- Ming dynasty
(1368–1644) Chinese dynasty that provided an interval of native rule between eras of Mongol and Manchu dominance.The Ming, one of the most stable but autocratic of dynasties, extended Chinese influence farther than did any other native rulers of China. Under the Ming, the capital of China was moved from Nanjing to Beijing, and the Forbidden City was constructed. Naval expeditions led by Zheng He paved the way for trade with Southeast Asia, India, and eastern Africa. During the Ming dynasty, novels were written in the vernacular, while philosophy benefited from the work of Wang Yangming in Neo-Confucianism. Ming monochrome porcelain became famous throughout the world, with imitations created in Vietnam, Japan, and Europe.
* * *▪ Chinese history(1368–1644), Chinese dynasty that provided an interval of native Chinese rule between eras of Mongol and Manchu dominance. During the reign of the Ming dynasty, China exerted immense cultural and political influence on East Asia and the Turks to the west, as well as on Vietnam and Myanmar to the south.Founded by Zhu Yuanzhang, a man of humble origins who later assumed the reign title of Hongwu, the Ming became one of the most stable but also one of the most autocratic of all Chinese dynasties. The basic governmental structure established by the Ming was continued by the subsequent Qing (Manchu) dynasty (Qing dynasty) and lasted until the imperial institution was abolished in 1911/12. The civil service system was perfected during the Ming and then became stratified; almost all the top Ming officials entered the bureaucracy by passing a government examination. The Censorate (Yushitai), an office designed to investigate official misconduct and corruption, was made a separate organ of the government. Affairs in each province were handled by three agencies, each reporting to separate bureaus in the central government. The position of prime minister was abolished; the emperor took over personal control of the government, ruling with the assistance of the especially appointed Neige, or Grand Secretariat.Basically, the Ming incorporated the Song dynasty's policy of relying on the literati in managing state affairs. However, from the Yongle emperor onward, the emperors relied increasingly on trusted eunuchs to contain the literati. Also introduced at that time was a system of punishment by flogging with a stick in court, which was designed to humiliate civil officials—while also making use of them to realize the emperor's aim of maintaining practical control of the state in his own hands. By decree of the emperor, a vast spying service was organized under three special agencies.Struggles with tribes of various nationalities continued throughout the Ming period. Clashes with Mongols were nearly incessant. During the first decades of the dynasty, the Mongols were driven north to Outer Mongolia, but the Ming could not claim a decisive victory. From then onward, the Ming were generally able to maintain their northern border, though by the later stages of the dynasty it in effect only reached the line of the Great Wall (Great Wall of China). On the northeast, the Juchen (Chinese: Nüzhen, or Ruzhen), who rose in the northeast around the end of the 16th century, pressed the Ming army to withdraw successively southward, and eventually the Ming made the east end of the Great Wall their last line of defense.In early Ming times, China's domain extended considerably in the south as a result of its successful invasion of northern Vietnam. But the brief occupation of Vietnam was met with determined local guerrilla resistance, and the Ming government quickly decided to restore the boundary to its original line; it never again attempted to push southward. During the 15th century the government had organized large tribute-collecting flotillas commanded by Zheng He to extend China's influence. Also during the Ming, Japan became more aggressive. In the 15th century Japanese raiders teamed up with Chinese pirates to make coastal raids in Chinese waters, which were of a relatively small scale but were still highly disruptive to Chinese coastal cities. The Ming government eventually tried to stop Japan's attempt to control Korea, which became a long and costly campaign.The Ming government was gradually weakened by factionalism between civil officials, interference by palace eunuchs, the burdens of a growing population, and a succession of weak and inattentive emperors. In 1644 a rebel leader, Li Zicheng, captured the capital city of Beijing, and the local Ming military commander requested aid from the Manchu tribesmen who had been encroaching on China's northern borders. The Manchu drove out Li Zicheng and then remained, establishing the Qing dynasty.Despite the many foreign contacts made during the Ming period, cultural developments were characterized by a generally conservative and inward-looking attitude. Ming architecture is largely undistinguished with the Forbidden City, a palace built in Beijing in the 15th century by the Yongle emperor (and subsequently enlarged and rebuilt), its main representative. The best Ming sculpture is found not in large statues but in small ornamental carvings of jade, ivory, wood, and porcelain. Although a high level of workmanship is manifest in Ming decorative arts such as cloisonné, enamelware, bronzework, lacquerwork, and furniture, the major achievements in art were in painting and pottery.While there were two main traditions in painting in the Ming period, that of “literati painting” (wenrenhua) of the Wu school and that of the “professional academics” (huayuanpai) associated with the Zhe school, artists generally stressed independent creation, impressing their work with strong marks of their personal styles.Ceramics saw many new developments, along with the continuation of established traditions. There were three major types of decoration: monochromatic glazes, including celadon, red, green, and yellow; underglaze copper red and cobalt blue; and overglaze, or enamel painting, sometimes combined with underglaze blue. The latter, often called “blue and white,” was imitated in Vietnam, Japan, and, from the 17th century, in Europe. Much of this porcelain was produced in the huge factory at Jingdezhen in Jiangsu province. One of the period's most influential wares was the stoneware of Yixing in Jiangsu province, which was exported in the 17th century to the West, where it was known as boccaro ware and imitated by such factories as Meissen.The Ming regime restored the former literary examinations for public office, which pleased the literary world, dominated by Southerners. In their own writing the Ming sought a return to classical prose and poetry styles and, as a result, produced writings that were imitative and generally of little consequence. Writers of vernacular literature, however, made real contributions, especially in novels and drama. Chinese traditional drama originating in the Song dynasty had been banned by the Mongols but survived underground in the South, and in the Ming era it was restored. This was chuanqi, a form of musical theatre with numerous scenes and contemporary plots. What emerged was kunqu, less bombastic in song and accompaniment than other popular theatre. Under the Ming it enjoyed great popularity, indeed outlasting the dynasty by a century or more. It was adapted into a full-length opera form, which, although still performed today, was gradually replaced in popularity by jingxi (Peking opera) during the Qing dynasty.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
Ming Dynasty — Great Ming 大明 ← 1368–1644 … Wikipedia
Ming Dynasty — Ming Dyn|as|ty the ↑dynasty (=family of rulers) which ruled China from 1368 to 1644. During this period there were many important developments in Chinese art, politics, and trade. Ming ↑vases (=decorated containers) are famous for being very… … Dictionary of contemporary English
Ming dynasty — noun the imperial dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 • Syn: ↑Ming • Hypernyms: ↑dynasty … Useful english dictionary
Ming Dynasty Tombs — Standing in the spirit way at the Ming Tombs looking back towards the entry gate. Coordinates … Wikipedia
Ming Dynasty painting — Leaf album painting of flowers, a butterfly, and a twisted rock sculpture, by Chen Hongshou (1598–1652). During the Ming Dynasty (1368 1644), Chinese painting developed greatly from the achievements in painted art during the earlier Song Dynasty… … Wikipedia
Ming Dynasty military conquests — The Ming Dynasty military conquests were instrumental to its hold on power during the early stages of the Ming Dynasty. Contents 1 Hongwu reign (1368 98) 2 Yongle reign (1403 1424) … Wikipedia
Ming dynasty Tai history — During the Ming dynasty in China attempts were made to subjugate, control, tax, and settle ethnic Chinese along the lightly populated frontier of Yunnan with Southeast Asia (modern day Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam). This frontier region… … Wikipedia
Ming Dynasty family tree — The following is a simplified family tree for the Ming Dynasty, which ruled China between 1368 and 1644.Those who became emperor are listed in bold, with their years of reign. The names given are reign names, the form by which Ming emperors were… … Wikipedia
Tibet during the Ming Dynasty — The exact nature of Sino Tibetan relations during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) of China is unclear. Some modern scholars living and working in the People s Republic of China assert that the Ming Dynasty had unquestioned sovereignty over Tibet,… … Wikipedia
History of the Ming Dynasty — The History of the Ming Dynasty (zh cp|c=明朝|p=Míng Cháo) covers a period including its rule as the dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol led Yuan Dynasty. At its height, the Ming Dynasty had a population of 160… … Wikipedia