Ming Dynasty Chang Won Aya Shiotani Aylie Yamagishi.
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Ming Dynasty Chang Won Aya ShiotaniAylie Yamagishi
This map shows the
historic time period
relative to present-
Ming Dynasty (1368~1644)• The Ming dynasty was one of China’s successive
• After the collapse of the Mongol led Yuan Dynasty,
Zhu Yuan Zhang established the Ming Dynasty in 1368
• Initially, its capital was Nanjing; however it was
changed to Beijing in 1421, by the emperor of Yongle.
• After the midterm, the Ming Dynasty was suffered by
infighting due to increased power of eunuchs.
• In 1644, the Ming Dynasty was occupied by
Li Zicheng (a Chinese rebel leader who
established the Shun Dynasty), and eventually it
collapsed due to the monopoly of eunuchs.
Cultural ChangesMajor developments in literature, art, and philosophy
•The culture of the Ming Dynasty developed rapidly, especially in literature.
•One of the famous travel literature authors, Xu Xiake, published his Travel Diaries in
404,000 written characters.
•The first reference to publishing of private newspapers, was in Beijing in 1582.
•In 1610, the Jin Ping Mei was published and it was considered to be the fifth great novel
of pre-modern China.
•By 1638, the Beijing Gazette switched from using woodblock print to movable
•Water Margin and Journey to the West were two novels that were great classical
masterpieces of Chinese literature.
• Famous painters during the Ming Dynasty were Shen Zhou, Wen Zhemging, Qiu Ying, and
• Developed painting techniques, used more fine colors, and became more complex.
• Silk weaving, printing, embroidery, and cotton weaving were developed.
• In Suzhou Jiangnan, the competition of Chinese poetry held every day and prominent people
tested their skills against other poets.
• The field of ceramics was flourished largely in the era
• Personal freedom was given to the artisans, because during this period, manufactured
products such as porcelain and silk were in high demand.
← Painting of flowers, butterflies, and a twisted
rock sculpture by Chen Hongshou
• Many practical books have been written due to the growth of interest in science as the
study of old documents became popular.
• Xu Guangqi, a Chinese scholar bureaucrat and scientist, has cooperated with Matteo
Ricci, an Italian Jesuit priest, created the “agricultural policy” influenced by the set of
documents called “original geometry” which was the translations of the Euclidean
geometry of ancient Greeks.
• Famous scientists: Li Shizhen, Song Yingxing, Xu Xiake, and Xu Guangqi
Agricultural policy Original geometry
Women in the Ming Dynasty
In the Ming Dynasty, women’s inheritance right changed
parallel changes in their status and equality. For unmarried
daughters, the law in Ming prescribed that they can only claim
for their inheritance right there was no one else left in the
family. If not so, she could claim her share of family property
through her dowry at the time of her wedding. A married
woman often had no claim for her natal family’s property
especially when she had brothers. There were two
circumstances, which a married woman could claim for
property after her husband passed away. One was when she
decided to stay as a widow and the other was when she
decided to remarry. In all women in the Ming Dynasty held
property as they, whether or unmarried, could share their
Neo-Confucianism –is a moral, ethical, and metaphysical Chinese philosophy
influenced by Confucianism, which was originated during the Tang Dynasty.
Wang Yangming was considered to be the most
influential Confucian thinker since Zhu Xi. The
concept of “extension of knowledge” by Zhu Xi, was
gaining the understanding through careful and rational
investigation of things and events. Wang, however
argued that universal concepts would appear in the
minds of anyone. He claimed that anyone, no matter
their pedigree or education, could be as wise as
Confucius and Mencius.
Difference between Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism
•Originally founded by Confucius, a man who strove all his life to work into the
government, because he had some very important ideas to save China.
•Relied on ancient methods of government ruling to formulate the moral philosophies.
•Believed in a strict, stratified society, with everyone knowing exactly their rank in life
and in society that will never change.
•Was a mixture of beliefs of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism.
•Divided the world into a material world and a spiritual world.
•Main goal was to go ahead of the material world to reach he union with the highest
•More well-rounded than Confucianism; believed that people have different
perspectives and ideas
Foreign Policy and Attitudes toward trade
During the Ming Dynasty, foreign relations were further established along with Zhen He’s
voyage to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. The establishment also got strengthened
its relations with ethic minority groups, promoting the economic and cultural changes
among different nationalities. Its authority extended to the inside and outside of the
Hinggan Mountains, Tianshan Mountain and Tibet.
One of the most significant developments of the Ming was
the increased maritime trade and tributary links. In the 1400s,
the most famous explorer, Zheng He started to trade with the
Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, and America. He was
so proud of his gigantic flagship, which held more than 1,000
men. He imported silver, and it played a large role in
The Grand Canal and The Great Wall were restored during
the era, which improved communication and defense. The
Ming also established a huge navy and a standing army of
around 1 million soldiers, surrounding its perimeters.
Relations with Europeans
• In the early 1500s, the Europeans arrived to trade
• Imported: high quality techniques of industrial goods, silver, and new knowledge
• Exported: spices, silk, ceramics, and porcelain
• Europeans spread the teaching of Christianity
• Chinese and Europeans had different beliefs, so Chinese did not want to interact with
• China led to isolation → because they were self-sufficient, and they thought that they
don’t need to trade more goods
Decline of Ming Dynasty
• Ming Dynasty was successful for 276 years and had 16 emperors
• King enthronement
• The number of rebels increased
• The war expenditure between Japan and the North resulted in economic collapse
• The Little Ice Age on crops affected → the climate became too dry and too cold for
crops to grow properly, resulting in starvation.
• Silver currency (money) that the people in the country were depending on began to
These factors led to the downfall of the Ming Dynasty, and encouraged the Manchus to
invade China, with the support of the Ming Dynasty’s imperial guard. By the end of
1644, the Qing Dynasty established.
1. How did the Ming Dynasty develop its dynasty?
2. How was the Great Wall of China important during the Ming Dynasty?
3. Why did the Ming Dynasty refuse the interaction with the Europeans?
Chinese Highlights, The Ming Dynasty. December, 1998. Retrieved on November 23, 2012 from http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/china-history/the-ming-dynasty.htm
The Ming Dynasty, Exploration to Isolation. August, 2005. Retrieved on November 24, 2012 from http://ming-dynasty.blogspot.jp/2005/08/ming-dynasty-exploration-to-isolation.html
Wikipedia, Ming Dynasty. November 2001. Retrieved on November 24, 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ming_Dynasty#Wang_Yangming.27s_Confucianism
Ming Dynasty of China, Culture 4 Travel. October 2008. Retrieved on November 25 from http://www.culture-4-travel.com/ming-dynasty.html