Sample Essay on Ming Dynasty

Ming Dynasty

The Ming dynasty also known as the Empire of the great Ming was a majestic ruling dynasty of china that served from 1368 to 1644. It was described as one of the greatest and famous eras of methodical governments that brought social stability in human history.  It was ruled by the Han Chinese and helped guarantee free and prosperous private trade with Europeans and locals and industries. However, it was affected by internal rebellions and skirmishes and attacks from the Manchus dynasty [Qing dynasty] from 1644 to 1912.

During the Yuan dynasty era from 1279 to 1368, China was faced by flooding on the famous yellow river, drought and famine and many other natural disasters. Millions of people died and many religious people felt that these were signs that the Yuan Empire had lost the decree of Heaven. This doctrine spurred many Chinese to repel and skirmishes became the order of the day and night. From early 1350s, Chinese endured 20 years of rebellion. These rebel groups grew in size and rebel armies conquered many cities and tracts of territory.

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Zhu Yuanzhang led most of the powerful armies that would later take power. He believed in supreme divinity and he was a stubborn defender of Confucianism. After conquering many territories with dedicated army such as Nanjing and Yuan Empire, he proclaimed himself the emperor of the Ming dynasty in 1386 after announcing that the Mandate of Heaven as picked him to rule the empire. He nicknamed himself Hongwu and led china from 1368 to 1398. He instituted chief policy initiatives that became the enduring Ming policies. For instance, he wanted the Eunuch to have no ruling power as he felt they were dangerous for the entire nation.

Due to great transformation of the Ming dynasty, eunuchs later regained power and could old any office like any other Confucian official. Hongwu emperor also picked only those officials who passed Neo-Confucian Imperial Examinations.  His emperor also relied on agriculture as the source of revenue for the empire instead of trade and industry sectors that generated a lot of profits. He wanted peasants to live independent and self-supporting agricultural societies and this prompted rapid migration to other areas. Most of the available land was distributed to peasants as way to guarantee government more wealth and majority of the peasants prospered in life. Hence, the rapid increase in population within the empire.

Unfortunately, his Ming dynasty weakened the merchant class in one way or another. He forced them to pay high taxes and relocated many in order to create room for agriculture. However, his successors opposed this policy. Like the Yuan dynasty, Hongwu’s Ming dynasty also issues paper currency, but the 1425 inflation era pushed for silver and bronze as the main currency of the empire. After his death, there was change of the main capital and the dynastic lineage. Emperor Yongle changed a few of the Ming dynasty polices. This includes change of trade and eunuchs policies among others.

In 1500, there dynasty went through an isolationist policy towards trade. Private trade was forbidden and this led to increased cases of illegal trade. Europeans were also allowed to trade and there was a wealth boom from foreign trade of goods and services. Like many other kingdoms in china, Ming dynasty was also destined to fall. There were widespread rebellions and disasters. Economy was in fiascos, diseases and plagues hit the entire nation and more than 800,000 people died from an earthquake disaster. Poor leadership and misguide rule, monetary crisis and varying cultures were some of the core facets that led to the fall of the Ming dynasty.

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