The Ming and Qing Dynasties, an essay

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The Ming and Qing Dynasties, an essay

PostPosted by verdilak » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:58 pm

Parameters of the essay: Write an essay (500 - 750 words) describing the economic, social, and political changes brought on by the Ming and Qing dynasties in China.


The Ming and Qing Dynasties
"Verdilak"
Grand Canyon University
HIS108: World History After 1500. Module 2
July 11, 2009

The end of the Yuan dynasty brought not only the removal of the Mongols from China, but also led into existence the Ming dynasty, which in turn paved the way for the Qing dynasty. With the end of the Mongols and the Yuan dynasty, China moved towards a more traditional social and political climate. The military power, social culture, and the economics of the Ming and Qing changed the landscape of China with the fall of the Yuan.
During the Ming dynasty, the economic and social growth was closely tied into their military strength. With the memory of the Mongols, the Ming was determined to protect their land from invasions during the first half of the dynasty. The Great Wall, which had been built during the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C.E. but had fallen into ruin, was built and expanded upon by the Ming into what it is today (Bently & Ziegler, 2008). This helped the Ming to control their northern borders and helped to keep the Mongols from invading. Also, according to Veeck, Pannell, Smith, and Huang (2006), the national transportation systems put into effect by the Yuan and modified by the Ming, helped not only the growing trade and economics of the Ming dynasty, but also the military prowess. The Ming dynasty was able to restore respect for Chinese traditions, seeking to eradicate all outside cultural influences. Veeck et al (2006) also comment upon the expansive navy fleet, over 3,000 ships at its peak, created during the Ming dynasty to bring about trade relations with the outside world, but were also used extensively in patrolling and protecting the coastal waters. The treasures collected during the Ming dynasty with the use of the navy fleet rivaled any treasure troves of any throughout all of history (Veeck et al, 2006). However, the fleets were allowed to disperse due to infighting over control of the country, infighting that is still a popular pastime of the ruling elite in modern China.
The fall of the Ming dynasty was ensured through corruption with those in positions of power, as well as due to numerous famines crippled the government as they were unable to cope with such a problem (Bently, 2008). As the peasants revolted and the Manchu invaded from the north, the Manchu helped the Ming military to regain the capitol at Bejing, which had been taken by peasants. However, the Manchu did not leave, and the Qing dynasty was created, which ruled from 1644 to 1911. Deciding to engage with the world at large in regards to trade, the Qing’s economy grew in direct proportion to the amount of trade it supplied the world with. Tea, porcelain, salt, pepper, and other products were what grew the Qing dynasty, while few technologies of the West were adopted by the Chinese. The Qing dynasty also turned trade into a systematic and organized business activity on a national scale involving the rise of economic guilds and financial institutions. As well with this economic prosperity, the Qing expanded their borders, successfully pacifying the Mongolians, Turkestan, and Tibet. Unfortunately, the Qing dynasty squandered much of its wealth as well as a huge increase in population which both lead to a repeat of the Ming with peasant rebellions. Unable to adequately take care of the internal strife, coupled with natural disasters, the Qing dynasty ended in 1911 (Veeck et al, 2006).

The Chinese people saw great growth of their country during both the Ming and Qing dynasties, while also seeing devastation due to the way their respective dynasties squandered their wealth. The Mongols, who held China under the Yuan dynasty, were a thorn in the Ming dynasty’s side. The Qing, which enjoyed greater population growth and wealth, were able to pacify the Mongols, showing their military might. Throughout both of these two dynasties, which together lasted for nearly 500 years, many changes occurred socially from the Ming’s desire to encourage all things traditional, to the Qing’s desire to increase their worldwide power based upon trade.

References

Bently, J. H. & Ziegler, H. F. (2008). Traditions & encounters: A global perspective on the past (4th Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Veeck, G., Pannell, C. W., Smith, C. J., Huang, Y. (2006). China’s geography: Globalization and the dynamics of political, economic, and social change. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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Re: The Ming and Qing Dynasties, an essay

PostPosted by rhiansung14 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:13 pm

I have read that story on my friend's book but it is my first time to read an essay about The Ming and Qing Dynasties. Your essay is great because you successfully discussed how the two empires were very powerful but also inflexible and in the end this led to their downfall. It is really such a very wonderful write ups.
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