The Ming Dynasty was a dynasty from China as per which the Chinese people got a break from the dynasties of the Manchu and Mongol dominance. China gained a lot of prominence during the reign of the Ming dynasty when there was a lot of political and cultural influence on the Eastern part of Asia, the Turks on the West and the presence of Myanmar and Vietnam towards the South. The Ming dynasty was founded by Zhu Yuanzhang who was a man  from very humble origins who later went onto assume the reigning title of the Hongwu. The Ming dynasty was not only the most powerful but was also the most autocratic of all the dynasties from China.  The Ming dynasty followed in some ways the dynastic cycle of the previous rules. “A dynastic cycle is a periodic alternation of the society between anarchy and despotism. In a society where there are farmers, bandits, rulers the growth in the population can actually impoverish the farmers and simultaneously reduce the surplus per head of the rulers. It is then that the society actually gets involved into a very despotic stationary state or into a dynastic cycle depending upon the fact whether farmers can choke off the growth in the population before the fact that the surplus actually shrinks into such a point where the rulers become bandits”.


The histories of the Dynasties of China actually moved in a cyclical manner. Any new dynasty would overthrow the previous dynasty and the new dynasty would become increasingly corrupt and inefficient as compared with the previous dynasty. It is noteworthy to mention here that even though there was a certain dynastic cycle it was not because of the morality of the rulers but the kind of information that the Emperor would receive changed the course of things. The historians in China get to speak of a dynastic cycle that is more characterized by peace and prosperity in the upswing, when there gets established a new line of the emperors and when there is misery, civil war and decline in the population there happens a time when the dynasty becomes feeble and old. It is quite evident that on the surface the Ming dynasty followed the very standard pattern of the prevailing dynastic cycle. It all began with the Mandate of Heaven being captured by a peasant that had been handed down from a very decadent and a moribund dynasty. There were several of the common elements from its predecessors in this government too.  The ministers were reestablishing a much revivified government from the Confucian age, it also followed with the imperial line getting weaker every day and fell victim to the forces that were responsible for the overthrow of its predecessors. This is quite evident in the filial piety as well where the Ming dynasty seems to be following the set standard path. It was the first Ming emperor, Hongwu proposed the benevolence for its people and members from the office to return to the filial path that was neglected by the Yuan dynasty who were its predecessors.

There are certain other historians who disagree with the fact that the Ming dynasty followed the traditional Chinese penchant for the very stylized pattern of the regeneration and breakdown of the dynasty is in no way typical of the various dynastic changes that have punctuated the imperial history of China.  This deviation from the’ dynastic rule’ can be traced back to the changes that had been instituted during the reign of the Hongwu ruler. It was he only who changed so many things one of them was the one related with the conception of the natural emotions. Whenever he would feel that his subjects would feel in a certain manner he would change the rituals simply so that they could be accorded like the feelings of the rituals. Added fuel to the fire was the Ming literati who even though they were in lacking of the prerogatives of the traditional accorded rulers had actually furthered the progress which had been begun by Hongwu. They felt it was important to change the rituals, modify the old existing ones and invented the new ones so that emotions would seem natural. A very important change can be seen in the changes of the patterns of mourning.

There was a very basic structure of the government that had been established by the Ming dynasty and this structure was later on continued by the succeeding Manchu dynasty and lasted in China till the imperial institution was abolished in the year 1911 and 1912. The civil service system had been perfected during the Ming dynasty and was later on stratified when all of the top most Ming officials had entered the bureaucracy after having passed an examination. There exited a Censor ate which was an office designated to look at the issues of corruption and misconduct and it was made into a separate organ of the government. All kinds of affairs were handled differently by the three agencies. Each of the agencies would report to the distinct bureaus in the central government.

The period of the Ming Dynasty is known to be one of the most glorious periods in the history of China. The Dynasty contributed greatly to the modern system of the making of the very spectacular edifices, the Great Wall of China, some very enchanting tourist attractions and it is also quite well known for it’s some of the most amazing innovations.  The Dynasty introduced different kinds of paper and printing, ship rudders and the   bristle toothbrush.

Works Cited Page:

Kutcher Norman.  Mourning in Late Imperial China: Filial Piety and the State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  1999.print

Twitchett Denis, Fairbank K. John.  The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press. 1988.print

An Imperial Edict Restraining officials from evil. “Ming Dynasty Government. Promotion of Social Order and Morality”. (n.d.).  print.

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