Political Organization: Empire
The Emperor ruled with the Mandate of Heaven.
Concept of Middle Kingdom
Recurring cycle of dynasties that first win, and then lose the
Mandate of Heaven.
Highly developed bureaucracy. Exam system for public service.
Social Organization: (hierarchy taken from Confucius) Scholars
Peasants (in reality peasants were
at the bottom of society)
Value Systems: Traditional rites and religion. (polytheistic)
Heaven, Mandate of Heaven, ancestor worship
Confucius- “Rational humanism”- emphasized duty, tradition,
maintenance of social harmony. Analects.
Taoism- “intuitive mysticism”- emphasized harmony with nature.
Buddhism- Sought release from this world.
Timeline of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Ming dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.)
1368- The leader of the successful Chinese rebellion against the Mongol rulers of
1402-1424- Reign of Ch’eng-tsu who moved the capital to
1405-1433 - Voyages of Cheng-Ho announced the potential of Chinese supremacy at
1408- Under Ch’eng-tsu’s patronage a compendium of 22,877 rolls of Chinese
literature was completed.
1460’s-1470’s- The Great Wall was strengthened.
1514 - Portuguese
1549- St. Francis
Xavier landed in
1551-1610 - Matteo Ricci worked in
1557 - The Portuguese
established a base at
1550’s-1560’s- The Ming held off renewed Mongol attacks.
Qing (Ching, Manchu) dynasty (1644-1912)
1644- Qing dynasty came to power in northern
1662-1727 - reign of K’ang-hsi
resistance to Qing rule eliminated.
Coastal pirates were brought under control with European help,
1689- Treaty of Nerchinsk settled
border problems with
1697- K’ang-hsi led the conquest of western
1704-1742 - Papal decisions issued against the Jesuit positions in the Rites Controversy.
1707- The Chinese kicked out all European missionaries but the Jesuits.
extended influence into
1727- Treaty with the Russians stabilized the northern border and secured Chinese
control over the eastern steppes.
1737-1795- Reign of Ch’ien-lung. Under this e