Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 26: Tradition and Change in East Asia

Chapter Outline

  1. The quest for political stability
    1. The Ming dynasty
      1. Ming government (1368-1644) drove the Mongols out of China
        1. Centralized government control; faced new invasions from the Mongols
        2. Rebuilt and repaired the Great Wall to prevent northern invasions
        3. Restored Chinese cultural traditions and civil service examinations
      2. Ming decline
        1. Coastal cities and trade disrupted by pirates, 1520s--1560s
        2. Government corruption and inefficiency caused by powerful eunuchs
        3. Famines and peasant rebellions during the 1630s and 1640s
        4. Manchu invaders with peasant support led to final Ming collapse, 1644
    2. The Qing dynasty
      1. The Manchus (1644-1911), invaders from Manchuria to the northeast
        1. Overwhelmed the Chinese forces; proclaimed the Qing dynasty, 1644
        2. Originally pastoral nomads, organized powerful military force
        3. Captured Korea and Mongolia first, then China
        4. Remained an ethnic elite; forbade intermarriage with Chinese
      2. Kangxi (1661-1722) and his reign
        1. Confucian scholar; effective, enlightened ruler
        2. Conquered Taiwan; extended to Mongolia, central Asia, and Tibet
      3. Qianlong (1736-1795) and his reign
        1. A sophisticated and learned ruler, poet, and artist
        2. Vietnam, Burma, and Nepal made vassal states of China
        3. Under his rule, China was peaceful, prosperous, and powerful
    3. The son of heaven and the scholar-bureaucrats
      1. Emperor considered "the son of heaven"
        1. Heavenly powers and an obligation to maintain order on the earth
        2. Privileged life, awesome authority, and paramount power
      2. Governance of the empire fell to civil servants, called scholar-bureaucrats
        1. Schooled in Confucian texts, calligraphy
        2. Had to pass rigorous examinations with strict quotas
      3. The examination system and Chinese society
        1. Civil service exam intensely competitive; few chosen for government positions
        2. Others could become local teachers or tutors
        3. System created a meritocracy with best students running the country
        4. Wealthy families had some advantages over poor families
        5. Confucian curriculum fostered common values

  2. Economic and social changes
    1. The patriarchal family
      1. The basic unit of Chinese society was the family; the highest value, filial piety
        1. Included duties of children to fathers, loyalty of subjects to the emperor
        2. Important functions of clan
      2. Gender relations: strict patriarchal control over all females
        1. Parents preferred boys over girls; marriage was to continue male line
        2. Female infanticide; widows encouraged to commit suicide
        3. Foot binding of young girls increased
        4. Lowest status person in family was a young bride
    2. Population growth and economic development
      1. Intense garden-style agriculture fed a large population
        1. American food crops in seventeenth century: maize, sweet potatoes, and peanuts
        2. Available land reached maximum productivity by mid-seventeenth century
      2. Population growth: 100 million in 1500, 225 million in 1750
      3. Manufacturing and trade benefited from abundant, cheap labor
        1. Exported large quantities of silk, porcelain, lacquerware, and tea
        2. Compensated for the exports by importing silver bullion
      4. Foreign trade brought wealth to the dynasty, but threatened scholar-bureaucrats
        1. Kangxi began policy of strict control on foreign contact
        2. Western merchants restricted to Macao and Quangzhou
      5. Government and technology
        1. Ming and Qing dynasties considered technological change disruptive
        2. With abundant skilled labor, labor-saving technologies unnecessary
    3. Gentry, commoners, soldiers, and mean people
      1. Privileged classes
        1. Scholar-bureaucrats and gentry occupied the most exalted positions
        2. Directed local government and society
      2. Peasants, the largest class, esteemed by Confucius for their honest labor
      3. Artisans and other skilled workers, some economic status
      4. Merchants often powerful and wealthy
      5. Lower classes or "mean people": slaves, servants, entertainers, prostitutes

  3. The Confucian tradition and new cultural influences
    1. Neo-Confucianism and pulp fiction
      1. Confucian education supported by Min and Qing emperors
        1. Hanlin Academy in Beijing and provincial schools prepared students for civil service exams
        2. Imperial cultural projects: encyclopedias and libraries
      2. Popular culture expanded to include novels, romances, travel adventures
    2. The return of Christianity to China
      1. Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), an Italian Jesuit in the Ming court
        1. A learned man who mastered written and oral Chinese
        2. Impressed Chinese with European science and mathematics
        3. Popular mechanical devices: glass prisms, harpsichords, clocks
      2. Confucianism and Christianity
        1. Jesuits respectful of Chinese tradition, but won few converts
        2. Chinese had problems with exclusivity of Christianity
      3. End of the Jesuit mission
        1. Rival Franciscan and Dominican missionaries criticized Jesuits' tolerance
        2. When the pope upheld critics, emperor Kangxi denounced Christianity
        3. Jesuits had been an important bridge between Chinese and western cultures, introducing each to the achievements of the other.

  4. The unification of Japan
    1. The Tokugawa shogunate
      1. Tokugawa Ieyasu brought stability to Japan after 1600
        1. Japan divided into warring feudal estates
        2. As shogun, Ieyasu established a military government known as bakufu
      2. First need to control the daimyo, powerful local lords
        1. Each daimyo absolute lord within his domain
        2. Tokugawa shoguns required daimyo to live alternative years at Edo
        3. Bakufu controlled daimyo marriages, travel, expenditures
      3. Control of foreign relations
        1. The shoguns adopted policy of isolation from outside world, 1630s
        2. Foreign trade was under tight restriction at the port of Nagasaki
        3. Despite the policy, Japan was never completely isolated
    2. Economic and social change
      1. Population growth
        1. Agricultural production doubled between 1600 and 1700
        2. Population rose by a one-third from 1600 to 1700
        3. Then slow growth due to infanticide, contraception, late marriage, abortion
      2. Social change
        1. Peace undermined the social and economic role of warrior elites
        2. Merchants became prominent, and often wealthier than the ruling elites
    3. Neo-Confucianism and floating worlds
      1. Neo-Confucianism (loyalty, submission) became the official ideology of the Tokugawa
      2. Scholars of "native learning" tried to establish distinctive Japanese identity
      3. "Floating worlds"--centers of urban culture
        1. Included teahouses, theaters, brothels, public baths
        2. Ihara Saikaku, poet and novelist
        3. Kabuki theaters and bunraku (puppet) very popular
    4. Christianity and Dutch learning
      1. Christian missions, under Jesuits, had significant success in sixteenth century
      2. Anti-Christian campaign launched by Tokugawa shoguns
        1. Feared any movement that might help daimyo
        2. Buddhists and Confucians resented Christian exclusivity
        3. After 1612, Christians banned from islands, thousands killed
      3. Dutch learning was one limited connection to the outside world
        1. Dutch merchants permitted to trade at Nagasaki
        2. Japanese scholars were permitted to learn Dutch and, after 1720, to read Dutch books
        3. Shoguns became enthusiastic proponents of Dutch learning by mid-eighteenth century
        4. European art, medicine, and science began to influence Japanese scholars
Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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