[1] The Ming Empire

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What were the effects of the Mongol invasion and the rise of the Ming dynasty on China?

Understand how the Ming restored Chinese rule.

They restored Chinese rule by bringing back traditional Chinese Han rule and the examination system. Hongwu rid China of Mongol influence and brought about agricultural and economic prosperity, it led to a rise in population.

What caused the downfall of Mongol rule of China?

Mongol rulers were already disliked by the Chinese, and after Kublai Khan died, the Mongols began to fall. Chinese extremely disliked the rule of the Mongols, especially the Confucians. On top of the resentment between the Mongols and the Chinese, the usual patterns of a falling dynasty occurred as well including corruption between the government and the Chinese people, natural disasters, and unfair/heavy taxes. Most importantly the Chinese despised the Mongols...

How did the first Ming rulers gain control of the area?

The Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty was only the son of a peasant, but brought together an army that drove the Mongols out of China. Hongwu was extremely crude in order to rid the Mongols of China and gained much support from the Confucians because of this pressure. By ridding all Mongols and their culture influences out of China and past the Great Wall, Hongwu was able to start reinstalling Han culture and trends. Hongwu also claimed the Mandate of Heaven and named the dynasty Ming, which stands for "brilliant". During the war, Chinese land was destroyed and traces of Mongol influence were torn apart. Hongwu took great control over the area by ridding Mongol influence and recreating the agricultural lands in China.

What steps did the Ming take to restore Chinese culture?

The Ming not only followed previous patterns of a fall and rise of a new dynasty, but the Ming also had much cultural tension against the Mongols which led to more drastic changes. Anything Mongol was destroyed and influences were rid of Chinese culture including building, clothing, names, practices in life, basically anything symbolic of Mongol rule. Most importantly, they enjoyed seeing the Mongol humiliated and this gained much support from the Confucians.

How did the Ming rulers restore a previous style of Chinese government?

The Ming refigured and reinstalled the Examination System. Moral equality in Chinese history was evident during the rise of the Ming. They cleaned up the Examination system and the nature of the questions, everyone shared the same cohesive values. The Examination System was still extremely competitive and ended up being a memorization process. The people taking the exams were still extremely educated, but it was basically who could memorize the lines that were missing from a Confucian statement best.

Explain why the Ming explored the high seas for only a brief period.

After China was brought back together culturally under the Ming, they started to prosper. With the prospering, the population began to rise which led to diversity and an expansion of culture. Hongwu's son was the one that started to encourage voyages and explorations because he was curious about foreigners. He sent Zheng He.

Where did Zheng He travel?

Zheng He explored during the middle of the Ming Dynasty. His explorations were huge and had hundreds of ships that went to India, Southeast Asia, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and sometimes made it to the coast of East Africa.

How many voyages did he make?

Zheng He's voyages lasted for almost 30 years and had 7 voyages. Hongwu's son (and emperor at the time) died during the 6th expedition. His voyages were extremely successful and he brought back many gifts.

What happened after his last voyage?

Officials in government thought that Zheng He's voyages were a waste of money. The government destroyed all of the ships, even the building processes and plans for new ships. The government of the Ming felt that their funding should not go towards these voyages because why go to the outside when we have everything in our dynasty here? Trade was not a goal of the Ming government. Ming strongly felt that the government should be low taxes and minimal services.

What occurred in 1435 that changed China's relationship with the rest of the world?

Any building of ships for exploration were completely destroyed after Zheng He died. Ships could only have two masts starting in 1435.

What evidence is there that the Ming dynasty did not completely close China off to foreign influences?

There were still ships that left the coast of China with pirates who were interested in this illegal trade.

What were the effects of the Mongol invasion and the rise of the Ming dynasty in China? Describe an effect of the following on China (a) the expulsion of the Mongols, and (b) the rise of the Ming dynasty.

(a) The expulsion of the Mongols led to Hongwu and the Ming dynasty having the ability to rid any Mongol influence and culture from the society, the Mongols were humiliated and it pleased the Ming. Hongwu was also able to restore Han rule in China with the confucians. (b) The rise of the Ming dynasty led to population growth which led to agricultural and economic prosperity. This led to Zheng He being able to travel the seas and bring back foreign gifts.

Ming Dynasty

Dynasty created by Hongwu emperor who forced the Mongols out of China and restored Han Chinese rule. This dynasty had the examination system that consisted of Confucian memorization. They also had an extreme population growth and sent Zheng He to explore the seas all the way to East Asia, but was eventually stopped and ships were no longer allowed to have more than 2 masts.

Zheng He

He explored the seas during the Chinese Ming Dynasty. He was sent by Hongwu's son (the emperor at the time) who was extremely curious about foreign influences and culture. His expeditions had hundreds of ships and thousands of crew members; he brought back many gifts. However, the government eventually neglected to fund his expeditions and after his death, ships never set sail again during the Ming like they had under his command.

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