The way the Chinese helped to Jumpstarted the economy post plague was to keep as such of their trade Internal and boost their own economy. They accomplished this by relocating the capital to Beijing from prosperous southern Nanjing. This allowed for merchants, artisans, and farmers of southern China to take advantage of the swelling domestic market. Once the Grand Canal was reconstructed and opened It allowed for trade to flourish between the once distant north and south China. With this the prosperous southern Yang area was able to transport food and riches to new capital of Beijing.
As the Chinese economy began to become prosperous the population exploded. In TTS major cities of commerce like Nanjing it rose to nearly one million occupants and in the capital of Beijing it climbed as high as half a million. Needless to say these became very remunerative markets. Internally China traded silk and cotton textiles, rice porcelain ceramics, paper, and various other goods. As the world began to notice the Chinese markets the foreign merchants wanted In. This became a concern for the Mining for they feared It would upset the balance of their economy.
However despite the best efforts of the Mining the ports stayed opened to the delight of merchants local ND domestic. Though ports remained open to foreign ships trade restrictions were placed on foreign trade. In spite of this most prospered from the transactions. In the sass Chinese rulers began adopted the use of silver as the proper form of tax payment and for larger transactions. This conversion was due to the fact Mining consumers and traders did not trust the paper money of their predecessors for commercial transactions.
Since China did not have a proficient amount of silver to support its growing economy it allowed for foreign merchants to exploit this need. It allowed the rest of the world to begin trading silver, gold, and other precious metals for China’s coveted silks and porcelain. They also traded paper, military arms, and navigational tools such as the compass. The compass allowed for adventurers to Through out the sixteenth century most of China’s silver was acquired from the Silver Islands, otherwise known as Japan. Japan quickly became a hot spot for European and Chinese merchants alike.
This continued until about 1570 when Spain gained control of the Philippines. With this acquisition the Spanish had a gateway to the silver of the New World. When the Mining caught wind of this they assembled a commercial fleet to allow their merchants to sail Manila. The Chinese began to ship goods to Manila in exchange for silver, firearms, sugar, potatoes, and tobacco. In defiance of the Mining’s original efforts to control international trade China wound up holding nearly all of the worlds silver for almost two hundred years.
It is believed that approximately one third of the silver mined in New World made its way into China’s possession. The only reason this was possible was because of the rejuvenated trade routes along the Indian Ocean. India like China had many goods that Europeans desired such as pepper, and textiles, which they demanded silver for. In turn this silver made its way up to China. By the late sixteenth century the Chinese had become unconcerned with foreigners. At this point in time all they cared about was the silver pouring into the Chinese economy.
Although the European sailors were confined to the port cities their silver traveled deep into China. With the influx of silver business owners began paying their employees in silver rather than goods or food. It also motivated manufacturers to produce more goods, and farmers to yield more crops. Cotton soon became China’s largest industry. Due to this spinning and weaving became a profitable profession. As previously mentioned China had boom in population, and by the seventeenth century the population increased once again.
Begging’s population doubled to nearly a million, and Nanjing was very close to having a million occupants. The thing that makes this impressive is nearly ninety percent of the population lived in rural countryside. To counter the mundane lives of city dwellers cities began to offer diversions varying from literary and theatrical societies, schools of learning, religious societies, urban associations, and manufactures from all corners of the empire. When Europeans would visit these cities they were left in awe. A Jesuit missionary described Nanjing as surpassing all other cities ‘in beauty and grandeur… Let is literately filled with palaces and temples and towers and bridges… There is a gaiety of spirit among the people who are well natured and nicely spoken. ‘” One can imagine what someone who coming from war torn Europe to an opulent and peaceful China would think once they feasted their eyes on these Chinese cities. Even the Mining women found ways to occupy their time outside of the house. There were entertainment districts were women could be refined entertainers, or a paramour.
Women could also be midwives, poets, sorcerers, painters and matchmakers. The expanded trade of books was one more benefit to women. With their newfound knowledge they were able to become readers, writers, and even archetypes. The females lucky enough to make into the emperor’s Forbidden City Alas, all empires encountered some problems. For the Mining these problems included piracy along the coast of China to ineptness in the state. Some of the main complaints from the people were about the corruption and social decay within the overspent.
One government official Wang Yanking, a scholar of Neo-Confucianism thought felt that there was a need for social action. He fought for the unity of knowledge and action. He felt that one could look to ones self for answers rather than external principals and observations. His followers believed that women and men were intellectually counterparts and should receive the same education benefits of a man. This type of foreword thinking was rewarded with banishment from elite establishments. In 1644 the Mining dynasty collapsed but it’s vigor helped to lay the footing for territorial expansion and population growth.
In conclusion, the Mining Dynasty was a prosperous time of trade and affluence. Their internal trade helped get them to the point where they could inadvertently help the global economy. The steady income of silver benefited not only the emperors and nobles but also all of China. Once skeptical of foreigners the Chinese learned they are not a threat but the greatest asset to their country, this is something the Chinese still utilize even to this day. Even the women of Mining China enjoyed some freedoms and benefits. All in the Mining Dynasty was a time of flourished and abundance.
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