Ming and Qing Dynasties
The Ming and the Qing were consecutive dynasties of China. The Ming dynasty controlled China from 1368 until 1644. The Qing dynasty followed the Ming dynasty. Their reign started as the Ming reign ended in 1644 and terminated in 1912. The Ming and Qing were involved in many conflicts of their time. They took part in a lot of wars. The dynasties, especially the Qing, traded with thriving European countries to strengthen the economies of both empires. The location of the empire wasn't supportive of this trade because of terrain and distance.
The Ming dynasty was made up of about 60 million people spread across the large amount of land. Its capital was modern Beijing. It followed the Mongol dynasty and preceded the Qing dynasty in location and reign.One of the major means under-taken in expanding foreign contacts during the Ming dynasty was a series of seven great maritime expeditions, spanning from 1405 to 1433, led by a Muslim eunuch named Zheng He.Without government permits, residents would not move freely around the country.
The forerunners of the Qing came from the nomadic Jurchen tribes who initially resided in northeastern China. Jurchens were the founders of the new Manchu state in 1616. When they killed chongzhen they gave the Manchu state a new name, Qing. As a minority numbering roughly two million, the Manchus were still able to rule the 100 million Han Chinese.
•Salt enabled the Ming to increase China's import-export trade during European exploration. Salt was being used to it full potential pulling in most of its revenue.
•The Ming dynasty led the second large commercial revolution.
•They extended the Great Wall.
•They were involved with and won a large amount of wars. Their army conquered Korea.
•They endorsed major exploration overseas. They were involved with and won a large amount of wars.
•They were able to have 17 consecutive emperors over its years of power.
•In 1644 peasant rebels led by Li Zicheng took Beijing. As a result, the last Ming emperor, Chongzhen committed suicide in Beijing.
•The Manchus (Qing) announced possession of the Mandate of Heaven. They were the "last dynasty" in the history of China.
•The Qing dealt with the nomadic tribes at the empire’s periphery and expanded the borders of the empire to their greatest historical extent.
•The empire had achieved a lot of economic and military stability establishing the Qing as one of China’s most prosperous dynastic periods.
Under the Ming dynasty, china became the dominant power throughout their region. Then Hongwu overthrew the Mongols he worked to erase the Mongol past and revitalize Chinese economy which strengthened the government. He did this by implementing agricultural reforms that increased rise production, as well as promote fish farming and commercial crop production. This helped to create a steady food source and bring money to the empire. He focused of the welfare of the people because he was on the brink of starvation for most of his young life. Also, following emperors were very careful to use respected institutions and traditions to bring stability to the knew empire. These themes were continued throughout the dynasty and strengthened china.
The Qing dynasty was founded by Manchu conquerors. The Qing was the last dynasty to rule China. They invented the Manchu writing system, which greatly helped china. A large change is that they appointed officers instead of hereditary chiefs. established by a tribes people from the north at the end of the Ming dynasty. Nurchi sponsored the invention of the Manchu writing system, which was based on the Mongolian alphabet. Hung gaijin transformed the Manchu rule from a collective government by princes to autocratic rule. Also during this time many Europeans were encouraged to trade and give council to Manchu rulers. Although they were greatly resisted they worked very carefully to use Confucian teachings.
The Qing dynasties lower class was divided into the mean people, and the good "common" people. The mean people were prostitutes, entertainers, and low level government workers. These were highly discriminated against and were not allowed to marry the common people. The good people were mostly consistent of farmers, lab errors and peasants. But the Qing court carried out a series of policies to revive the social economy and alleviate the class contradiction. In both the Qing and Ming dynasties Confucian philosophies were heavily implemented which helped the government maintain control.
In the Ming dynasty, the scholarly were very well respected in society because access to books was very limited. Below them were the Nong "farmers", Gong "artisans and craftsmen", and the Shang "merchants and traders". The farmers were more respected than the Gong and Shang because they produced food for the empire, and high tax revenue for the government. At the top of their society were the powerful emperors who gained the throne by heredity. Like many other Chinese dynasties, strict social structure seemed to consistently be ingrained in Chinese society as a whole as a means to keep control in such a vast country.
The Qing was influenced by art. It was introduced to western forms of painting, pottery, they began to make their own art more complex. The Qing dynasty used the same government enforced by the Ming dynasty. Western influence was felt during the Qing dynasty. The British wanted to trade with china for their silk and silver. China only became interested when Britain started exporting opium. The importation of opium in China resulted in many Chinese being addicted to opium and land being used to grow it instead of food.
The largest belief systems during the Ming dynasty were Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism; known as The Three Teachings, and there also were different forms of Chinese Folk religion. In the 16th century, eastern China reformed Monks, who preached good deeds, peace and combined Confucian with their own beliefs.Buddhism being ingrained in Chinese society was enhanced when monks were certified and made into a teaching class
Taoism was always supported by emperors during the Ming Dynasty. Taoist priests were in charge of rituals and messengering god. The Zhengyi supported Taoism the most and standardized Taoism.
Confucianism in the 17th involved both the study and some practice of Taoism and Buddhism. Lin Zhaeon, "The Master of the Three Teachings," created a religious section where Taoism and Buddhism supported Confucianism.
Works of Literature
In the beginning of the Ming dynasty, scholars were highly valued. Hongwu often surrounded himself with scholars and was taught to read. He even asked scholars from other parts of Asia to teach him. Many accepted his offer but some declined for fear of being executed If they made a mistake. Later during times of civil unrest, reading and writing were restricted.
The Qing dynasty had a very different opinion on literature. Because the Manchus were an ethnic minority, and were mostly illiterate. They were disrespected by many of the non Manchus in their empire and were often mocked in writings. During their reign they were very suspicious of scholars and writers. During this time many scholars were killed if suspected of disrespecting the Manchus. But a very important work of literature during the time was Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Zhan. This book examined the upper class society of the Manchus and helped to develop peace and acceptance throughout the empire.
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