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Worst Chinese dynasty?


bhchao
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I'm sorry, but the Ming was a disaster from the beginning to the end.

It determined by what is disaster. Maybe it's not a good period for

those officials, but only few of those censure to Ming dynasty concerned

common people and peasants. Although a emperor of Ming was more

a carpenter than an emperor, or one of them didn't handle the court

matters for 40 years, who cares except confians? of course there're

lots of errors, but I don't think it's a disaster from the beginning to the

end.

Mongolian officials laid worst impression on the first emperor of Ming, so

he quite hated those corrupted officials and used the brutalest way to

punish them, I guess he had some psychiatric problem. Anyway, from the

very beginning of Ming on, the officials and the emperor became good

partners, it became a fashion for those officials to criticize the emperor

even it may bring death to them, after the emperor finnally knew his

brutality would give them great honor, he stopped communication with

them for so long time. Don't you think it's the most romance era in

China's history? :mrgreen:

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Talking about defamation, I wonder if Yuan dynasty was really as bad as what Ming historians portrayed.

Ming historians wrote that Confucian scholars were ranked as low as prostitutes and beggars in the Yuan society. But a lot of ethnic Han scholars occupied high positions in the Yuan court.

And Chinese was the official language in Yuan court.

In fact, the label "Yuan" was adopted from I-Ching.

Of course, Yuan rule was not benign. But it might not be as repressive as the early Ming reign.

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Talking about defamation, I wonder if Yuan dynasty was really as bad as what Ming historians portrayed.

Ming historians wrote that Confucian scholars were ranked as low as prostitutes and beggars in the Yuan society. But a lot of ethnic Han scholars occupied high positions in the Yuan court.

And Chinese was the official language in Yuan court.

In fact, the label "Yuan" was adopted from I-Ching.

Of course, Yuan rule was not benign. But it might not be as repressive as the early Ming reign.

Yes, if the unbelievable slaughters, racism system and all that happened

under such system are ignored, Yuan is really a quite good dynasty in the

world. :mrgreen:

There're some Han people became the officials in Yuan, but I doubt whether it could be 'lots'. yes, they did really reopened the exam to

select officials, but the content of exam and the rate of passing were

quite different between Mogolian and Han, anyway, the exam didn't

open a long time for Han people.

Maybe some mogolian emperor could speak Han chinese, 'cause there're

'lots' of Han officials, but what could it prove? I'll remind you that

Conficus(and his descendants) were highly respected in Mogolian Yuan

and Manchurian Qing, while the Han's dynasty never did it. Wasn't it

humorous?

the Label "yuan" was adopted from I-Ching, what could it prove?

And Hitler's German was not benign for Jews, too, but is it suitable

to say this way to Jews?

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I just can't understand why the Ming gets so little respect. Without the Ming, China would have been under foreign domination since the 13th century. What national pride could have remained in 1949? Could the Chinese have prevented the splintering and continued foreign domination of their country? I think that the Ming have every bit as much to do with the present unification of China as the Qin emporer. I'm not sure if Ala is bothered about all this, since doing away with the characters will of course help that process along too........

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There are several reasons that Ming Dynasty didn't get too much respect (IMHO it didn't deserve).

Of course, the Mings were the first to get rid of the Mongol rule in merely 89 years while the Central Asians and Europeans took centuries to overthrow the Khanates. But Ming was one of the darkest periods in Chinese history:

(1) After the first Ming emperor got rid of the prime minister system permanently, China fell under absolute tyranny. The life of every Chinese citizen was vulnerable to the mood of one single man -- the Emperor. Worst of all, most Ming Emperors were dumbass who didn't bother to even see his court officials for decades. The power fell to the hands of the perverts -- eunuches.

(2) Big Brother was prevalent in every corner in Ming Dynasty. The Ming Emperors and the eunuches were specialists in inventing different branches of internal agents -- "East Factory", "West Factory"......(names of branches of Ming's CIA) -- put every court official at risk.

(3) The final years of Ming saw the worst years ever recorded in Chinese history. Famine (natural and man-made) forced many refugees to even exchange sons and daughters as food.

The Qing invasion had inflicted heavy wound on Chinese national psyche. But for the livelihood of the hoi polloi, it was indeed a blessing as witnessed by the peaceful and relatively prosperous years of the early Qing Emperors.

And in hindsight, if Ming had not closed China's door after Zheng He's grand voyages, China would not be technologically backward than Western Europe in the following centuries.

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hmm... i wouldnt agree with some of ur points...

becos they got rid of the prime minister system and replaced it with the 'cabinet', the emperor actually got 'isolated'. the wanli emperor rarely meet up his ministers for 45yrs yet the whole country still functioned, with the six or seven 'cabinet ministers' as a commitee to deal with most matters. i think among the few times the emperor held a meeting was when there was an attack by japanese or something(manchu?).

the eunuchs only came into the scene later part of the ming dynasty when a few emperors consecutively died at a young age and the new guy was much too young. as he grew up he's got no one to trust except his childhood playmates, the eunuchs, so they got special rights.

i think the worst thing about the ming dynasty is that they are politically non-mercantile. the size of ming china is much larger than song but its gnp is probably much less. the official ban on seafaring led to the rise in bandits and pirates. earlier ones like 汪直(aka 王直) to people like koxinga(郑成功) are all pirates that the ming dynasty cannot subdue by force, becos after they stopped official seafaring the govt havent got any big ships to deal with the pirates, who had, on the other hand thousands of huge chinese galleons.

then corruption is also bad in ming dynasty. in order to curb corruption zhu yuanzhang, the first ming emperor had a law saying like 'magistrates(officials) taking bribes up to 10/20 taels of silver(it's like $1000~2000 in today's standards) will be skinned alive', and the salaries of court officials are bloody low. that's why in ming punishments to the officials we often see 罚俸, or stopping of salary, for a few months up to yrs. without salary the officials would be starved to death. but in the end, zhu didnt got what he wanted. the officials dont accept money but they accept gifts and lands. even the great official zhang juzheng sit in a huge sedan carried by 64 guys when he went back home for his mother's funeral. how could he afford that with his meagre pay?

i think its the consevative policies that killed the ming dynasty.

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Well, in any case the Ming were still ahead of the rest of the world in some ways. Surley it is the Qing who deserve more blame for miring China in the past - when the rest of the world was advancing rapidly the Qing clung to conservatism since as an alien dynasty it was a useful way of legitimizing their rule. Had the Qing not come along some revitalized native dynasty could have taken over. So under the Qing terrible things such as footbinding could be found even in the 20th century.

And the Qing deserve the title of "worst" dynasty if only because they made millions of men, for several centuries, go around sporting that utterly ridiculous haircut!

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i would say qing emperors fared much better than the ming ones. almost every single qing emperor can be considered capable and energetic in ancient chinese standards. almost everyone of them is keen in solving the problems the country is facing, and most of them got a pretty strong body and character. they were taking horse riding and hunting as sports, they dont believe in living for ten thousand years, they dont invite taoists monks to the palace for making pills of eternality. they dont hunt for pretty girls, and most of them doesnt have undisirable personal habits. i think the qing emperor who spent the least time meeting his officials is still much ahead than the ming emperor who spent the most time with his officials. and there is only one case where eunuchs mildly interferred with politics, thats during the empress dowager's time. all the qing emperors after shunzhi knew at least 3 languages, namely mandarin, mongol and manchurian, some goes as far as 4, tibetian.

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居然胆小至此,人前不敢叫一声。这也许就是中国式的‘成熟’,‘世故’吧。

另外送你一句,与其无的放矢,不如保持沉默。网上已经是匿名发表,若是有的放矢又不敢承认,只是凸现你的‘层次’到底在哪儿。。。

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if we go by another simple way, the length of the golden era of each dynasty, then the worst should probably be pretty obvious... in this case qing is definitely not the worst, since its golden era is about 130+ yrs, half its lifespan. minus 10+ yrs from kangxi cos he was still a kid when he became emperor, and 10 yrs from the end of qianglong, cos the corrupted official he'shen had done much harm to the country, that still leave us with about 110yrs.

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居然胆小至此

这儿在针对我说吗?? :-?

As I have said, I think the worst would be 五代十国Five Dynasties-Ten Kingdoms era, which didn't have much arts or anything, they were more concerned with establishing a stable monarchy. The 南北朝 Southern and Northern Dynasties era was much better with all the great painters and Buddhism...

The south enjoyed mostly continued advancement, while the north was a mess. (前)秦(Former) Qin, 十六国Sixteen states, 辽Liao, 金Jin...

Of the great/united dynasties, 元Yuan was probably the worst. 明Ming and 清Qing were both very good dynasties. Ming had some great advancements in the arts, extended the borders, rebuilt the great wall, built Beijing. 清Qing (although "barbarian" Manchu) extended the borders, and had two of the best emperors in China, wise, open-minded, long reign, 玄烨Xuanye(康熙) and 弘历Hongli(乾隆). 载湉Zaitian(光绪) would probably have done some good reforms in China if it wasn't for the political grip of the Empress Dowager.

-Shibo :mrgreen:

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not to u shibo... its for the prime minister... :mrgreen::mrgreen:

yeah, yuan is probably a disaster in most areas... but history book wrote little of it(i mean its achievements). i would guess that there was a certain degree of international interaction, but the domestic governance in the asia part is probably crappy... tang had 2 golden eras, during taizong and xuanzong, and in btw wu zetian was a great leader for half a century. ming and song both had about 60-70yrs of golden era. there is something interesting here worth sparing a thought: although song dynasty is relatively weaker in terms of overall military strength in chinese history, it took the mongols 40yrs to bring down southern song, when they won battles by days or weeks in other places. whereas in ming dynasty, the ming govt rebuilt the great wall, had firearms in the army, and yet the manchurians won with relative ease. ok, even if wu sangui never open up shan'haiguan, i dont think it'll take them more than another 10yrs.

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  • 11 months later...

Ming is definitely greatest dynasty in chinese history. The main reason why Ming was also viewed as worst empire is mainly because it has very few capable emperor. Only two Ming emperor (Hong Wu and Yong le) was considered the great and take active role in government affairs. It is quite crazy as Hong Wu burdened himself with so much workload. After Yongle reign, Ming began to isolate itself and went one defensive. Almost every emperor after Yongle (except Chong zhen, last emperor of ming) took no interest in government affair and was extremely lazy. Most power later fall on enunchs.

Eventhough during Yongle reign, it achieved greatest naval power in the world but this achieved with great cost too which outweight the benefit. Most historian argue that why need to maintain such a huge naval power while there is no threat to Ming at all at sea. In land, Ming constantly faces Mongol incursion after Yongle died.

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  • 5 weeks later...

What model is better always aroused the interest of historians. If China model is so bad' date=' what made them early prosperous? [/quote']

This is a common myth I see a lot of here. In fact China did not develop prosperity first. We must remember that the empire of Alexander predated that of Qin Shihuang by over 100 years. and the the Middle Eastern civilisations that were direct influences on the Greeks were around a long, long time before that.

If European model is better, we have also to explain the dark age on the continent.

Without getting into a debate about models (I agree, one can argue convincingly for both sides) the fact that Europe went into the Dark Ages after the fall of Rome rather than re-uniting as China did under the Sui and Tang can be seen as a combination of three factors. The first was the role of Christianity in creating a competing power base and bureaucracy that made it harder for local rulers to develop a strong power base of their own.

The second was Germanic inheritance traditions. Since German tribes split inheritance between all sons, rather than just giving everything to the eldest son, Charlemagne's Empire was split into 3 after his death. I think that had that Empire survived intact it had the potential to become a new, Europe-wide dynasty.

Finally, there's the differences between Roman culture and Han (as in the dynasty) culture. The Romans were far more militaristic and so spent less effort on developing a deep-lying culture. There was a deep lying culture, of course (witness the efforts of the Roman Britons to keep their traditions after the fall of Rome and the persistance of Latin as the European lingua franca) but they had nothing to compare to the Han scholarly tradition or civil service. This meant that any future European empires had much less to build on than those in China. This (along with their own internal problems) partly explains why the Eastern Roman, Byzantine Empire was unable to re-unite Europe.

My point in all this is that the divergence of European and Chinese history after 500 AD has less to do with any deep-lying "model" or cultural differences than to do with a few particular differences. I feel that had one or two of these factors not been the case the history of the two would have been much closer. It's worth noting that up until Constantine's conversion, at the earlist, European history and Chinese history were actually remarkably similar. Mesopotamian civilisations = Xia/Shang/Zhou Greek "city" states = Warring States, Macedonian Empire = Qin Dynasty, Roman Empire = Han Dynasty. Even the Roman core philosophy, Stoicism, had a lot in common with the Confucian-Daoist core philosophy of the Han. Of course there are a lot of differences, none of the comparisons above are exactly alike, but the difference is much less than most both in the West and China commonly believe.

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  • 2 months later...

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