Chinese Name: 明朝
English Name: Ming Dynasty, Ming Chao
Other Name：Great Ming 大明, Zhu Ming 朱明
Duration: About 1368 AD – 1644 AD
King: Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋, Zhu Di 朱棣, Zhu Zhanji 朱瞻基
The Ming Dynasty 明朝 (1368-1644) was a dynasty in Chinese history. It was founded by Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋, the Emperor Taizu of the Ming Dynasty. Nanjing was established as the capital in the early stage, and Beijing was moved as the capital during the reign of Emperor Chengzu of the Ming Dynasty 明成祖. It was handed down to the sixteen emperors for 276 years.
The red scarf uprising broke out at the end of the Yuan Dynasty 元朝, and Zhu Yuanzhang joined Guo Zixing’s 郭子兴 team. In 1364, Zhu Yuanzhang called himself king of Wu 吴王. At the beginning of 1368, he proclaimed himself Emperor and named the country Great Ming. And positioning Nanjing as the capital. Zhu Di 朱棣 moved his capital to Beijing in 1421.
The territory of the Ming Dynasty covers all regions of Han nationality. The Northeast reaches the sea of Japan and the outer Hinggan Mountains 外兴安岭and then narrows to the Liao River Basin 辽河. Reach Yinshan in the north and retreat to the great wall of the Ming Dynasty. Its territory is in the west to the Hami 哈密, Xinjiang 新疆, retreating and guarding Jiayu pass 嘉峪关.
The territory of the Ming Dynasty reached Myanmar in the southwest and then turned back to about today’s Yunnan 云南. He also set up a guard station in the Qinghai Tibet region and recovered Annan.
Major Historical Events
The unification war of the Ming Dynasty 明朝统一战争
The unification war of the Ming Dynasty was the war of Zhu Yuanzhang, the Emperor Taizu of the Ming Dynasty, who unified the country from 1368 to 1389. He sent troops to overthrow the Yuan Dynasty and eliminate separatist regimes and residual forces of the Yuan Dynasty.
In 1367, Zhu Yuanzhang successively attacked and destroyed the regimes of Chen Youliang 陈友谅 and Zhang Shicheng 张士诚. Since then, he unified Jiangnan 江南. After that, Zhu Yuanzhang judged the situation and decided to pacify the Central Plains to the north and attack the coastal areas to the south at the same time. So as to gradually seize the sovereignty of the country.
The Ming Dynasty successively attacked Shanxi 山西, Shaanxi 陕西, Gansu 甘肃, and other places in the north. In the south, Fujian 福建, Guangxi 广西, and other provinces have been eliminated.
In June 1369, the residual forces of the Yuan Dynasty continued to harass the back frontier. Zhu Yuanzhang ordered Chang Yuchun 常遇春 to lead the northern expedition to conquer Kaiping 开平, the capital of the Yuan Dynasty. The whole country has been basically controlled by the Ming Dynasty.
Three Prosperous Times in Early Ming 明初三大盛世
The early Ming Dynasty experienced three prosperous periods: the reign of Hong Wu 洪武之治, the reign of Yongle 永乐盛世, and the reign of Renxuan 仁宣之治. Political integrity and strong national strength.
The reign of Hongwu is also called Hongwu prosperous age. It indicates the prosperous era during the reign of Taizu Zhu Yuanzhang. During Zhu Yuanzhang, he ordered farmers to return to farming and rewarded reclamation. He organized farmers everywhere to build water conservancy.
At the same time, he strongly advocated planting economic crops such as mulberry, hemp, cotton, and fruit trees. He also enriches the people and suppresses the powerful. Finally, he also reduced taxes and severely punished corrupt officials. In terms of population management, he sent people all over the country to measure land and check household registration.
The Yongle prosperous age was the prosperous age during the reign of Zhu Di, the Emperor Chengzu of Ming. Emperor Chengzu of Ming had great talents. After taking the throne, he worked hard to develop the economy, advocated culture and education, and took many measures to vigorously develop the economy. He made the world rule, the country prosperous and powerful, and the territory vast.
The rule of Renxuan was a prosperous situation during the period of Zhu Gaochi, Emperor Renzong of Ming 明仁宗朱高炽, and Zhu Zhanji, Emperor Xuanzong of Ming 明宣宗朱瞻基. They adopted a series of policies, such as loose governance and the cessation of troops, and the maintenance of the people.
Tumu Crisis 土木之变
The Civil War refers to the incident that occurred on September 1, 1449, when the Ming Dynasty was defeated by the Wala tribe 瓦剌部 of Mongolian July 1449, the emperor Yingzong of the Ming Dynasty received the information that Wang Yexian led the vara army to invade. He decided to fight in the northern expedition. at the civil war fort during the fourth Ming Yingzong’s north expedition.
After the northern expedition of Chengzu of Ming, the northern border defense of the Ming Dynasty tended to be stable. Xuanzong of Ming had no intention of the northern expedition, Wala was busy unifying the ministries, and there was no major military conflict. Xuanzong also tolerated the small-scale invasion of Wala as long as he could.
In July 1449, the Emperor Yingzong of Ming received the information that Ye Xian 也先 led the Wala army to invade. He decided to fight in the northern expedition. Due to the relaxation of armaments for many years, the army of the Ming Dynasty was vulnerable. As a result, the Ming army went out for only one month.
When the army retreated to the civil fort, it was caught up by the vara army. In this battle, more than half of the soldiers were killed and wounded, and Yingzong was captured. This is the turning point from prosperity to decline in the Ming Dynasty.
In the late Ming Dynasty, political corruption, partisan disputes, and natural disasters led to the decline of national strength. Peasant uprisings continued to break out everywhere. In 1644, Li Zicheng 李自成 invaded Beijing 北京, Emperor Chongzhen 崇祯帝 committed suicide, and the Ming Dynasty perished.
A new historical stage
The autocracy of monarchy was strengthened unprecedentedly in the Ming Dynasty. The multi-ethnic country has also been further unified and consolidated.
During the Ming Dynasty, the peasants’ anti-feudal struggle also entered a new stage.
In the early Ming Dynasty, the abolition of prime ministers, and the establishment of factory guards and spy agencies strengthened the authoritarian centralization, but also laid the groundwork for the eunuch dictatorship in the middle and late period.