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Nov20 - THE MING DYNASTY November 20th 2007 Eunuchs and...

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THE MING DYNASTY November 20 th , 2007 Eunuchs and Officials Eunuchs gained in influence through their close connections with the imperial family Trusted confidantes Often took role of secret police Eunuchs and scholar-officials vied for power Government Different commissioners responsible for administrative, judicial, and military affairs Local government in the hands of local elites Central government rarely touched lives of ordinary people Taxation Based on grain and commercial monopolies Labour service revived Labour rosters in the hands of local elites Often led to corruption Examination System Regained importance under the Ming Based on Zhu Xi’s interpretations of the Five Classics and Four Books Exams emphasized standard forms and memorization Different degrees Only highest degrees allowed access to central government office Local elites Organized local rituals and shrines Controlled local government Provided local services Provided relief and charitable services Encouraged by government Elite families received increasing prestige Wang Yangming(1472-1529) Confucian philosopher who challenged Zhu Xi thought The principles of Heaven, humans, and creation all one in the cosmic Mind “Knowledge is the beginning of conduct, conduct is the completion of knowledge” Culture State and private elites sponsored arts and literature Compilations of large anthologies in medicine, science, history, and literature
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