AP World History, Period 3
8 January 2013
China and the Ming Dynasty’s effect on the World Economy The Ming dynasty ruled China from 1368-1644, and it had a large impact on the world economy, especially in Southeast Asia. The focus in China switched to a more global idea. During time between 1200-1750, the Ming dynasty recognized a tribute system that had a large impact on foreign trade by establishing china as an economic powerhouse and they also began many foreign expeditions which brought some smaller areas/empires into the middle of the world’s economy. On the other hand, china stilled relied largely on agriculture and the productions of goods indigenous to China, which kept grains and other food-like goods in circulation and brought plenty of wealth. One of the greatest accomplishments not only of the emperor Yung-lo Know, who ruled from 1403-1424, but also the Ming dynasty, was stressing great emphasis on the tribute system. This hadn’t been done to this extent before. This system was based on a relationship between lord and vassal, similar to Feudalism with the main difference being that this relationship was with rulers of other empires. In this system, China was recognized as the “parental state” and other empires looked up to China in terms of trade and received military protection from them. Because everyone saw China as the most important empire in this scheme, trade with them was extremely valuable. For example, Mongolia, Thailand, and Vietnam were few of many “tributary states” that brought excess of exotic goods like art and fur. Furthermore, the Dynasty’s overall wealth steadily increased and because of their high status in this prosperous system, China became a power in the world economy and to also play a dominant role in it. Another example of this system’s effects on the world was that it didn’t let any of the tributary states become more powerful in relation to another, which allowed China to grow...