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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson C: China — Mongol to Ming Rule

Lesson Overview

Great Wall of China Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China [1]

The arrival of Mongol rule in Asia during the 13th century was violent and disruptive. However, many of the effects of the conquests benefited people of Europe and Asia, specifically in China. The collapse of the Mongol empire was as rapid as the rise, and the fall of the empire was similar to that of other empires throughout history. The Ming Dynasty contributed to the defeat of the Mongols in China, and went on to create a thriving empire during the next 300 years. The first half or "early" Ming Dynasty was one of reform and reaction to foreign threats, including cultural and technological innovation typical of Asian dynasties.

Key Questions

  1. How and why did trade and interaction lead to changes in political, economic, and social systems?
  2. What factors contributed to the establishment, expansion, and decline of empires?
  3. How can there be different explanations of the same event in history?
  4. How did geography and location significantly impact events in history?

Student Outcomes

  1. Explain the reasons for the collapse of Mongol rule in China.
  2. Summarize the reasons for the Ming Dynasty's rejection of foreign influences and the revival of traditional Chinese practices and beliefs.
  3. Assess the uses and credibility of a source by examining personal and contextual influences and by corroborating with other historical sources. (Historical Thinking Skill)

Key Terms

Student Resources

Chart of Activities

Activities to Complete Estimated Time
5 minutes
Key Terms
5 minutes
Activator: The World 1300-1550
5 minutes
Opening: Mongol Rule in Eurasia
10 minutes
Activity 1: Costs and Benefits of Mongol Rule
15 minutes
Activity 2: Defining "Empire"
10 minutes
Activity 3: Aggression in Today's World
10 minutes
Activity 4: Rise of Ming China
10 minutes
Activity 5: Ming Foreign Policy: Diplomacy to Isolation
15 minutes
Activity 6: Ming Culture and Daily Life
10 minutes
Activity 7: Global Impact of Ming Commerce
20 minutes
Review and Assessment
10 minutes
Lesson Summary
5 minutes

Lesson Completion Time

The total estimated time to complete this lesson is 130 minutes.


Page Notes:

[1] Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chemin_de_ronde_muraille_long.JPG is licensed with Creative Commons Attribution. Attribution: Fabien Dany.