who was the first emperor of the ming dynasty

The Ming Dynasty ruled during which China’s population would double. Known for its trade expansion to the outside world that established cultural ties with the West, the Ming Dynasty is also remembered for its drama, literature and world-renowned porcelain.It was the fourth longest Chinese dynasty, lasting for 276 years.

who founded the ming dynasty?

Zhu Yuanzhang

who started the ming dynasty?Zhu Yuanzhang was an ordinary boy among tens of thousands of poor peasants. When he was 16, the Yellow River flooded his home and his entire family died from catching a disease. He took shelter in a Buddhist monastery and then joined the peasant rebellion after the monastery was destroyed by the Mongol army.Over the next 10 years, he defeated all other powerful rival armies. In 1368, he attacked the Yuan empire capital of Dadu (Beijing) and gained control of Beijing. The Yuan court fled northwards.Zhu Yuanzhang claimed the Mandate of Heaven in 1368 and established the Ming Dynasty. Hongwu Emperor was his title. His name meant “Vast Magnificent Military”.

how ming dynasty started?

In the late period of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368), a peasant’s uprising – Hongjinjun (army with red scarf in the head) uprising broke out against the Mongols. In 1352 when the rebel army captured Haozhou (currently Fengyang in Anhui Province), Zhu Yuanzhang, a local young man from a peasant family joined the army. After that, Zhu served with distinction in the battles. He was then chosen as general by a rebelling warlord named Guo Ziyi. After the death of the rebelling warlord, Zhu took control and continued forth to realize his plan to take control over all of China. In 1356, Zhu led his army into the city of Jiqing (currently Nanjing in Jiangsu Province), changed the city name into Yingtian and established his own military base there. Through several years’ efforts, both the military and economical strength of Zhu’s army quickly became stronger. From 1360 to 1367, his army managed to eliminate the remaining separatist military forces.

when did the ming dynasty start and Where did the Ming dynasty start?In 1368, Zhu Yuanzhang officially proclaimed himself emperor in Yingtian(Nanjing) and founded the Ming Dynasty.

empress ma ming dynasty

Empress Ma

Empress Ma, formally Empress Xiaocigao, was a Chinese Empress Consort of the Ming Dynasty, married to the Hongwu Emperor and acting as his political adviser and secretary, exerting a large amount of influence during his reign.

what did zhu yuanzhang do for china?

Eunuch demoted: In earlier dynasties, eunuchs had been involved in internal politics and were responsible for a lot of the court’s decadence. To limit their power and ensure the centralization of authority, eunuchs were not allowed to engage in official affairs and had to be illiterate.

He instituted public work projects, and he tried to distribute land to the peasants. During the middle part of his reign, Hongwu made an edict that those who brought fallow land under cultivation could keep it as their property without being taxed.

By the end of his reign, cultivated land had increased substantially. The peasants prospered because they sold their produce to the growing cities. During his reign, the population increased quickly.

New Government Structure
Emperor Hongwu staffed his bureaucracy with officials who passed the Neo-Confucian imperial examinations. These officials were dependent on the court for their position so that they might prove to be more loyal. They were generally very intelligent and well educated.

Embroidered Uniform Guard

Secret Policy (Personal Policy)
After Zhu Yuanzhang emerged as the rebel general, he became more and more suspicious. He set up a private guard military institution, which was known as the Embroidered Uniform Guard. It served as Zhu’s secret police to help him spy on his subjects.

Issued Paper Currency
Emperor Hongwu also issued paper currency. But he was ill grounded in economy and it is said that he handed out too much paper money during his lifetime causing inflation.

Hongwu was wary of losing his throne in the same violent way he had gained it and so he was determined to impose a strong centralised government on China, with him personally exercising control over all matters. The institution of the Chinese emperor would return to that of old – the absolute monarch and possessor of a divine mandate to rule, the so-called Mandate of Heaven. To strengthen his position, even the Secretariat, which had previously acted as a bureaucratic limit on an emperor’s power, was abolished (although not until 1380 CE and it would return under later emperors). Any dissenting officials were ruthlessly punished or executed, and to ensure Hongwu’s control spread far beyond the capital in Nanjing, the provincial governments were reorganised with imperial family members placed at their heads. At the same time, local authorities were given just enough autonomy that they could create a balance of power with these regional heads and so ensure no one – family, friend or foe – ever rose to challenge the emperor.

Other policies carried out by Hongwu included the compilation of a draconian law code (the Da Ming lü or Grand Pronouncements); land and tax obligations were meticulously registered, hereditary military service continued to be imposed on the peasantry in threatened regions (as it had been under the Mongols), international trade was curbed as all things foreign were considered a threat to the regime, and the old tribute system required of neighbouring states was revived.

The reduction in commerce compared to the more internationally-minded Mongols meant that agriculture was once more the focus of government economic policy. Following the devastation of large swathes of China after the Mongol invasion and the rebellions during the Yuan’s death throes, land for cultivation was meticulously registered and redistributed back to the peasantry, areas were drained, irrigation systems were improved, and some areas were reforested. The region of the south-west was conquered, and a new province was created; Guizhou.

The emperor, himself a beneficiary of free Buddhist education, was an advocate of learning for all, and he promoted local schools to that end. In 1370 CE, Hongwu reintroduced the traditional civil service examination system, which had been an essential path of social progression in pre-Mongol China and which would continue right into the 20th century CE. Regarding the arts, a flourishing would only really occur under Hongwu’s successors but he did found a painting academy at Nanjing.

how did zhu yuanzhang die

He reigned for 30 years and died when he was 70. When he died, his physicians and concubines were put to death on his instructions.


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