" treasure ship (63.25 m long) at the Treasure Ship Shipyard site - Nanjing
  22. 22. The Sudden End of the Voyages • 1424 -Yongle dies - his successor immediately ends expeditions – big ships broken apart for lumber • Confucian officials saw expeditions as a waste of money and resources • Disputes in the government between the conservative Confucian officials and the eunuchs (supported voyages) • Many believed China should focus on fortifying its northern border against nomadic invaders • Merchants now funded sea trade, establishing themselves in Southeast Asia and elsewhere – so state-run voyages and tribute system no longer necessary • Believed China was a self-sufficient “Middle Kingdom” that required little from the outside world – the world should come to China
  23. 23. The Ming & the Mongols • Northern border – easy to move in and out of China • Some Mongols settled in China (most were in the Ming army) –intermarriage was encouraged • Early 15th century – the Yongle emperor led a series of campaigns against the Mongols and pushed them back (he died in 1424 returning from the 5th campaign) • Mongol raids continued in the 1500s –Alta Khan seized a million head cattle, captured or killed 200,000 • Policy – offensive attacks and trade disguised as tribute to pacify Mongols • Ming emperors starting with Yongle carried out the expansion of the Great Wall to try to keep Mongols out • Disputes in Ming government about how to deal with the threat – appease the Mongols or refuse to negotiate?
  24. 24. GREAT WALL • Mongols continued to represent a serious threat to China’s stability • Ming emperors greatly expanded the Great Wall of China --took its final form being extended more than 600 miles—extension built out of brick, contained thousands of watchtowers, 35 feet hight, 20 feet wide • Expansion of the wall – intended to end the disputes between officials – some wanted to expand trade with the Mongols while others insisted no compromises be made with them • Large workforce and army required—untold numbers perished
  25. 25. Great Wall: Ming built part of the wall is about 1,500 miles long
  26. 26. MING DYNASTY: BEGINNING OF CHINA’S ISOLATION Foreign merchants in China closely supervised by government Limited access for foreign merchants to a few specific ports Chinese merchants were not encouraged to trade overseas No large ship yards allowed  No trading corporations supported China could not compete with Europe by the time of the Qing Dynasty
  27. 27. Ming: Trade & Piracy Along Coasts • Ming tried unsuccessfully to limit and regulate foreign trade…demand for Chinese goods was high and merchants were willing to sell on black market • Traded with East Asian neighbors and after 1500 with Portugal and Spain • Portuguese occupied the island of Macau – built a trading community there – acted as the trade middlemen between Japan and China • Pirates in South China Sea became very powerful • Ming eventually ordered evacuation of coastal regions due to the threat posed by pirates • Grand Canal became the main means for domestic trade--
  28. 28. The Grand Canal was a major means for transporting grain, salt, and other important commodities. Any taxes that were paid in kind were paid in grain, which was shipped along the Grand Canal to Beijing.
  29. 29. Ming: Foreign Trade / Europeans  Ming had the strongest economy in Asia at the time  Used paper money early in the reign and then switched to silver as their means of exchange (eventually too much silver will cause economic decline)  Confucian beliefs: agriculture is key to orderly society  Only the government allowed to conduct foreign trade  Merchants were seen as supporting foreigners and robbery  Despite this manufacturing and commerce continued to grow  China had many important markets  Private merchants continued to support sea trade and to smuggle goods out of country through black market
  30. 30. Ming: Foreign Trade / Europeans  Canton became the most important port in China by the 1600s – chief port for foreigners conducting legal trade with China  Thousands of ships could be seen visiting Canton  Thanks to trade, Canton was also a center for shipbuilding  Chinese ships, called junks, did not travel as widely as European ships did during the First Global Era because the Chinese government made long- distance voyages illegal.  Despite this, Cantonese trading ships often made shorter trips to the Philippines, Java, and Sumatra.  Europeans used New World silver to buy silk, ceramics, and exotic goods  Ming’s isolationist policies could not keep China out of the increasingly globalized trade networks  Qing dynasty would continue carefully managing trade with Europeans, but would also continue to see the growth of a more globalized trade network and a more advanced market economy
  31. 31. Jesuit Missionaries • Jesuit missionaries arrived in China on trading ships to spread Christianity • Matteo Ricci arrived in China in 1582 and arranged for the Jesuits to become court advisors to the Ming – Ricci was the first missionary to impact Ming China • Ming – most were not interested in converting to Western religion – but did want access to Western knowledge through the scholarly Jesuits • Missionaries shared science and technology with the Ming – introduced the clock & telescope to China - math, astronomy, engineering knowledge • Other Catholic missionary orders arrived in the 17th century – less tolerant of Chinese customs than the Jesuits were leading to controversies and expulsion
  32. 32. • Government sponsorship of foreign trade and exploration ended • Chinese merchants and craftsmen continued to settle and trade in Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Southeast Asia -- economic growth continued • Global commerce continued to be China- centered through the First Global Age • What might the world have been like if China had continued expanding its navy and had not turned its focus inward? Lost Opportunities?
  33. 33. MING CHINA’S DECLINE • Imperial extravagance & neglect • Eunuchs formed their own bureaucracy…despised by the scholar-officials leading to government instability • Nearly bankrupt government after 1600—partly caused by expenses of Great Wall & of defending Korea from Japan • Navy became ineffective---leading to piracy • Famine strikes in the 1630s due to a “little ice age” that brought lower temperatures---crop failures, peasants revolt • 1640s—Yellow River flooding, small pox epidemic • Later emperors stopped consulting government officials • Beijing falls in 1644 to the Manchus from Manchuria • Last Ming emperor committed ritual suicide

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