Ch. 16 -The East Asian World
1400-1800
16.1: China at Its Height
The Ming Dynasty
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1368-1644
Overthrow of Mongol rule
Founded by Ming Hong Wu
Many positive changes
• 1406 – construction of Beijing
– “Imperial City” – power and prestige
• Admiral Zheng He
– Sailed to and opened trade with SE Asia,
India, Arabian Peninsula, East Africa
– Promoted Chinese culture; brings new
items to China
• Contacts with the West
– 1514 - Portuguese arrive on coast of China
– Chinese are ethnocentric and xenophobic
– Cultural diffusion between Europe and China
• Decline of Ming
– Internal power struggles
– Corruption, high taxes
– Epidemic
– Suffering = unrest; leads to peasant revolt
• Peasants take the capital of Beijing; Ming fall
Qing
Dynasty
• Set up by Manchus – 1644-1911
• Manchu from present-day Manchuria
• Forced Chinese to adopt Manchu look
• Over time, were accepted and restored
peace and prosperity
• Brought Chinese into imperial
administration (lower positions)
• Emperor Kangxi
– 1661 -1722; 61 year reign
– Revered as greatest emperor
– Christianity flourished
• Emperor Qianlong
– 1736-1795
– Expanded China to its greatest physical
size
• Corruption, high taxes, population
growth lead to unrest
– White Lotus Rebellion - 1796-1804,
weakens government
• Europeans in China
– Qing decline, Europeans seek more trade
– Qing controlled trade with Europeans:
• All Europeans traders confined to a small island just
outside Guangzhou
• Traders could reside there only from October through
March
• Europeans could deal only with a limited number of
Chinese firms licensed by the government.
– British desired more access to additional Chinese
cities.
– British had an unfavorable balance of trade with China
because the Chinese government did not allow
access to British manufactured good.
– Britain imported tea, silk and porcelain by sending
ever-increasing silver to China.
– In 1973, Lord George Macartney visited Beijing to
seek more liberal trade policies.
– Emperor Qianlong rejects the British’s attempt.
16.2: Chinese Society and
Culture
Economy and Daily Life
• Agricultural society – 85% farmers
• Increase in population
– 1390 - 80 million
– 1700 - 300 million
– Land shortages
• Increase in manufacturing  trade
• Lack of commercial capitalism
– 2 reasons
• Trade and manufacturing controlled by gov’t
• Taxed manufacturing more than farming
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Family oriented
Confucian ideals
Elderly very respected
Women were subordinate to men
Footbinding – status symbol
Chinese Art and Literature
• Literature
– More books purchased
– Realistic social novels
written
• Architecture and art
– Imperial City
– Complex of palaces and
temples
– Blue and white porcelain
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Ch. 16 -The East Asian World 1400-1800