The Major Turning Points in Chinese History

TheMajor Turning Points in Chinese History


TheMajor Turning Points in Chinese History through Ming Dynasty

Betweenthe middle of the thirteenth and seventeenth century, Chinaexperienced the leadership of two dynasties Yuan and Ming. Yuan wasestablished by a Mongol in 1271. Ming followed the collapse of theYuan dynasty. It was founded by a ruthless leader called ZhuYuanzhang in 1386. Dardess (2011) explains that the Ming dynasty wasone of the influential dynasties in the history of China. It lastedthrough 276 years and was overthrown by the Manchus in 1644. The Mingemerged at a time when there were a lot of interferences from foreigncultures across the world. The Ming dynasty exists as a key moment inthe history of China amongst all the past and present dynasties.

In1368, Zhu’s indigenous rebel’s regime drove out the Mongols fromthe land that was perceived to belong to Chinese. Mongols were notChinese and were hated by the natives of the land. The hatred stemmedfrom the fact that the Mongolians invaded China in the 13thcentury. Their invasion overpowered the Jin dynasty, Western Xia,Dali Kingdom and Southern Song by 1279. The six-decade invasionresulted in the establishment of Yuan dynasty under the leadership ofMongol leader, Kublai Khan in the same period the last Chinese empirefell. This was the first time the entire China was subjugated andruled forcefully by a foreign dynasty and leader. When Ming under theleadership of Zhu defeated the Yuan dynasty, it became a turningpoint in the history of China because control was restored to thenatives of the land. Once again, the Chinese became the proud ownerof the land that later became their Fatherland as they often refer toit (Dardess, 2011).

TheMing dynasty also marks a turning point in the economic history ofChina. It was one of the largest in the world under the dynasty ofthe Ming. Specifically, it is regarded as one of the three goldenages in China. The trade policies developed at that time facilitatedthe persuasion of the merchants. The policies also weakened theimperial rule and favored the advancement in technology. The largeeconomy was developed and sustained by massive agricultural practicesand vigorous trade industry. At that time, the Chinese engaged incommercial agriculture. They planted crops that were suited by theclimatic conditions of the region. The foreign exchange andrelationships facilitated the introduction of indigenous crops in theregion. When the agricultural supplies became too much, they began toexport the surplus to foreign countries. The revival of the economyfacilitated the revitalization of Chinese major institutions andcustoms (Dardess, 2011).

Thedynasty experienced varying policies under the leadership ofdifferent people. For instance, Emperor Hongwu imposed strictpolicies against foreign trade industry. His aim was to prevent theinfluence of foreign culture on the way of life of the Chinesepeople. Such policies were reversed in the subsequent reigns. Chinaestablished thriving trade relationships with Europe and Japan. Thetrade relationship triggered a massive flow of silver into thecountry. The amount of silver that came into the country wasestimated to be around 300 million taels. The value of such silverwould be $190 million in the current world economy. The foreignrelationships also helped the country to acquire different and modernfirearms to bolster their security status. In general, the economy ofChina was enhanced by the liberating policies in foreign trade,commercial agriculture and infrastructure (Dardess, 2011).


Dardess,J. W. (2011). MingChina, 1368-1644: A concise history of a resilient empire. Lanham, Md: Rowman &amp Littlefield.