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Economy Of The Ming Dynasty Essay

817 words - 3 pages

Tommy HuApril 25, 2008First DraftEconomy of the Ming DynastyBeginning 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 the economic organization was overly rigid. However, the theoretical absolute control of the throne was still present. The Ming Dynasty government's financial management had a lot to do with a very precise and permanent budget. Since a lot of the government agencies were spread out, the money had to be spread and budgeted throughout all the agencies. This system deeply restricted the consolidation of the money of the government. Over the time of the Ming Dynasty, the economy of the government did not improve a lot (Ming Dynasty - MSN Encarta).The money system of the Ming Dynasty was very unstable and was a problem for them. Inflation became a big issue, as the emperors did not understand it. At first, paper currency was used as their money. However, by 1425 A.D., Hongwu gave out so much paper money, that the money was worth only one seventieth...

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