Chapter 1 Summary The Late Ming

Chapter 1 Summary The Late Ming - Chapter 1 Summary The...

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Chapter 1 Summary The Late Ming The Glory of the Ming 1600 AD China was the largest and most sophisticated Empire in the world -population ~120 million -geometricly sophisticated capital palace at Peking Forbidden City -Massive bureaucracy firmly in place harmonized by a millennium of tradition and bon- ded by an immense body of statutory laws and provisions that, in theory at least, could offer per- tinent advice on any problem that might arise in the daily life of China. Parts of the Bureaucracy: Lived in Peking a)Served the emperor in an elaborate hierarchy, divided the country s business into six minis- tries: finance personnel rituals laws military affairs public works b) also in Peking were senior scholars responsible for official histories, and teaching the im- perial children c) also a personal staff who attended all the imperial family s needs Assigned to different posts in the 15 major provinces Arranged in elaborate hierarchies, procincial governor at the top, down through the prefects in major cities to the magistrates in the counties Below the magistrates were police, militamen, courtiers, and tax gatherers -Architecturally-China s cities were not large and imposing, nor did they have big towers like European cities of the time (Spence continually compares Ming China to medieval and Renaissance Europe in this Chapter) -there were however many prosperous Buddhist Temples, Daoist Temples, Shrines to Confucious and a scattering of mosques -Spence says the Chinese state was more effectively centralized than those elsewhere in the world; its religions were more effectively controlled; and the growth of powerful, independent cit- ies was preveneted by a watchful government that would not tolerate rival centers of authority. p. 8 By 1600 China was past it s political peak, but culturally in ebullient condition -spence talks about all the equivalents between late 16th century Europe and China -Shakespear, Cervantes // to Tang Xianzu and Journey to the West a religious and picaresque adventure -essayists, philosophers, nature poets, landscape artists etc.
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  • Spring '12
  • PeterPurdue
  • History, Ming Dynasty, Ming China, late 16th century, late Ming, -geometricly sophisticated capital

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