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Book Review - patronage networks led to his nullification...

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Greg Reynolds History 6B 2.11.09 1587 need a better title On first glance Ray Huang’s 1587 A Year Of No Significance is merely a heavily detailed rendition of late Ming dynasty court life. However, Huang slowly builds his theories for the collapse of the Ming throughout the book, using each official or general and the emperor himself as pieces to a larger puzzle. As the author adds each piece the reader gains a more complete understanding of not only court life but also the static Confucian system that, in Haung’s mind, ended the Ming dynasty. Both grand- secretaries fell before the moral backlash created by their failure to adapt the bureaucracy. 1 The yin and yang system of balancing personal ambition with Confucian ideas of morality caught Hai Jui. Technological stagnation hindered Ch’I Chi-kuang and
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Unformatted text preview: patronage networks led to his nullification in military and governmental affairs. The internal hypocrisy of the bureaucracy led Li Chih to the life of a lonely scholar and eventually pushed him into suicide. The Wan-Li Emperor represents the most extreme application, as the civil servants expected him to be a non-person, operating without emotion which eventually drove him to withdraw from public affairs. 1 Rodney L. Taylor “no title” review of 1587, A Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline by Ray Huang, JSTOR Article . 1 Book Response: Susan Mann Thesis type thingy on First paragraph of Shedding the Mild Teeth: By delving into the abnormality of footbinding Mann contrasts Qing culture with today’s to bring home her point about the strange position of women in this era. 2...
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