?The Fall of the Chinese Ming Dynasty China continues to bear echoes of its past despite traveling fast with the incredible pace of change. China has been defined differently during different periods of time depending on the greatness of its leaders, the peacefulness of succession, the dealings with foreign incursions and the suppression of peasant rebellions. The second stage of the Chinese high civilization took place during the Ming Dynasty. Signs of crisis brewed when early industrialization gave way to full industrialization. During and after the fall of the Ming dynasty to the Manchu’s in the third quarter of the 17th century, the attitude and behavior of the Chinese meritocracy towards the native Chinese ruling class moved forward to a crisis in civilization. In his highly original and masterly approach towards Modern Chinese history, Jonathan D. Spence narrates in his own inimitable way, the causes that led to the Chinese revolution. By deftly handling literary materials and merging or combining them with more conventional and modern sources of social and political history, Spence gives us an unparalleled account of China and her subjects offering valuable insight into the conflicts between the power of state and its teeming millions. Failure of the Ming Meritocracy: After Ming lost Northern China to the Manchu’s it was not capable of putting together a strong and stable Southern Ming dynasty or a new Chinese dynasty. There were great differences and disparities in ruling strategies between Song and Ming which led to the formation of a crisis in civilization. Song’s ruling class was made up of a mixture of aristocratic and meritocratic components which limited the number of factions within the meritocratic component of the ruling class. On the other hand, the Ming ruling class was almost a pure meritocracy. The Meritocrat’s often engaged in issue free factionalism and envying other fellow Meritocrat’s in office. Therefore, factionalism provided greater security to those Meritocrats who managed to obtain Government jobs. China’s past is reflected in the present when our steps are retraced to the 16th century, during the waning years of the Ming Dynasty. One such misfortunate harbinger that was to reflect the future China was the Korean War that took place in 1592. Japanese military commander Hideyoshi was very ambitious and sent a huge and powerful fleet of ships as well as strong ground forces to conquer Korea. The Chinese put up a brave fight and stopped the advancing of the Japanese who finally retreated. Many such conquests were led by the Ming where they suffered huge material losses as well as human casualties. This prolonged entanglement with no permanent or tangible benefits ultimately weakened the Ming Dynasty.
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