Ming Dynasty

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Great Ming
大明

1368–1644
 

 

Ming Cheenae at its greatest extent unner the reign o the Yongle Emperor
Caipital Nanjing (Yingtian prefectur)
(1368–1644)[1]
Beijing (Shuntian prefectur)
(1403–1644)[2][3]
Leid(s) Offeecial language:
Guanhua Cheenese
Other Cheenese dialects:
Wu, Yue, Min, Xiang, Hakka, Gan
Ether leids:
Turki (Modern Uyghur), Tibetan, Mongolian, Jurchen, ethers
Releegion Heaven worship, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Cheenese folk releegion, Islam
Government Absolute monarchy
Emperor (皇帝)
 − 1368–1398 The Hongwu Emperor
 − 1627–1644 The Chongzhen Emperor
Senior Grand Secretary
 − 1402–1407 Xie Jin
 − 1644 Wei Zaode
History
 - Established in Nanjing Januar 23 1368
 - Fall o Beijing tae Li Zicheng Aprile 25 1644
 - End o the Soothren Ming Januar 22, 1662
Aurie
 − 1415[4] 6,500,000 km2 (2,509,664 sq mi)
Population
 − 1393 est. 65,000,000 
 − 1403 est. 66,598,337¹ 
 − 1500 est. 125,000,000² 
 − 1600 est. 160,000,000³ 
Siller Bimetallic:
copper cashes (, wén) in strings o coin an paper
Siller taels (, liǎng) in sycees an bi weicht
Remnants o the Ming Dynasty ruled soothren Cheenae till 1662, a dynastic period which is kent as the Soothren Ming.
¹The nummers are based on estimates made bi CJ Peers in Late Imperial Chinese Armies: 1520–1840
²Accordin tae A. G. Frank, ReOrient: global economy in the Asian Age, 1998, p. 109
³According tae A. Maddison, The World Economy Volume 1: A Millennial Perspective Volume 2, 2007, p. 238
Ming Dynasty
Cheenese 明朝
Empire of the Great Ming
Traditional Cheenese 大明帝國
Simplified Cheenese 大明帝国

The Ming Deenasty, kent as the Empire o the Great Ming an aw, wis the rulin dynasty o Cheenae for 276 years (1368–1644) followin the collapse o the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, describit bi some as "ane o the greatest eras o orderly govrenment an social stability in human history",[5] wis the last dynasty in Cheenae ruled bi ethnic Han Cheenese. Although the primary caipital o Beijing fell in 1644 tae a rebellion led bi Li Zicheng (who established the Shun Dynasty, soon replaced bi the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty), regimes lyal tae the Ming throne – collectively cried the Soothren Ming – survived till 1662.

The Hongwu Emperor (ruled 1368–98) attemptit tae create a society o self-sufficient rural communities ordered in a rigid, immobile seestem that would guarantee an support a permanent class o soldiers for his dynasty:[6] the empire's staundin airmy exceedit ane million troops an the navy's dockyards in Nanjing wur the lairgest in the warld.[7] He also teuk great care breakin the pouer o the coort eunuchs[8] an unrelatit magnates, enfeoffing his mony sons throughoot Cheenae an attemptin tae guide these princes through published dynastic instructions. This failed spectacularly when his teen-aged successor attemptit tae curtail his uncles' pouer, promptin the uprisin that placed the Prince o Yan upon the throne as the Yongle Emperor in 1402. The Yongle Emperor established Yan as a seicontar caipital an renamed it Beijing, constructit the Forbidden Ceety, an restored the Grand Canal an the primacy o the imperial examinations in offeecial appointments. He rewardit his eunuch supporters an employed them as a coonterweicht against the Confucian scholar-bureaucrats. Ane, Zheng He, led seven enormous voyages o exploration intae the Indian Ocean as far as Arabie an the coast o Africae.

The rise o new emperors an new factions diminished such extravagances; the capture o the Zhengtong Emperor durin the 1449 Tumu Crisis endit them completely. The imperial navy wis allowed tae faw intae disrepair while forced labor constructit the Liaodong palisade an connectit an fortified the Great Waw o Cheenae intae its modren form. Wide-rangin censuses o the entire empire wur conductit decennially, but the desire tae avoid labor an taxes an the difficulty o storin an reviewin the enormous archives at Nanjing hampered accurate figures.[6] Estimates for the late-Ming population vary frae 160 tae 200 million,[9] but necessary revenues wur squeezed oot o smawer an smawer nummers o fairmers as mair disappeared frae the offeecial records or "donatit" their launds tae tax-exempt eunuchs or temples.[6] Haijin laws intendit tae protect the coasts frae "Japanese" pirates instead turned mony intae smugglers an pirates themselves.

Bi the 16t century, however, the expansion o European trade – albeit restrictit tae islands near Guangzhou like Macao – spread the Columbian Exchange of crops, plants, and animals into China, introducing chili peppers to Sichuan cuisine an heichly-productive corn an potatoes, which diminished famines an spurred population growth. The growth o Portuguese, Spanish, an Dutch trade creatit new demand for Cheenese products an produced a massive influx o Japanese an American siller. This abundance o specie allowed the Ming tae finally avoid uisin paper money, which haed sparked hyperinflation durin the 1450s. While tradeetional Confucians opposed such a prominent role for commerce an the newly rich it creatit, the heterodoxy introducit bi Wang Yangming permittit a mair accommodatin attitude. Zhang Juzheng's initially successful reforms proved devastatin when a slowdoun in agriculture produced bi the Little Ice Age wis met wi Japanese an Spanish policies that quickly cut aff the supply o siller nou necessary for fairmers tae be able tae pay their taxes. Combined wit crop failure, floods, an epidemic, the dynasty wis considered tae hae lost the Mandate o Heaven an collapsed afore the rebel leader Li Zicheng an a Manchurian invasion.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Primary capital after 1403; secondary capital after 1421.
  2. Secondary capital until 1421; primary capital afterwards.
  3. The capitals-in-exile of the Southern Ming were Nanjing (1644), Fuzhou (1645–6), Guangzhou (1646–7), Zhaoqing (1646–52).
  4. Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M.; Hall, Thomas D (December 2006). "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires". Journal of world-systems research 12 (2): 219–229. ISSN 1076–156x Check |issn= value (help). Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  5. Edwin Oldfather Reischauer, John King Fairbank, Albert M. Craig (1960) A history of East Asian civilization, Volume 1. East Asia: The Great Tradition, George Allen & Unwin Ltd.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Zhang Wenxian. "The Yellow Register Archives of Imperial Ming China". Libraries & the Cultural Record, Vol. 43, No. 2 (2008), pp. 148-175. Univ. of Texas Press. Accessed 9 Oct 2012.
  7. Ebrey (2006), 271.
  8. Crawford, Robert. "Eunuch Power in the Ming Dynasty". T'oung Pao, Second Series, Vol. 49, Livr. 3 (1961), pp. 115-148. Accessed 14 Oct 2012.
  9. For the lower population estimate, see (Fairbank & Goldman 2006:128); for the higher, see (Ebrey 1999:197).