IntroductionAccording to many historians the Ming Dynasty, which ruled over China for 276 years, may have been ancient Chinas greatest dynasty. Just why they believe this is found in the list of interesting facts about the Ming Dynasty below. This information includes what the great accomplishments of this dynasty were and who some of the great rulers were. As with all our pages this information is written to be understood by kids and adults alike.
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Ming Dynasty History Facts
- The Ming dynasty ruled over China from 1368 AD through 1644 AD. After the dynasty collapsed a loyalist group referred to as the Southern Ming fled to the city of Nanjing. This group survived until the year 1645.
- The Ming Dynasty replaced the Yuan Dynasty which had ruled China for approximately 100 years. Peasant uprisings, sparked by ethnic discrimination against Han Chinese, weakened the Yuan Dynasty. When the Yuan Dynasty collapsed competition for control of China among peasant groups was finally settled when Zhu Yuanzhang defeated his rivals and named himself Emperor Hongwu. He was the first ruler of the Ming Dynasty.
- Zhu Yuanzhang who was first emperor of the Ming Dynasty is also known as the Hongwu Emperor and Ming Taizu (Great Ancestor of the Ming).
- The Ming Dynasty was the last dynasty of ancient China to be ruled by the Han Chinese. An interesting fact is that this ethnic group is currently the largest ethnic group on the earth.
- During the Ming Dynasty, the capital city changed four times between Beijing and Nanjing.
- Ming Dynasty religion consisted of various forms of folk religion and what is referred to as the Three Teachings. The Three Teachings is a combination of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
- The end of the Ming Dynasty occurred in 1644 when peasant rebels captured the capital city; Beijing.
Ming Dynasty Accomplishments
- Although the Great Wall of China was built by earlier dynasties most of the wall as it stands today was built during the Ming dynasty. This remarkable structure took over 100 years to build.
- The Grand Canal, which is the longest canal in the world, was almost completely rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty. From 1411 AD through 1415 AD the Yongle Emperor had the canal restored in order to improve trade. These improvements helped improve ancient China's economy.
- Art, literature, and music flourished during the Ming Dynasty.
- The Ming Dynasty is famous for its beautiful blue and white porcelain vases which often have beautiful dragon or floral designs. These pieces have become very valuable collector items.
- The Forbidden City was built during the Ming Dynasty; from 1406 to 1420. Located in the center of Beijing it served as the Chinese imperial palace and the center of Chinese government for several dynasties. This amazing place covers over 180 acres on which 980 buildings stand. In 1987 the Forbidden City was named a World Heritage Site.
- The classical ancient Chinese novels Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Outlaws of the Marsh, and Journey to the West were written during this dynasty.
- A famous explorer named Zheng lived during this dynasty. He explored Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa for Emperor Chengzu.
- The beginning of the Ming Dynasty saw the creation of numerous new weapons that utilized gunpowder. Towards the end of the dynasty the military tended to copy European designed weapons.