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Thread: Any experts on the Song and Ming Dynasty?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sugar's Avatar
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    Default Any experts on the Song and Ming Dynasty?

    For the experts here, can you guys compare and contrast the difference between the Song and Ming dynasty.... preferably in terms of economics and culture?
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    Senior Member expression's Avatar
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    Er, I came just to make some initial noise. It's a great but vast topic, so I'll need time to think first.

    Primitively speaking, the Song is about poetic meekness crushed by "barbaric" invasions. Ming is about closed-door business laced with inward totalitarian turmoil.

    Others?
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    Senior Member Sugar's Avatar
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    WOW, i am shocked to see only u are an expert .. or should i post this somewhere else?
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    Senior Member expression's Avatar
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    Default Brief Story of Song

    It's not that I'm the only expert, or even an expert, Sugar, but more because this topic is too involved. A great topic none-the-less.

    I'll throw out some more bricks to attract the jade:

    The Song dynasty started on the comedic episode of "Huang Pao Jia Shen" - subordinates crowning a popular General Zhao Kuang Yin as emperor during a state of confusion. No blood shed. Wow, how nice.
    -> Emperor Zhao then directed episode 2 of the comedy "Bei Jiu Shi Bing Quan" - Zhao talking his subordinate generals into retiring so as not to threaten his easy kingdom. Again, no blood-shed. WOW! Super nice.
    -> So everyone was nice and content and lives in harmony. No fight = great economic and cultural development. You have premier "ci" poets such as Su Shi, Ms. Li Qing Zhao and Xin Qi Ji, along with master "shi" poets like the patriotic Lu You. Even the emperors were known to be great artists. Eg. Emperor Huizong's paintings and calligraphy. And along Old Zhao's tradition the emperors weakened the millitary - who needs it anyway?
    -> Hey but you forgot 1 thing: you become rich, sooner or later you attract robbers who are not that rich.
    -> So Song was marked by inner stability + TONS of invasions from red-eyed neighbours. Liao, Jin, Mongols, all buffed-up minorities who didn't care as much about poetry as the elegant Songs did.
    -> Remember the weakened millitary? Song emperors continued to weaken millitary generals and appease the invaders with unfair treaties. Heard of General Yue Fei (great poet too, btw)? He was executed to ensure the temporary peace of the Southern Song. Btw these painful experiences also proved very inspirational for ours elegant yet hot-blooded poets like Xin Qi Ji and Lu You.
    -> Finally the Mongols played the swanSong for them. Total ~300 years.
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    Senior Member Sugar's Avatar
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    how about the brief story for ming
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    Senior Member Son of Light's Avatar
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    I would disagree with Expression.
    The Song is only weak compared to Han and Tang due to a lack of good horse.
    But considered that Southern Song held out the longest against the Mongolians compared to pretty much everyone else the Mongolian conquered, they are not as weak as we might believe.
    I agree that Song can do better, but out of 10, I would give them a 7 or 8, can be better, just not that good.

    For Ming being closed-door business laced with inward totalitarian turmoil, this is a lie that the Manchurians wrote in the history books, a lot of findings have proven otherwise.
    Ming has a lot of Trade with the west, and in fact has Catholic priests all over the capital, and the Ming scholars were very eager to learn western math and science from the westerners.
    Due to a prolong age of peace, Ming's firearms actually felled behind the west in the middle, but they were fast to discover the fact and immediately buy and research into western firearms.
    After Yong-Le period, Ming has the second most democratic and liberal government in the entire Ancient Chinese history just second to Song, Ming officials often disagrees, argue and debates with the emperor and stood their ground, without having their entire family killed as a result. It has the second lowest rich-poor gab in the entire Chinese history after the Song period. It is not a true democracy, compared with many of today's developed nations, but it's very far from being ' being closed-door business laced with inward totalitarian turmoil'.
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    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Light View Post
    I would disagree with Expression.
    The Song is only weak compared to Han and Tang due to a lack of good horse.
    But considered that Southern Song held out the longest against the Mongolians compared to pretty much everyone else the Mongolian conquered, they are not as weak as we might believe.
    I agree that Song can do better, but out of 10, I would give them a 7 or 8, can be better, just not that good.

    For Ming being closed-door business laced with inward totalitarian turmoil, this is a lie that the Manchurians wrote in the history books, a lot of findings have proven otherwise.
    Ming has a lot of Trade with the west, and in fact has Catholic priests all over the capital, and the Ming scholars were very eager to learn western math and science from the westerners.
    Due to a prolong age of peace, Ming's firearms actually felled behind the west in the middle, but they were fast to discover the fact and immediately buy and research into western firearms.
    After Yong-Le period, Ming has the second most democratic and liberal government in the entire Ancient Chinese history just second to Song, Ming officials often disagrees, argue and debates with the emperor and stood their ground, without having their entire family killed as a result. It has the second lowest rich-poor gab in the entire Chinese history after the Song period. It is not a true democracy, compared with many of today's developed nations, but it's very far from being ' being closed-door business laced with inward totalitarian turmoil'.
    Your comments about the early-mid Ming dynasty seems true, but late Ming dynasty certainly leaves much to be desired upon.

    Rebellions, Trade collapse, Rise of eunuch powers are some of the things that are characteristic of the late Mind period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Han Solo View Post
    Your comments about the early-mid Ming dynasty seems true, but late Ming dynasty certainly leaves much to be desired upon.

    Rebellions, Trade collapse, Rise of eunuch powers are some of the things that are characteristic of the late Mind period.

    Han Solo
    Yeah, I was reading up on the last generations of Ming emperors. One desired the elixir of life (like Qin Shi Huang) and died of mercury. One spend decades building his own tomb and ignored his duties as an emperor. Another also ignored his duties and spent most of the time with his concubine Lady Zheng. Ming dynasty went downhill during late Ming dynasty. The Manchurians gradually grew to power and upsurp the empire and formed their own. Sad how the Ming dynasty went with such poor rulers and rotten officials, by the time the throne went to Emperor ChongZhen, the royal bank was empty (?) and he couldn't get more government officials. Everything had rot to the core and the ship was sinking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung View Post
    Yeah, I was reading up on the last generations of Ming emperors. One desired the elixir of life (like Qin Shi Huang) and died of mercury. One spend decades building his own tomb and ignored his duties as an emperor. Another also ignored his duties and spent most of the time with his concubine Lady Zheng. Ming dynasty went downhill during late Ming dynasty. The Manchurians gradually grew to power and upsurp the empire and formed their own. Sad how the Ming dynasty went with such poor rulers and rotten officials, by the time the throne went to Emperor ChongZhen, the royal bank was empty (?) and he couldn't get more government officials. Everything had rot to the core and the ship was sinking.
    That's hardly unique to the Ming Dynasty in Chinese history. Chinese history is largely circular: people make the same mistakes over and over again.

    When I teach my students history, I often joke with them that history is the story of how stupid human beings never learn from their mistakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suet Seung View Post
    Yeah, I was reading up on the last generations of Ming emperors. One desired the elixir of life (like Qin Shi Huang) and died of mercury. One spend decades building his own tomb and ignored his duties as an emperor. Another also ignored his duties and spent most of the time with his concubine Lady Zheng. Ming dynasty went downhill during late Ming dynasty. The Manchurians gradually grew to power and upsurp the empire and formed their own. Sad how the Ming dynasty went with such poor rulers and rotten officials, by the time the throne went to Emperor ChongZhen, the royal bank was empty (?) and he couldn't get more government officials. Everything had rot to the core and the ship was sinking.
    If Emperor Chongzhen did not kill General Yuan Chonghuan, the Ming Dynasty would survive and probably defeat the Manchu. China would not have a century of humiliation.

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