Ming Dynasty (1368 CE-1644 CE)

By: Austin Zhu and James Zou


The Ming Dynasty had a very authoritarian government. The first emperor, Zhu Yuanzang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty rose to power by volunteering to fight the Red Turban Rebellion against the Mongols. When he defeated them he became the emperor and also moved the Mongols back to Mongolia. Zhu Yuanzang set up a secret police force called the Jinyiwei. He only let people he trusted into it. When Zhu died Hung-wu became the new emperor. During emperor Hung-wu's reign he restored the civil service examination test. After this the Ming Dynasty's period of prosperity ended and it started to decline. Peasants couldn't pay expensive taxes which caused rebellions. Some government officials kept taxes to themselves. They also built the Forbidden City which was the imperial palace and was very expensive and elaborate. After all this, the Ming Dynasty fell.
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This is a portrait of Zhu Yangzang, first emperor of the Ming Dynasty.


The economy of China thrived during the Ming dynasty. They improved trading ship and expanded the Grand Canal so ships could travel farther to trade. They traded silk, alcohol, porcelain, tobacco, crops, vegetables, and fruits with Turkestan, Japan , Europe, and Portugal (they traded with different people at different times). Then the economy boomed when they replaced paper money with silver coins, so the need of silver went up. The important job of China at that time was farming. The food produced much greater amounts so farming became important. That way the economy of the Ming dynasty thrived with trade and food!
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These are some silver coins, they became the currency during the Ming dynasty.

Inventions/Technology/Science & Architecture

Inventions & Science

The Ming Dynasty had lots of scientific advances and discoveries. Matteo Ricci an Italian Jesuit visited China and gave the Ming Dynasty many different missionaries. They gave them map makers, astronomers, and mathematicians. With these scientific ideas given to the Ming they had many scientific advances. The Ming people also spreaded and used Wang Yang-ming's philosophy called "learning of the mind". The "Learning of the Mind" encouraged Matteo Ricci's ideas. The Ming Dynasty also invented the bristle tooth brush and the usage of "block printing".


The Ming Dynasty was full of many building projects. They expanded and repaired many building projects, such as the Great Wall of China. Not much of the original wall was left, so they repaired it. The wall protected China from northern invaders. They also expanded the Great Canal to its greatest extent, which allowed Chinese traders to trade even farther. They also built some new buildings such as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. The Forbidden City is like a private palace for the emperor, and no one could enter or exit without the emperors permission. The Temple of Heaven is the place where an emperor goes to worship heaven, the ¨being¨ who gave him the mandate of heaven. So the Ming Dynasty was full of many building projects that benefited China.
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This is the Forbidden City which was built in the Ming Dynasty. It was the imperial during the Ming and Qing Dynasty.

Religion/Culture/Daily Life


The Ming Dynasty had a lot of religions and worshiped other daily things to. Some of the religions of the Ming Dynasty was Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Taoism is based on the writings of Lao-Tzu, Buddhism is centered around Buddha, and Confucianism is based off of Confucius. They also worshiped their ancestors, for that was daily. The emperor also worshiped heaven, in the Temple of Heaven, built in the Ming Dynasty. The emperor had to worship heaven in that temple, otherwise he would lose the Mandate of Heaven. So the Ming dynasty had a lot of different religions throughout the dynasty.
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This is the Temple of Heaven, this is where Emperors would go to worship heaven.


The culture of the Ming dynasty was very rich. The culture included literature, painting, music, poetry, and porcelain. The porcelain of the Ming Dynasty was blue and white, this was prized during the Ming Dynasty. The literature of the Ming Dynasty was also important, 3 out of 4 of the Great Classical Novels of China was written during the Ming dynasty. They were Outlaws of the Marsh, Romance of the 3 Kingdoms, and Journey to the West. So the sulture the Ming Dynasty was very important all throughout China's history.
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This is a picture of a Ming dish, the Ming dish are known for their blue and white colors.

Daily Life

Ming Dynasty life was different for males and females. In Ming Dynasty tradition, boys were more important than girls. While boys would go to school girls would hardly ever get educated. Elders would be respected but women weren't treated well. Females couldn't become government officials because they were illiterate and couldn't take the test. Confucius said, a women's roles was at home. Confucius said women shouldn't have their own ambitions. Confucius said, a women's thought weren't important. Ming Dynasty daily life is very different from modern day life.