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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson C: China — Mongol to Ming Rule

Activity 7: Global Impact of Ming Commerce

The opening of the lesson included a world map with important events during the period 1300-1550. The following map includes events from the period that could be linked to developments in the Ming Empire.

Directions: Review each of the events below by selecting each pushpin. Think about the following key questions as you review each continent:

  • How and why did trade and interaction lead to changes in political, economic, and social systems?
  • How did geography and location significantly impact events in history?

Throughout this lesson we have seen how Ming China's interaction with foreign peoples had mixed results. The sharing of ideas and new goods benefited the Ming economy and improved society. The Ming government was able to receive tribute from foreign rulers, and the borders of China could be protected. However, many believed that the interaction threatened traditional Chinese customs, and aggressive neighbors, who competed for land and resources, increasingly threatened the empire. The early Ming eventually limited foreign interaction due to the threats to their empire and culture similar to other empires in history.

Review earlier activities for specific reminders of how the Ming benefited from foreign interaction, and reasons for their eventual decision to limit contact.