Ming and Qing Dynasties

Ming and Qing
Alex Anduze
Began with the overthrow of the Mongols-1368
First years were characterized by effective government and a
strong economy
◦ Population and food stocks grew
◦ Confucianism reemerged
◦ International trade continued, despite cautious rulers
Ming Dynasty: Beginnings
All powerful emporer ruled the empire
Capitol: Beijing- Emperor ruled from the Forbidden City
Civil service bureaucracy was reestablished
Army- 1 million troops
Political Characteristics
16th century Ming China had more commercial activity than
any other nation in the world
Large percentage of people were merchants and traders
Port cities grew and were very clean, unlike today
◦ Macao
◦ Guangzhou
◦ Hangzhou
◦ Shanghai
Economic Progress
Attitude of time was that the Middle Kingdom needed little
from anyone else
Portuguese and Dutch were the only Europeans allowed to
trade inside of China
Contact and exchange of culture between Japan and China
were prominent
Jesuit missionaries, led by Matteo Ricci, tried to convert the
Chinese to Catholicism but failed
Cultural Contact With Outsiders
Series of weak and corrupt emperors
Over-extended to the north and west
Peasants rebelled against the weak government
Eventually, the Manchus from the north overthrew the Ming
Dynasty in 1644
Decline of the Ming
Manchus gain control over Beijing-1644
Conquer all of China near the end of the 17th century,
establishing the Qing Empire
Qing were able rulers: China grew to its largest size under
their rule and was the largest country in the world
Qing Dynasty:Beginnings
Qing Dynasty had two great rulers
◦ Kangxi: 1661-1722
◦ Qianlong: 1736-1795
During the 130 years that these two men ruled, China grew to
become a prosperous and powerful empire
Qing leaders separated Manchus and Chinese
◦ Intermarriage was prohibited
◦ Highest government officials were all Manchus
Political Organization
Unlike the Ming who had a commercial economy, the Qing
relied on agriculture more than trade
The work of a peasant farmer was seen as more honest and
worthy of respect than that of a merchant
Men had almost absolute control over women
◦ Foot binding started
◦ Widows were encouraged to commit suicide if their
husbands died
Economic and Social
Porcelain, calligraphy, painting: major forms of art
Confucianism stayed strong
Many of the people of China were educated
Most famous novels of the time were Book of the Golden
Lotus and the Dream of the Red Chamber
Cultural Influences
Weak rulers after Kangxi and Qianglong
Economic rivalries between Britain and China led to the
Opium War
Eventually the dynastay crumbled due to these factors
combined with civil unrest, flooding, and famine
Collapse of the Qing
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