Historynotes9 - The Ming Dynasty of China(AD 1368-1644 Ming...

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The Ming Dynasty of China (AD 1368-1644) Ming Political History o Founding Zhu Yuanzhang (AD 1328-1398) Hongwu Emp. (r. 1368-98) – his title Things faltered after Kubilai Khan’s death o One faction wanted to concentrate on Mongolia o The other faction wanted to concentrate on China o Several natural disasters – yellow river rose and black death hits china Many millenarian cults because thought world was ending Mixture of Buddhist and Manichean people Poor peasant –family tragedy Black plague killed both parents and one sibling, all he had left was brother Had to beg neighbors for burial Begging monk, 1345-1352 Gave himself to monastery that parents had promised to him (almost died as a baby However, monastry didn’t have food either – had to go out and beg Spent years begging Encountered red turban teachings Red Turban rebel, 1352-1366 Based on world ending – wanted to overthrow Mongols Millenarian rebels Somebody had burned down his monastery, so became one of rebels Married daughter of rebel general – father died, so became powerful Capital at modern Nanjing 1356 – major city along Yangzi defeated several other rival generals Sent general after Mongol capital – Mongols retreated and surrendered all of North China with no fight Names new Chine “Ming” meaning brightness Throws red turban people in prison Policies Wanted to root out all Mongol customs o Marriage, dress, food, etc Refounded civil service exams Created palace exam in front of him – new level Eliminated post of prime minister o His prime minister (caught stealing money) was fired/executed o Killed minister’s family o No longer core shell to country o Relied more and more on Eunuchs Issued brand new law code – revised Tang Code o Personally edited every line Micro-manager – went through 12-13 hrs of paperwork per day Insisted that no descendant of his would ever hold a job – only princes and princesses, could do nothing else o Cost a lot of money after many descendants Banned all foreign trade o Would only accept gifts Personality Nearly insane and sadistic
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Paranoid – thought everyone was out to get him Distrustful of scholars because he was humble, illiterate peasant o Sensors work Had violent rages wanting people to be executed – wife would calm him down Succeeded by his grandson (oldest), Zhu Yunwen (r. 1398-1402) Tried to fix things his grandfather did wrong Had problems with younger son Zhu Di, the Yongle Emperor – jealous so he rebelled against Zhu Yunwen o AD 1360-1424 o Son of Zhu Yuanzhang
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2011 for the course HISTORY 80 taught by Professor Barberri-low during the Winter '11 term at UCSB.

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Historynotes9 - The Ming Dynasty of China(AD 1368-1644 Ming...

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