Lecture 1: The Ming Emperorship
I. Disintegration of Mongol rule
- Decline of military power
- Militarization of local society
II. The Rise of Zhu Yuanzhang (a.k.a. The Hongwu emperor; Taizu)
- Family background
- Rise to power
III. The Hongwu Reign (1368–98)
- Style of rule
- Management problems
IV. Other Ming Emperors
- The Ambitious: The Yongle emperor (r. 1403–24)
- The Incompetent: The Zhengtong (r. 1436–49) and Zhengde (r. 1506–21) emperors
- The Bored: The Wanli emperor (r. 1573–1620)
V. Concluding Thoughts
Lecture 2: Reconstructing Social Order
I. Central Administration
- 2 capitals—Nanjing and Beijing
- 6 ministries—personnel, revenues, rites, war, public works, punishments
- Imperial clan
II. Military Administration
- Guards (wei) and Battalions (suo)
- Frontier administration—institution of chieftaincy
III. Provincial Administration
- 13 provinces
- Administration commission
- Surveillance commission
- Military commission
IV. Local Administration
- Administrative units—prefecture … subprefecture … county … canton … township … ward … courier stations
- Local control—li jia
- Censuses (1371 and others)
- What were Taizu's main concerns in his Ancestral Instructions?
- What was Taizu's vision for local societies? What did he believe was the proper role for the state?
- What are the similarities and differences between Taizu's various instructions and proclamations and modern-day national constitutions?
Source: National Museum of Chinese History, ed., A Journey into China's Antiquity, vol. 1 (Beijing: Morning Glory Publishers, 1997), pp. 8–9.
Physical Map by Satellite
- Brook, Timothy. The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan And Ming Dynasties. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010.
- Farmer, Edward L. Zhu Yuanzhang and Early Ming Legislation. Leiden: Brill, 1995.
- Mote, Frederick W., and Denis Twitchett, eds. The Cambridge History of China. Vol. 7, The Ming Dynasty, pt. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
- Schneewind, Sarah. A Tale of Two Melons: Emperor and Subject in Ming China. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2006.
- Tsai, Shih-shan Henry. Perpetual Happiness: the Emperor Yongle. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001.