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The Mongol and Ming Empires

Chapter 12

Dan Priest

on 1 April 2014

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Transcript of The Mongol and Ming Empires

Finally, Zhu Yuanzhang, a peasant leader, forged a rebel army that toppled the Mongols and pushed them back beyond the Great Wall. In 1368, he founded a new Chinese dynasty, which he called the Ming, meaning brilliant.

Revived Confucian learning
Repaired canal system
Developed new technologies
Revival of arts and literature
Once conquest was completed, the Mongols were not oppressive rulers. Often, they allowed conquered people to live much as they had before—as long as they regularly paid tribute to the Mongols.

Pax Mongolica
Mongols controlled Silk Road
What was the Silk Road?
Cultural exchange increased
Gunpowder and windmills spread to Europe
The Mongol and Ming Empires
Chapter 12
In the 1330s, rebellions arose in several regions in south and central China. The reasons the Chinese rose against the Mongols were:
Institutionalized racism
– keeping the Chinese inferior
Abandonment of irrigation and water management projects resulting in famine and flooding of the Yellow River
The Mongols were driven back to Mongolia by the founder of the Ming Dynasty.
Kublai Khan, Ghengis’ grandson, overthrew the Song Empire
Wanted to prevent being absorbed into Chinese tradition:
Only Mongols could serve in the military
Highest government jobs for Mongols
Named his rule the Yuan Dynasty
Genghis Khan imposed strict military discipline and demanded absolute loyalty
His highly trained, mobile armies had some of the most skilled horsemen in the world
Used cannons and other new weapons to attack walled cities; these strategies spread to Europe
The Mongols were first mentioned by the Chinese during the Tang dynasty:
At first it referred to a small and insignificant tribe whose confederation had been destroyed by the Jurchen and other nomadic attacks
After a civil war the Mongols became so fragmented that they no longer had a Khan

In the 13th century it grew into an umbrella term for a large group of tribes united under the rule of Genghis Khan (Mongol Empire).
Starting in 1405, Zheng He commanded the first of seven expeditions. He departed at the head of a fleet of 62 huge ships and over 200 smaller ones, carrying a crew of about 28,000 sailors. The largest ships measured 400 feet long.
Early Ming rulers proudly sent Chinese fleets into distant waters to show the glory of their government
The most extraordinary of these overseas ventures were the voyages of the Chinese admiral and diplomat
Zheng He
Goal was to promote trade
Explored Southeast Asia and India
The Ming Dynasty also saw a revival of arts and literature. Ming artists developed their own styles of landscape painting and created brilliant blue and white porcelain. Ming vases were among the most valuable and popular Chinese products exported to the West.
Reshaping the landscape helped as well. Some farmers cut horizontal steps called
into steep hillsides to gain soil in which to grow crops. In the 1500s, new crops reached China from the Americas, especially corn and sweet potatoes.
Italian Merchant who visited China during the Yuan Dynasty
Left a vivid account of the wealth and splendor of China
His report sparked European interests in riches of Asia
In 1190, the leaders of his tribe elected Genghis ‘Khan of the Mongols’
He became master of all the tribes of Mongolia (about the size of Alaska) at the age of 40:
He molded the different tribes into a single people — building an army, imposing uniform laws, and establishing a written language
He allied with his neighbors and built an empire of 13.8 million square miles with more than 100 million people
“Universal Ruler”
Strict military discipline
Highly trained armies
Best horsemen in the world
Known for fierceness:
Massacred entire cities, but also could be very generous
Conquered Asian steppe lands with ease
Genghis Khan (Temüjin) (1167-1227) was born when the steppe was in chaos and he entered tribal politics at the age of 16:
He married Borte, aged 14, and later named her empress of the Mongolian Empire

When Temüjin was nine years old, a rival Mongol clan poisoned his father. At the age of 15, Temüjin was taken prisoner. For the rest of his life, he never forgot the humiliation of being locked in a wooden collar and paraded before his enemies.
Between 1405 and 1433, Zheng He explored the coasts of Southeast Asia, India, and the entrances to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. In the wake of these expeditions, Chinese merchants settled in Southeast Asia and India and became a permanent presence in their trading centers.
In 1271, Polo left Venice with his father and uncle. He crossed Persia and Central Asia to reach China. He then spent 17 years in Kublai’s service. Finally, he returned to Venice by sea, visiting Southeast Asia and India along the way.
Kublai turned Khanbaliq into a Chinese walled city. Kublai rebuilt and extended the Grand Canal to his new capital, which made the shipment of rice and other goods easier. He also welcomed many foreigners to his court, including the African Muslim world traveler Ibn Battuta.
Nomadic people who lived in the
of Central Asia
Vast, treeless plains

Under Genghis Khan, they cast an empire stretched from the Pacific ocean to Eastern Europe.
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Khan of the Mongols
Mongolian Conquests
Mongol Peace
China Under Mongol Rule
Marco Polo
Marco... Polo!
The End of the Yuan
Ming Reasserting Greatness
Ming Agriculture
Ming Art
Zheng He
Zheng He
Zheng He
Full transcript