The Troubled Empire -

The Troubled Empire

China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties

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The Mongol takeover in the 1270s changed the course of Chinese history. The Confucian empire?a millennium and a half in the making?was suddenly thrust under foreign occupation. What China had been before its reunification as the Yuan dynasty in 1279 was no longer what it would be in the future. Four centuries later, another wave of steppe invaders would replace the Ming dynasty with yet another foreign occupation. The Troubled Empire explores what happened to China between these two dramatic invasions. If anything defined the complex dynamics of this period, it was changes in the weather. Asia, like Europe, experienced a Little Ice Age, and as temperatures fell in the thirteenth century, Kublai Khan moved south into China. His Yuan dynasty collapsed in less than a century, but Mongol values lived on in Ming institutions. A second blast of cold in the 1630s, combined with drought, was more than the dynasty could stand, and the Ming fell to Manchu invaders. Against this background?the first coherent ecological history of China in this period?Timothy Brook explores the growth of autocracy, social complexity, and commercialization, paying special attention to China's incorporation into the larger South China Sea economy. These changes not only shaped what China would become but contributed to the formation of the early modern world.

Product code: 9780674072534

ISBN 9780674072534
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H235xW156
Series History of Imperial China
No. Of Pages 336
Publisher Harvard University Press
On Sale Date 11/03/2013
The Mongol takeover in the 1270s changed the course of Chinese history. The Confucian empire - a millennium and a half in the making - was suddenly thrust under foreign occupation. This title explores what happened to China between these two dramatic invasions.