CnMing*

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Po-Ju, Tuan; Edward A L Turner; Jill Levine ♥

♠ Original name ♣ Great Ming ♥

♠ Alternative names ♣ Empire of the Great Ming; Great Ming ♥

♠ Peak Date ♣ 1450-1480 CE ♥

1479 CE greatest population
c1420s CE greatest territorial extent
"The Ming dynasty's retreat from Vietnam brought Ming territorial expansion to a close. Ming power generally declined until 1565, before briefly reviving from 1570 until 1610." [1]
1449 CE 500,000 fielded army
1450 CE political stability
Mongols return captured Emperor Zhengtong "having gained almost nothing" because the minister's in Beijing had elected a new emperor. [2]
1471 CE Great Wall
plans submitted by Yu Zijun "to build a wall between Yansui and Qingyang to aid in defense." First two walls finished 1474 CE, 129 miles and 566 miles long. [3]

"Kenneth Swope has asserted that from 1580 to 1600 the Ming was as powerful as it had been since Yongle's reign, and the course of the Three Great Campaigns bears him out.[4]

however: two of the campaigns were against a troop mutiny and tribal rebellion. the other campaign was a defensive war vs Japan (rather than expansionist). while all the campaigns may have been successful, and may demonstrate effective government, the reasons for these campaigns do not necessarily suggest a polity at its peak state.
"Certainly by the 1570s, the government could afford the massive military expenditures necessary to prosecute the wars that would come to be called the Three Great Campaigns."[5]


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 1368-1644 CE ♥

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ unitary state ♥

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ alliance ♥

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Great Yuan ♥
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ cultural assimilation ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ China ♥
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ [4,000,000-5,000,000] ♥ km^2

♠ Capital ♣ Nanjing; Beijing ♥

  1. 1368- 1421 CE: Nanjing (Yingtian prefecture)
  2. 1421-1424 CE: Beijing (Shuntian prefecture)
  3. 1424-1441 CE: Nanjing (Yingtian prefecture)
  4. 1441-1644 CE: Beijing (Shuntian prefecture)

"the capital, which shifted from Nanjing to Beijing in 1420"[6]

♠ Language ♣ Chinese ♥

General Description

After 300 years of rule by outsiders, the Ming Dynasty, lasting from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries CE, restored Chinese rule to the region.[7] The dynasty was founded by a peasant rebel general, Zhu Yuanzhang, later known as Emperor Taizu or the Hongwu Emperor.[8] Taizu destroyed the Yuan capital in Beijing, forced the Mongols to retreat to Mongolia, and founded the Ming capital in Nanjing in 1368 CE.[9] The period saw a resurgence of Chinese intellectualism and economic activity,[10] but Ming emperors often struggled to control their massive empire and they do not tend to number among the Chinese emperors considered 'great' by historians.[11]
The Ming expanded their territory to the southwest during their rule.[12] However, they never expanded into Mongolia - conflict with the Mongols in the north led the Ming emperors instead to carry out restorations works on the Great Wall.[13] The Dynasty came to an end in 1644 CE, when the region was re-captured by descendants of Jin Dynasty's Jurchen rulers from Manchuria known as Qing.

Population and political organization

Ming emperors were not consistent in their style of rule. While Emperor Taizu ruled as an autocrat, some Ming emperors left the governance of the nation in the hands of officials and eunuchs.[14] The emperor presided over the central government in concert with various levels of chief ministers and imperial officials, and the central government structure was replicated on a smaller scale at the provincial level.[15] Officials were recruited through an examination system.[16]
The period was marked by increasing openness to non-Confucian ideas and an increase in literacy among the lower levels of society.[17] Intellectual culture flourished among the elites[18] and the publishing industry expanded greatly in the Lower Yangtze region.[19] Novels, including The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin, and the play Peony Pavilion were written in the Ming period.[20]
The rapid growth of the international trading system along with foreign desire for Chinese porcelain and silk led to large increases in foreign trade and an influx of silver into the Ming economy.[21] In the later Ming period, trade conflicts impacted China's foreign silver supply, leading to massive deflation. The Ming government, near bankruptcy, could not fund military campaigns against the rebellion spreading through the nation.[22]
The Ming population was between 60 million and 66.5 million in 1400 CE and 90 million and 110 million in 1600 CE.[23][24]

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Po-Ju Tuan; Edward A L Turner ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ 3,900,000: 1400 CE; [3,900,000-5,200,000]: 1500 CE; 3,655,000: 1600 CE ♥ squared kilometers. Contains interpolated data. 3,100,000: 1369 CE; 3,367,000: 1380 CE; 3,633,000: 1390 CE; 3,900,000: 1400 CE; 4,420,000: 1410 CE; 4,940,000: 1420 CE; 5,460,000: 1430 CE; 5,980,000: 1440 CE; 6,500,000: 1450 CE; [6,067,000-5,200,000]: 1470 CE; [5,200,000-4,333,000]: 1490 CE; 3,900,000: 1513 CE; 3,845,000: 1530 CE; 3,791,000: 1550 CE; 3,736,000: 1570 CE; 3,682,000: 1590 CE; 3,655,000: 1600 CE; 3,600,000: 1616 CE; 2,950,000: 1630 CE; 2,300,000: 1644 CE [25]

♠ Polity Population ♣ [60,545,800-66,598,300]: 1400 CE; 50,908,700: 1500 CE; [90,000,000-110,000,000]: 1600 CE ♥ people

  • 1381 CE: 59,873,305 people [26]
  • 1393 CE: {60,545,812 people; 65,000,000 [27] 60,545,812 was recorded in the Ming history source, while the number 65,000,000 is the current estimation.
  • 1403 CE: 66,598,337 people
  • 1404 CE: 50,950,470 people
  • 1479 CE: 71,850,000 people. The number of 1479 CE and 1488 CE were higher than other period because they were the current estimations.
  • 1488 CE: 75,000,000 people
  • 1491 CE: 53,281,158 people
  • 1502 CE: 50,908,672 people [28]
  • 1504 CE: 60,105,835 people


Population of 1393 CE [29]:

  • Beijing: 2,619,500 people
  • Shanxi Province: 3,790,760 people
  • Henan Province: 2,825,300 people
  • Shaanxi Province: 2,646,450 people
  • Zhejiang Province: 9,959,270 people
  • Jiangxi Province: 7,260,000 people
  • Sichuan Province: 1,314,260 people

90,000,000-110,000,000: 1600 CE [30]

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ 150,000: 1400 CE; 672,000: 1500 CE; 706,000: 1600 CE ♥ people

Beijing: 400,000: 1350 CE; 150,000: 1400 CE; 600,000: 1450 CE; 672,000: 1500 CE; 690,000: 1550 CE; 706,000: 1575 CE; 706,000: 1650 CE. [31]

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ 7 ♥ levels.

1. Capital City
2. Province (Sheng)
Ming had 16 provinces including Liaodong, North Zhili, Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan, South Zhili, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Huguang, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, and Guangdong. [32]
3. Prefecture/Subprefecture
4. County
Ming had about 1,173 counties. The totals fluctuated as boundaries were revised [33]
5. Cantons
Ming counties were subdivided into half a dozen or more cantons [34]
6. Township
Cantons were divided into about a dozen townships [35]
7. Wards
Townships were divided into dozen of wards. A ward was small enough- mandated as fifty families in the Yuan, a hundred or so families in the Ming- to conform the contours of existing villages, or that was ideal. [36]

♠ Administrative levels ♣ 5 ♥ levels. Number equal to the levels comprising the provincial government, plus the Emperor.

1. Emperor

_Central government_

2. Grand Secretariat
following the Great Purge of 1380 CE "All of the top positions of the Secretariat were abolished". [37] The Hongwu Emperor "established the roots of the Grand Secretariat when he employed members of the Hanlin Academy to help him with the workload he was saddled with after he abolished the executive posts in the Secretariat. Under Xuande the system became more regular with a complement of three or four grand secretaries drawn from the Hanlin Academy as assistants to the emperor. Still, the grand secretaries were not formally connected to the bureaucracy in a chain of command..."[38]
2. Secretariat six boards (Personnel, Revenue, Rites, War, Justice, and Works). [39]
following the Great Purge of 1380 CE "Without its top ranks, the heads of the Secretariat's six boards reported to the emperor personally."[40]
2. Censorate [41]


_Provincial government_

2. Province
Province: Ming had in total of 16 counties and a triad of provincial agencies known as the Three Offices: the Provincial Administration Commission, the Provincial Surveillance Commission, and the Regional Military Commission. [42]
3. Prefecture
4. County (Magistrate)
County: The County was the lowest unit to which the central government appointed an official. Each county had one magistrate, who was always native of another province according to what was called the rule of avoidance, designed to prevent retrenchment of local power at the expense of center. The magistrate was responsible for overseeing the security and finances of anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 people. When the burdens of a magistrate became too heavy, a county could be subdivided and new counties formed [43]
5. Town
Town could be elevated to county status under some conditions. For instance, The Town of Tong-xiang south of Lake Tai, was elevated in 1430 CE in a major reorganization designed to improve fiscal operations in this densely populated region. [44]


_Local government_

5. Community (Community chief)
"The entire population was divided into communities of 110 adjacent households as the basic unit of self-government and state control. Each year one of the heads of the ten wealthiest households held the position of community chief, who served as representative to the local magistrate and the local tax collector.[45]
"Each family was classified according to hereditary status - the chief categories being civilian, military, and artisan - and neighbouring families of the same category were organised into groups for purposes of self-government and mutual help and surveillance. Civilians were grouped into 'tithings' of 10 families, and these in turn were grouped into communities totaling 100 families, plus 10 additional prosperous households, which in annual rotation provided community chiefs, who were intermediaries between the citizenry at large and the formal agencies of government. This system of social organization, called lijia (later replaced by or coexistent with a local defense system called baojia), served to stablize, regulate, and indoctrinate the populace under relatively loose formal state supervision."[46]
6. Ten households (Family head)
"The other 100 households were grouped into ten groups of ten, with each family head acting as representative for his group to the community chief on an annual rotation. Everyone in each group was responsible for the actions of the other members, creating a vast mutual surveillance system."[47]

very similar to the Three Chiefs System of 486 CE

♠ Religious levels ♣ 3 ♥ levels. Inferred from previous polities.

1. Emperor
2. Ministry of Rites
3. Ritual specialists

♠ Military levels ♣ 7 ♥ levels.

"When Zhu Yuanzhang regularized his army, he formed it into units derived from Yuan practice. The weisuo system established Guards (wei) of 5,600 hereditary soldiers, named after its garrison location. The five battalions (qianhusuo) of 1,120 men were further divided into ten companies (bohusuo) of 112 men. These smaller units were often detached from their Guard unit for service outside of the large formation's theater of operation." [48]

1. Emperor
2. "Zhu's personal bodyguard, the Embroidered Uniform Guard, functioned as a secret police force acting outside of the established legal system." [49]
2. Bureaucratic control
Zhu's reorganization of army in 1364 CE placed general's "under bureaucratic control for the first time, with units of regular size commanded by officer of specific, appropriate rank."[50]
Following the Great Purge of 1380 CE "the Chief Military Commission was split into five regional military commissions and the positions of censor-in-chief and vice censor-in-chief were similarly done away with."[51]
2. Commanders
Zhu Yuanzhang enfeoffed "his sons in important defence commands along the northern border."[52]
3. wei (Guards)
5,600 hereditary soldiers
4. qianhusuo (battalions)
1,120 men
5. bohusuo (companies)
112 men
6. Lower level unit?
7. Individual soldier

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ absent ♥

"While the army itself had changed from a mostly hereditary, financially independent force into a paid, professional force, now heavily dependent upon firearms, the officer corps remained dependent on hereditary leaders. These hereditary leaders were not the families of the early Ming..."[53]

"By the tenth century, soldiers, to the intense consternation of statesmen, were wholly divorced from any productive activities and earned their livings by skill at arms. Despite many attempts to replace this "mercenary" system, it remained in place until the end of imperial times."[54]
"The problem Chinese statesmen had with the standing army was how to keep it out of politics and isolate its functions to a static, reliable instrument of dynastic stability ...The answer for the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties was to fuedalize much of the army into a hereditary class with attached lands that would support them in peacetime."[55]

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ absent: 1368-1570ce; present: 1570-1644ce ♥ "The hereditary military system was virtually dead by the 1570s, replaced by a paid army."[56]

"While the army itself had changed from a mostly hereditary, financially independent force into a paid, professional force, now heavily dependent upon firearms, the officer corps remained dependent on hereditary leaders. These hereditary leaders were not the families of the early Ming..."[57]

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ present ♥ "... begun during the Tang dynasty... The rise of religious professionals and soldiers as clearly separate groups was contrary to the previous normative view of society divided into knights (shi, the term that would later be applied to the literati or gentry), farmers, artisans and merchants."[58]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ present ♥ "fully empire-wide bureaucracy"[59]

♠ Examination system ♣ present ♥ Zhu experimented with the exam system. "The first civil service exams were held at the lowest level (of three) in 1371. They were suspended two years later by a disgusted emperor, who found the graduates literary but impractical. Further recruitment by recommendations stressed virtue over book learning, but the exams were revived again in 1384 and remained in place from then on."[60]

♠ Merit promotion ♣ present ♥ "...the exams were revived again in 1384 and remained in place from then on. Serious problems remained, however, as the metropolitan exam of 1397 did not pass a single northern scholar. ... A new evaluation added 61 names; the original examiners were punished, and the precedent of quotas of regional graduates was established. The purely meritocratic aspect of the exam system was thus overridden by the need to create a fully empire-wide bureaucracy, or at least one in which the particular advantages of a few regions in the south did not dominate the government."[61]

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ present ♥ e.g. the Magistrate’ yamen

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ present ♥ The legal code drawn up in the time of the Hongwu Emperor was considered one of the great achievements of the era. The code was known as Ta-Ming lu (大明律). The Ta-Ming lu, which comprised criminal and administrative as well as civil law, was divided under seven main heads [62]

  1. General: principles of applying the whole codes
  2. Civil: the system of government and the conduct of magistrates
  3. Fiscal: census, taxes, and marriage
  4. Ritual: social ceremonies, religious function
  5. Military: military administration, the stable, couriers, protection of the palace
  6. Criminal: punishments of criminals
  7. Public works: public works dealing with digging of dikes, examination, and repair of buildings

"The Ming law code, promulgated in final form in 1397, reinforced the traditional authority and responsibility of the pater familias, considered the basis of all social order." [63]

♠ Judges ♣ present ♥ Punishments proposed by a judge or judges had to be sent to the Ministry of Justice for deliberation and memorialized to the throne for final approval. Any judge who deliberately or negligently reduced or increased a punishment violated the law (Art. 46). [64] "Judges were required to cite the relevant article of the code when setting a provisional sentence for a criminal...Thus, as far as Chinese judges were concerned, the doctrine of nulla poena sine lege or 'no punishment without a law' may be said to have been in force. The work of a judge often included investigation and fact finding, research into legal precedents and in some cases, forensic work. [65]

♠ Courts ♣ present ♥ Censorate in Beijing & Ministry of Justice [66]; The yamen at county was served as court in the local. [67]

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ absent ♥ Lawyer not yet a recognized profession. According to Pils, the view of the government and social elite of legal advocacy in imperial China was largely that they were socially harmful -- a view espoused since c.6th century BCE. Some 'clever' intellectuals were engaged in helping people involved in litigation before the magistrate. "Litigation masters" were tolerated even though they continued to be denounced: "Their role might be hushed up as something of an embarrassment to the system, and scholars of legal history have straightforwardly characterised their profession as an 'underground' one." [68] [69] Professional Lawyers emerge in the later Qing period.

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ present ♥ e.g. "water gates" for the manual transportation of water into the city [70]
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ inferred present ♥ "tile and clay pipes were used in Nanjing City in the early Ming Dynasty to transport water from Xuanwu Lake into the inner city canal. Metal pipes made of copper or bronze were used only from the 15th century onwards (Needham & Wang 1999)."[71]
♠ markets ♣ present ♥ The ancient Pingyao City located in Shanxi Province is the best-preserved city of the Ming and Qing dynasties and features "markets and dwellings in the city center. The commercial areas in Pingyao city were far larger than those of most traditional cities." [72]
♠ food storage sites ♣ present ♥ By the mid-fifteenth century, 11,775 government grain barges were being hauled up and down the canal by 121,500 solders to keep the imperial storehouses in Beijing full. [73]

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ present ♥ According to a note in one late Ming commonplace book, the network of official roads extended 10,900 li (6,278 km or 3,900 miles) east to west, and 11,750 li (6,768 km or 4,200 miles) north to south. A modern scholar estimates that the total length of official land and water routes in the Ming amounted to 143,700 li (84,200 km or 52,300 miles). [74]
♠ Bridges ♣ present ♥ e.g. five bridges of the Meridian Gate across the Golden Water River [75]
♠ Canals ♣ present ♥ "The provisioning of these enormous concentrations of troops in Beijing, as well as the large numbers of government officials, spurred considerable spending to improve the canal system that transported the agricultural surpluses of the south to the poorer north."[76]
♠ Ports ♣ present ♥ e.g. port of Linqing in Shangdong province [77]

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ present ♥ e.g. two ancient goldmines of Suichang County built in the Ming Dynasty [78]

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ present ♥ The earliest known written documentation of the Chinese abacus dates to the 2nd century BC [79]
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ present ♥ According to Barfield, since the nomad population left no written records of their own, extensive archaeological material, tomb sites, and oral histories are important factors in understanding frontier relations during the Tang and Ming dynasties. [80]
♠ Written records ♣ present ♥ e.g. the Yellow Register Archives in Nanjing to record population surveys, imperial taxation, etc. [81]
♠ Script ♣ present ♥ Chinese
♠ Non-phonetic writing ♣ present ♥ Chinese
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ absent ♥ Chinese

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ present ♥ e.g. Yellow Register Archives in Nanjing.
♠ Calendar ♣ present ♥ e.g. The Datong calendar. According to the Mingshi, the official history of the Ming dynasty, the Datong calendar of China was a revised version of the Shoushi calendar, and was given to the Tran dynasty in the second year of the establishment of the Ming dynasty. [82]
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ present ♥ Mandate of Heaven. Ming dynasty brought a return to more traditional worship of the Mandate of Heaven. Yonglin Jiang notes the role of the Great Ming Code as 'moral textbook' for all of society to follow in order to exist harmoniously. [83]
♠ Religious literature ♣ present ♥ e.g. The Great Ming Code [84] Yonglin Jiang notes the role of the Great Ming Code as 'moral textbook' for all of society to follow in order to exist harmoniously. [85] Ming emperors supported Daoism throughout the dynasty, with Daoist priests being placed in charge of official rituals, and the composition of various hymns and messages to the gods. Daoist and Buddhist scriptures start to emerge by the end of the fifteenth century, and indicate the two main streams of mythology and belief branching out of the dominant Confucian thought. [86]
♠ Practical literature ♣ present ♥ * 1394 CE: Network of Routes Connecting the Realm (Hyanyu tongue): The Ministry of War produced a guide, Network of Routes Connecting the Realm (Hyanyu tongue). This cheaply printed handbook, first published in 1394 CE, lists all courier routes in the country along with the 1,706 station serving them.[87]
♠ History ♣ present ♥ e.g. The Mingshi. An initial draft of the manuscript to become the standard history of the Ming was compiled by several authors after the establishment of the Ming History Bureau. The official History of the Ming was completed during the Qianlong reign. [88]
♠ Philosophy ♣ present ♥ e.g. Confucian philosophy. Under the Ming, sectarian scriptures appeared during the same movement used to reinforce popular religion under the Mandate of Heaven. These scriptures produced new vernacular literature of all types, morality books of Neo-Confucian values and philosophical thought. [89]
♠ Scientific literature ♣ present ♥ e.g.: 1450 CE:《九章算法比类大全》; 1606 CE: Euclid's Elements (幾何原本): translated by Xu Guangqi(徐光啟) and Matteo Ricci(利瑪窦). Xu Guangqi was a Chinese scholar-bureaucrat, agricultural scientist, astronomer, and mathematician in the Ming Dynasty. Matteo Ricci was an Italian Jesuit priest and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China missions; 1637 CE: Tiangong Kaiwu/The Exploitation of the Works of Nature (天工開物): was a Chinese encyclopedia compiled by Song Yingxing (宋應星). It covered a wide range of technical issues and materials including agriculture, irrigation, hydraulic engineering, milling processes, sericulture, textile technology, salt technology, sugar technology, ceramics technology, transportation, bronze metallurgy, iron metallurgy, coal metallurgy, vitriol metallurgy, sulfur metallurgy, and arsenic, oil technology, papermaking, silver metallurgy, lead metallurgy, copper metallurgy, tin metallurgy, zinc metallurgy, military technology, and etc.
♠ Fiction ♣ present ♥ Fengshen Yanyi/ The Investiture of the Gods, The Apotheosis of Heroes (封神演義); 1592CE: Journey to the West (西遊記): written by Wu Cheng'en(吳承恩). It is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature; [1522 - 1566 CE]: Water Margin(水滸傳): Written in vernacular Chinese by Shi Nai'an (施耐庵) It is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature; Jin Ping Mei/ The Plum in the Golden Vase/ The Golden Lotus(金瓶梅): a Chinese naturalistic novel composed in vernacular Chinese during the late Ming Dynasty. It is written by Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng(蘭陵笑笑生), whose identity was unknown.

Money

♠ Articles ♣ absent ♥ (example: axes, cattle) Silver ingots treated as bullion used as currency until silver became too precious and the extensive use of paper notes resumed in the mid-17the century. [90]
♠ Tokens ♣ absent ♥ (example: cowries) Silver ingots treated as bullion used as currency until silver became too precious and the extensive use of paper notes resumed in the mid-17the century. [91]
♠ Precious metals ♣ present ♥ non-coined silver, gold, platinum. Silver ingots most widely used, and since the weights of each individual piece varied, they were treated as bullion and measured in tael. Ingots were privately made, first coming into use in Guangdong before spreading into the lower Yangtze c.1420 CE. Silver ingots were used for trade and for the payment of provincial taxes until the value of silver became too dear due to contractions caused by reduced access to silver from Japan and Spain in the mid 17th century. [92]
♠ Foreign coins ♣ present ♥ 1573- 1620 CE : Silver coin widely imported to China due to its trade with European countries, in particular Spain and Portugal [93]
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ present ♥ Minor coins were printed in base metals, like bronze, but silver bullion and paper notes served as the primary forms of currency. The brass coin minted in the late Ming had nearly 30-40% zinc composition. [94]
♠ Paper currency ♣ present ♥ 1375 CE: Hongwu Emperor issued banknotes (大明通行寶鈔) due to lack to copper; 1389 CE: The government issued more banknotes with smaller denomination. Inflation begun in the circulation market as the Ming did kept issuing banknotes but did not recycle the old ones. "The Ming halted the practice [of using paper money] in the mid-fifteenth century...The private sector moved to fill the void" [95]

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ present ♥ The Ministry of War operated the courier system with military labor. The Ministry of War produced a guide, Network of Routes Connecting the Realm (Hyanyu tongue). This cheaply printed handbook, first published in 1394 CE, lists all courier routes in the country along with the 1,706 station serving them. Use of the system required a pass that specified the route and the mode of transport. [96]
♠ Postal stations ♣ present ♥
♠ General postal service ♣ absent ♥ The Ministry of War operated the courier system with military labor. The Ministry of War produced a guide, Network of Routes Connecting the Realm (Hyanyu tongue). This cheaply printed handbook, first published in 1394 CE, lists all courier routes in the country along with the 1,706 station serving them. Use of the system required a pass that specified the route and the mode of transport. [97]

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Po-Ju Tuan; Edward A L Turner ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ present ♥ At the beginning of the Ming dynasty, tubular firearms were cast into simple cylindrical shapes with either iron or copper. In the late Ming dynasty, copper hair pins were included in the large artillery, weighing over 500 kg. [98]
♠ Bronze ♣ present ♥ 1453 CE: Bronze firearms (銅火銃) was invented. It is the world's first metal tubular firearm is handguns, small-caliber handguns is the predecessor of the gun, large caliber artillery gun fire predecessor. [99]
♠ Iron ♣ present ♥ By the late 14th century good examples of cast-iron cannons were being made in China. [100]
♠ Steel ♣ present ♥ Good iron reserved for weapons manufacture to ensure swords made with high quality steel. [101]

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ present ♥ In the late fourteenth century, soldiers in southwestern Yunnan were still primarily armed with spears and crossbows, while firearms were being used primarily by the Ming troops which contributed to their military success. [102]
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥ New World weapon
♠ Slings ♣ absent ♥
♠ Self bow ♣ present ♥ In the late fourteenth century, soldiers in southwestern Yunnan were still primarily armed with spears and crossbows, while firearms were being used primarily by the Ming troops which contributed to their military success. The Ming troops frequently employed fire arrows and 'rocket-arrows' in addition to the stone projectiles launched from their firearms against Maw Chan soldiers and elephant cavalry. [103]
♠ Composite bow ♣ present ♥ In the late fourteenth century, soldiers in southwestern Yunnan were still primarily armed with spears and crossbows, while firearms were being used primarily by the Ming troops which contributed to their military success. The Ming troops frequently employed fire arrows and 'rocket-arrows' in addition to the stone projectiles launched from their firearms against Maw Chan soldiers and elephant cavalry. [104]
♠ Crossbow ♣ present ♥ In the late fourteenth century, soldiers in southwestern Yunnan were still primarily armed with spears and crossbows, while firearms were being used primarily by the Ming troops which contributed to their military success. The Ming troops frequently employed fire arrows and 'rocket-arrows' in addition to the stone projectiles launched from their firearms against Maw Chan soldiers and elephant cavalry. [105]
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ present ♥ "‘the old type of trebuchet was really more convenient’, said the founder of the Ming dynasty in 1388. ‘If you have a hundred of these machines, then when you are ready to march, each wooden pole can be carried by only four men. Then when you reach your destination, you encircle the city, set them up, and start shooting.’"[106]
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ inferred present ♥ "Counter-weight trebuchet at Xiangyang, China 1272."[107]
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ present ♥ 1524 CE: Breech-loading swivel gun was imported from Portugal. "cache of hundreds of cast iron cannons found in Nanjing manufactured between 1356 and 1357 ... These guns had been buried at Nanjing after the defeat of Zhang Shicheng by the army of the rising regional power that would become the Ming dynasty about a decade later." Cannon were not used or melted down so why were they buried? "They were junk as far as the Ming army were concerned." "The scale of Chinese gun production in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries must have been so great, and the material resources so plentiful, that storing, hauling away, or melting down the captured iron cannon was no worth the effort."[108] ""Red Barbarian Cannon" came in during the Wanli reign (1573-1620)." "The Ming army developed a much greater facility with cannon than with arquebuses, in contrary distinction to the Japanese army, which became extremely skilled with arquebuses but was entirely lacking in cannon, at least in Korea. This may have been due to the way firearms were deployed in China - in fixed defensive positions rather than in offensive arrays."[109]
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ present ♥ 1453 CE: Bronze firearms (銅火銃) was invented. It is the world's first metal tubular firearm is handguns, small-caliber handguns is the predecessor of the gun, large caliber artillery gun fire predecessor. "The earliest known specimen of a gun was excavated in July of 1970 in Acheng county, Heilongjiang province. Made of bronze, it is 34 centimeters long, weighs 3.5 kilograms and has three distinct parts to its length: a barrel, powder chamber, and socket for a handle at the rear end. It has been dated no later than 1290. ... A 1962 find with an inscribed date of 1332 was 35.3 centimeters long and weighed 6.94 kilograms. Both weapons had touchholes to allow ignition of the gunpowder from the back. The similar sizes, forms, and materials are striking, suggesting that this simple design was being manufactured to regular specifications."[110] "Early fifteenth-century guns were virtually identical to late thirteenth-century weapons."[111] c1338 CE cast iron gun developed.[112] Portuguese arquebuses introduced 1529 CE. [113]

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Battle axes ♣ present ♥
♠ Daggers ♣ present ♥
♠ Swords ♣ present ♥ Beside the spear, the dao, a type of single edged saber, was the most common close fighting weapon in the Ming army. [114]
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ A unit created to deal with wokou (pirates) used "long weapons, spears and bamboo branches (sometime replaced with metal-branched pole-arms), and shields and close-range weapons. ... Qi's men closed with the enemy and beat them in hand-to-hand fighting."[115]
♠ Polearms ♣ present ♥ Metal-branched polearms. A unit created to deal with wokou (pirates) used "long weapons, spears and bamboo branches (sometime replaced with metal-branched pole-arms), and shields and close-range weapons."[116]

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ absent ♥ Never used in warfare. [117]
♠ Donkeys ♣ ♥ Never used in warfare besides as pack animals. [118] Thomas Cressy: It has recently been decided that pack animals should be coded present. No era or polity specific information is included here, so I have removed the absent code as they may have been present. Further coding/expert input is required.
♠ Horses ♣ present ♥ Cavalry
♠ Camels ♣ ♥ Never used in warfare besides as pack animals. [119] Thomas Cressy: It has recently been decided that pack animals should be coded present. No era or polity specific information is included here, so I have removed the absent code as they may have been present. Further coding/expert input is required.
♠ Elephants ♣ ♥ Never used in warfare besides as pack animals. [120] Thomas Cressy: It has recently been decided that pack animals should be coded present. No era or polity specific information is included here, so I have removed the absent code as they may have been present. Further coding/expert input is required.

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ present ♥ According to Laichen, the Chiang Mai chronicle states that Chinese soldiers wore "iron, copper and leather armor that could withstand the spears, swords, guns and arrows of the Lan Na armies." [121]
♠ Shields ♣ present ♥ "While we don't have any surviving Ming Dynasty shield, we do have this Joseon Dynasty sample to draw reference from."[122] A unit created to deal with wokou (pirates) used "long weapons, spears and bamboo branches (sometime replaced with metal-branched pole-arms), and shields and close-range weapons."[123]
♠ Helmets ♣ present ♥ Archaeological excavations of the imperial mausoleum of the Wanli emperor revealed both helmet and armor. See "Dingling" (Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1990, vol.2). [124]
♠ Breastplates ♣ present ♥ [125] According to Laichen, the Chiang Mai chronicle states that Chinese soldiers wore "iron, copper and leather armor that could withstand the spears, swords, guns and arrows of the Lan Na armies." [126]
♠ Limb protection ♣ present ♥
♠ Chainmail ♣ inferred present ♥ Ming troops were protected over the upper part of the body with a coat of iron scales [127] The illegal sale of chainmail armour to the Mongols and other foreigners was a problem in the mid 15th century. [128]
♠ Scaled armor ♣ inferred present ♥ Ming troops were protected over the upper part of the body with a coat of iron scales [129]
♠ Laminar armor ♣ inferred present ♥ "While Quan Tie Jia is no match for European plate harness, its multiple large rigid plates paired with thick fabric backing still offers good protection, a significant improvement over traditional Chinese lamellar and brigandine armour."[130]
♠ Plate armor ♣ inferred present ♥ "this armour cannot be considered a plate armour in its truest sense. The Chinese lack necessary metallurgical expertise to develop full plate armour (with the possible exception of late Ming period Guangdong), and they did not seem to import plate armour directly from the Europeans like their Japanese and Indian neighbours either. ... The Quan Tie Jia (全鐵甲, 'Full iron armour') is made of several large lacquered iron or steel plates sewn to a backing made from thick cotton (or calico) fabric. The edges of these metal plates are wrapped with thrice-folded coarse fabric, likely to prevent chafing. In this regard, the Quan Tie Jia more closely resemble Russian Zertsalo (Зерцало) armour in construction than European full plate."[131]

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ present ♥ Water Route: Modern scholar estimates that the total length of official land and water routes in the Ming amounted to 143,700 li (84,200 km or 52,300 miles).[132] Government barge: The size of the canal demanded labor and equipment on a scale equal to its requirements. By the mid-fifteenth century, 11,775 government grain barges were being hauled up and down the canal by 121,500 solders to keep the imperial storehouses in Beijing full. [133] Imperial barge: The imperial household also operated its own barge to supply the palace. These were said to number 161, of which fifteen were iceboats to transport fresh fish and fruit from the south. 600 skiffs call “fast-as-horse boats” that the Ministry of War were operated to protect imperial haul. [134]
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ present ♥ The bulk good travel more cheaply by water than by land, hence the importance of rivers and canals for transporting grain and other bulk commodities. The nature flow of China was from its western mountains to its eastern plains, so the Grand Canal, the origins of which go back to seventh century, would become the core of the Ming state’s north-south transportation strategy. [135]
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ present ♥ Military commander Qi Jiguang (1528-1587 CE): "In Qi's system a war junk had 55 troops divided into five units. Two units used arquebuses, two used cannon, flame-throwers and rockets, and one used other types of gunpowder weapons. Naval combat required firearms by this point, a marked change in warfare."[136]


Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ present ♥ Beijing; "garrison towns" spotted along the frontier that fit in combination with sections of the walls and signal stations to produce an effective defensive system. [137]
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ inferred present ♥ establishment and upkeep of walls and fortifications were necessary infrastructure to support the frontier defenses on the north border with the Mongols [138]
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ present ♥ early sections of the Great Wall were mostly made with earth and stone [139]
♠ Ditch ♣ present ♥ Ditches and walls are typical first defensive measures adopted to protect human settlement and can usually be assumed present in any fortified settlement. [140]
♠ Moat ♣ present ♥ e.g. the Forbidden City [141] Upkeep of The Grand Canal was necessary along with other fortifications and border management to support frontier defenses against the Mongols. [142]
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ present ♥ e.g. The Great Wall [143]
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ present ♥ e.g. The Great Wall [144]
♠ Fortified camps ♣ present ♥ Zhu set up forts vs Chen in 1363 CE. [145]
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ present ♥ reconstruction and new additions of the Great Wall during the Ming period included the redesigning of many towers and fortifications that stood along the length of the wall, as well as the addition of cannons to some strategic locations. In some areas near the west of Beijing, the Great Wall splits into the Inner Wall and Outer Wall offering additional defence through this section of concentric walls. The wall was heavily garrisoned with soldiers manning battlements, gates, and signal towers. [146]
♠ Long walls ♣ [6259-6700] ♥ km. Ming Great Wall

The Great Wall "What would later come to be known as the Great Wall formed as a response to increased Mongol raiding after Esen was killed in 1455 CE."[147] 1471 CE plans submitted by Yu Zijun "to build a wall between Yansui and Qingyang to aid in defense." First two walls finished 1474 CE, 129 miles and 566 miles long. "Over the next century more and more walls were built; in many places there actualy two lines, with forts and watchtowers, evolving into what we now know of as the Great Wall." [148]

8850 km of total fortifications and 6,259km of wall sections, Great Wall measurement in 2009: "The project found that there were wall sections of 6,259km, 359km of trenches, and 2,232km of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers."[149]

2012: "The wall measures 21,196.18km (13,170.6956 miles) long based on the latest state survey results, state-run news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday."[150]. Not sure the ratio of natural barriers, ditches, and long walls here. We code for long walls themselves not fortifications lines in this instance.

Qin Great Wall: 3,000 km Han Great Wall: 7,200 km Jin Wall 5,000 km Ming Wall 6,700 km[151]

"I have tried to examine the evidence, in the first instance, without any fixed prior idea of what it ought to add up to. When one does that, certain fundamental, and I think insurmountable, problems with the ordered concept of 'The Great Wall' itself become clearly evident. Then, rather than attempting somehow to fit recalcitrant evidence into it, I have chosen instead to discard the concept. The basic conviction that has thus emerged from my research is that the idea of the Great Wall of China, familiar to me since childhood, and with which I began my work, is a historical myth."[152]

♠ Modern fortifications ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Largest scale collective ritual of the official cult

♠ Duration ♣ [12-72] ♥ One day if we limit ourselves to the main ritual, possibly more if we take into account the preparatory days of purification. The source does not say how many days were required for this, although it's worth noting that it was three for the Qing dynasty [153].

Most widespread collective ritual of the official cult

♠ Duration ♣ [1-2] ♥ hours. Inferred from the relative simplicity of the rituals, but not specified explicitly by source [154].

Most frequent collective ritual of the official cult

♠ Duration ♣ [1-2] ♥ hours. Inferred from the relative simplicity of the rituals, but not specified explicitly by source [155].

Most euphoric collective ritual of the official cult

♠ Duration ♣ 336 ♥ hours. The festival ends with the Lantern Festival, which, since at least the Tang Dynasty, has been celebrated on the fifteenth day following the lunar new year [156].

Most dysphoric collective ritual of the official cult

♠ Duration ♣ {12;72} ♥ Keay [157] describes the examinations as a "three-day-long ordeal", while Suen and Yu write that both "the district and the palace exams were administered and completed in a single day" [158].

Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ Po-Ju Tuan ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ absent ♥ "After 1368 Taizu became more and more his own chief of counsel." [159] All edicts and directives emanating from the Forbidden City, even those believed to be forged by eunuchs, could be protested but in the end they had to be respected and obeyed. Dardess admits that it is difficult to say why exactly this was, but it likely had to do with the fact that "the roles of emperor and father were conflated in people's minds as absolutely solid objects in nature's unchallengeable hierarchy." [160]
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ absent ♥ According to Dardess, "a small military nobility did survive, but it never posed even the faintest threat to the throne for the remainder of the Ming." [161] All edicts and directives emanating from the Forbidden City, even those believed to be forged by eunuchs, could be protested but in the end they had to be respected and obeyed. Dardess admits that it is difficult to say why exactly this was, but it likely had to do with the fact that "the roles of emperor and father were conflated in people's minds as absolutely solid objects in nature's unchallengeable hierarchy." [162]
♠ Impeachment ♣ absent ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ present ♥ Taizu placed his military commanders at the top of the hierarchy of favored groups, rewarding them with feudal-style titles, generous emoluments, and hereditary privileges. [163]

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ present ♥ Mandate of Heaven still important for a ruler to possess at the time of the transition from Yuan to Ming. [164]

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ absent ♥ Mandate of Heaven justifies the ruler and legitimates his authority, but does not equate him to or make him into a god during his lifetime. Authority of ruler connected to their moral obligation to the people, any ruler or state that failed to nourish the people lost the Mandate of Heaven [165] [166]

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ inferred absent ♥ e.g. caste system: "The class system of overlordship and deference that held the Chinese world together at the beginning of the Ming was still there at the end...for all the busy mobility that communication and commerce induced within Ming society, the structural distinction between those who ruled and those who were ruled was not weakened." [167] All edicts and directives emanating from the Forbidden City, even those believed to be forged by eunuchs, could be protested but in the end they had to be respected and obeyed. Dardess admits that it is difficult to say why exactly this was, but it likely had to do with the fact that "the roles of emperor and father were conflated in people's minds as absolutely solid objects in nature's unchallengeable hierarchy." [168]

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ inferred absent ♥ "The class system of overlordship and deference that held the Chinese world together at the beginning of the Ming was still there at the end...for all the busy mobility that communication and commerce induced within Ming society, the structural distinction between those who ruled and those who were ruled was not weakened." [169] Eunuchs proved to be central to the power structure of Ming China, however Taizu insisted on keeping their literacy minimal and their caste despised: "They were simply palace servants and menials, after all." [170]
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ inferred absent ♥ "The class system of overlordship and deference that held the Chinese world together at the beginning of the Ming was still there at the end...for all the busy mobility that communication and commerce induced within Ming society, the structural distinction between those who ruled and those who were ruled was not weakened." [171] Eunuchs proved to be central to the power structure of Ming China, however Taizu insisted on keeping their literacy minimal and their caste despised: "They were simply palace servants and menials, after all." [172]

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ present ♥ Mandate of Heaven implores ruler to use their power for the moral good. Brook notes the "Pavilion for Declaring Goodness" (jingshan ting) where the names of local individuals who had displayed exemplary moral conduct were listed and recited. The lists were to be regularly updated at ceremonies at which those selected model citizens were honored in person. Conversely, the "Pavilion for Extending Clarity" (shenming ting) published the names and misdeeds of criminals as warnings to others. It also served as. forum for resolving disputes between marriage, land contracts and assault. [173]

♠ production of public goods ♣ present ♥ Dardess notes the Huang Ming jingshi wenbian (Compendium of Ming Documents on Ordering the World) published in 1638 in response to uncertainty about the dynasty's future. The work contains roughly chronological order of many already published writings and documents discussing administrative problems, field operations including the completion of large public works projects like seawalls, bridges, river improvements, granaries, office buildings, ferries, Great Wall sections and other defense works. [174]

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ absent ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [175] [176] [177]

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