Aim: Was the Ming Dynasty wise to close off China from the rest of the world? Do Now: List two things that the Mongols did to unify China that might have been divisive.
Tang 618-907 Song 960-1279 Mongols Genghis Khan (1206-1227) 1200-1350 (Pax Mongolica) Kublai Khan Yuan Dynasty (China) 1279-1368 Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 Great Wall Of China is Built 206 BC
Kamikaze Winds – Kamikaze of 1274 & 1281 Japan – the islands of the gods or “kami”. The last minute rescue by the gods is seen when a typhoon sinks the Mongol and Korean ships into the sea. “Kazi” means winds in Japanese.
The Middle Kingdom Under the Ming, China was once again ruled by the Chinese. Ming leaders sought to restore the country’s greatness and its supremacy in the region. China traditionally thought of itself as the Middle Kingdom, the center of the earth and the source of civilization. Ming Government Reform Ming rulers enacted reforms to improve the government. They brought back the civil service system. Confucian learning once again became important, because knowledge of Confucian classics was a key part of the civil service exam. Ming leaders also established a board of censors to eliminate corruption in the bureaucracy.
Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) The Chinese overthrew the Mongols, and restored self-rule under the Ming Dynasty. Ming China experienced an economic and cultural revival. In the early 1400s, China began voyages of exploration and came into contact with Europe. Later the empire turned inward, seeking to protect itself from outside influences.* China did, however, greatly affect nearby Asian lands that fell into its zone of influence in Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia.
Overseas Expansion The Ming Dynasty embarked on a period of overseas expansion. In 1405, Zheng He, a Chinese admiral, set out with a fleet of ships. His goal was to promote Chinese trade and to collect tribute from less powerful lands. He was a eunuch.
Between 1405 and 1433, Zheng He took seven voyages. A huge armada of Chinese ships crossed the China Sea, then ventured west to Ceylon, Arabia, and East Africa. The fleet consisted of giant nine-masted junks, escorted by dozens of supply ships, water tankers, transports for cavalry horses, and patrol boats. The armada's crew totaled more than 27,000 sailors and soldiers. The largest of the junks were said to be over 400 feet long and 150 feet wide. (The Santa Maria, Columbus's largest ship, was a mere 90 by 30 feet and his crew numbered only 90.)
The largest ships in the fleet (called baoshan, or "treasure ships") were likely between 440 and 538 feet long by 210 feet wide. These 4-decked baoshan had an estimated displacement of 20-30,000 tons, roughly 1/3 to 1/2 the displacement of modern American aircraft carriers. Each had nine masts on its deck, rigged with square sails that could be adjusted in series to maximize efficiency in different wind conditions.
Looking Outward and Turning Inward After Zheng He’s death in 1433, the Ming emperor banned the building of large oceangoing ships, and China, as a result, suddenly halted its voyages of exploration. IMPERIAL EDICT & VILLAGE ORDINANCES
Looking Outward and Turning Inward The reasons for this abrupt change in policy were both economic and cultural. Zheng’s voyages had not brought profits to the empire, and his fleets were expensive to maintain. Also, Confucian scholars taught that China had the most advanced civilization in the world. Limiting contact with foreign influences therefore seemed the best way to preserve ancient traditions. Chinese Indifference Ming leaders severely restricted foreign trade, believing European goods to be inferior. However, they allowed limited trade at the coastal outpost of Macao, near present day, Guangzhao. Imperial officials supervised this trade strictly.