The Empire of the Great Ming (1368-1644 A.D.)

The Empire of the great Ming, started as a rebellion against the Mongols from the Yuan dynasty, the rebel leader “Zhu yuanzhang” also known as “Emperor Hongwu” was the founder of the dynasty, This is the last dynasty in the history of china that was ruled by ethnic Han people.

 Zhu Yuanzhang was born as a poor peasant and joined the rebel army, “the Red turbans”, during the years he was promoted to be a commander, and his army joined forces with other rebels against the Yuan dynasty, conquering much of china from the hands of the Mongols.

in 1368 A.D. he has claimed the mandate of heaven, announcing a new dynasty “The Great Ming Dynasty”.

Emperor Hongwu has ruled china between the years 1368-1398 A.D, he made Nanjing as his capitol, after razing to ground the Yuan palaces in Dadu.

 he has created a new Confucian laws, and reestablish some laws and military system similar to the Tang dynasty, after his death, at 1398 A.D, he had announced his grandson to be his successor as “emperor Jianweng”, which ruled china from 1398-1402 A.D.

 when emperor jianweng started to rule, he had a conflict with Zhu Di one of Hongwu strongest sons, jianweng has arrested many of his associates, and Zhu Di plotted a rebellion which started a civil war for 3 years, until the palace in Nanjing was burned to ground along with emperor jianweng,

Zhu Di has announced himself as the new Emperor and ruled as “Emperor Yongle”, he established his new capitol in Beijing, and reversed many of his father rules, expanding the Chinese trade, he had order to build a new fleet, Emperor Yongle reign has lasted from 1402-1424 A.D. his son Emperor Hongxi was his successor, although he died a year later at 1425 A.D, and Emperor Xuande, his son, became the ruler of china, his ruling time is considered as a peaceful and successful, it lasted until the Year 1435 A.D, when his own son proceeded him, as Emperor  Zhengtong, which his reign lasted until 1449 A.D, when he was captured by the Mongols at a battle he led himself, and his own brother took the throne, the Mongols who saw no advantage in keeping him as captive while his brother “emperor Jingtai”  rules china, has set him free, and he was put in house arrest, and got a title has grand emperor, Emperor Zhengtong has took back the throne from his brother after 7 years of house arrest, and renamed himself as Emperor Tianshun, his reign lasted from 1457-1464 A.D.

His own son was his successor as “Emperor Changua”  from 1464 A.D. until he died at 1487 A.D, the story says there were a conspiracy in the imperial court by Lady Wan (Changua Concubine)  and some of the eunuchs to eliminate the heir for the throne, they used to do abortions for the ladies emperor Changua was having, and went as far as poisoning them if a birth of a child would threat their plans, Changua discovered at the year 1475 A.D. that he does have a son and he announced him as his successor, “Emperor Hongzhi”, who ruled peacefully over china between 1487-1505 A.D, leaving one living son to take the throne as “Emperor Zhengde” who died childless at 1521 A.D, leaving the throne to his cousin, “Emperor Jiajing”  who was known to be a cruel ruler and a self centered man, leaving the internal affairs of the kingdom to his advisors, and moved to live in isolation outside of the forbidden palace, his reign was the 2nd longest in the Ming dynasty history, and he ruled china until 1567 A.D.

“Emporer Longqing” the son of “Emperor Jiajing” took the throne at 1567 A.D, realizing his father left china corrupted and in disarray, he tried to reform a new government that would improve the bad situation the empire has got into, unfortunately he died 5 years later at 1572 A.D, leaving his son the 9 year old “Emperor Wanli” to rule china.

Emperor Wanli period was the longest in Ming dynasty history, he ruled china for 48 years, during his first years of reign he was aided by a nobleman name “Zhang Juzheng” and china prospered economically and military, in the middle years of his reign he helped the Korea in a fight against Japan.

In the end of his reigning, Emperor Wanli has left the court affairs, and refused to see his advisors, even for important meetings, in 1619 A.D, Jurchen people was united under Nurhaci, he tried to create the Later Jin dynasty, winning a great battle against the Ming dynasty forces.

After emperor Wanli death at 1620 A.D, his eldest son took the throne only he died one month after, leaving the throne to his own son “Emperor Tianqi”, who died 7 years later at 1627 A.D. leaving his younger brother to rule china as Emperor Chongzhen who was the 16th and last emperor of the Ming dynasty, he ruled china until 1644 A.D, during his reign a rebellion was growing while a threat from Manchuria in the north, the Ming army forces was having difficulties, eventually a treachery from within the city of Beijing led to the collapse of the empire, when someone opened the gates to the rebel army led by Li Zicheng, Emperor Chongzhen had hanged himself from a tree in the forbidden palace garden, while the Shun dynasty took over Beijing, only to lose it a year later to Manchurian forces, who has founded the Qing dynasty.

Although the Ming dynasty resistance lasted until 1662 A.D, as Southern Ming dynasty, they have lost the control over china in the year 1644 A.D.