April 25, 2008
Economy of the Ming Dynasty
Beginning from 1368, and ending in 1644, the Ming Dynasty was a very prosperous dynasty. The economy during this time had a major divide in the north and south. The north was devastated by the wars and corrupt government remnants from the Mongol ruling Yuan Dynasty. Natural disasters during the end of the Yuan Dynasty had caused a population decrease in the Yellow River Basin and destroyed fields, dams, and canals. These reconstruction and reparation projects were being implemented until the late 1300s. A lot of foreign trade was going on and the Ming Dynasty China soon became world power in maritime trade.
The Ming Dynasty was known for its sea voyages, and maritime trade with other foreign countries. Trade with Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands soon became a big part of the Ming economy (China - MSN Encarta).
Countries wishing to trade with China during the Ming Dynasty had to go through the tribute system. In the tribute system, foreign nations would come to China, present himself with gifts to the emperor and recognize China as the greatest. Then the emperor would present gifts of equal value in return and assign seals of office to the rulers of the foreign nation (China: Regional Studies Series). By doing so, China became a part of the new global trade of food crops, plants, animals, and goods. This was known as the Columbian Exchange. These trading with other countries brought in massive amounts of wealth to the Ming Dynasty China (Ming Dynasty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
The Ming Dynasty government was not very involved in the economics of the people. This was so because of two factors: the loss of the government's military supremacy in earlier times, and because...