The Ming Dynasty marked an era of great contributions in the fields of culture, science and technology. Military, political and other systems were reformed by Ming Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang. During the Yongle period, which was ruled by Emperor Chengzu, foreign relations were strengthened that expanded cultural and economic exchanges between different nations.
The repair and completion of the Great Wall and restoration of Grand Canal during the Ming era is marked as one of the biggest achievements in the field of engineering. A wide range of equipment and machinery were manufactured during this era, from which cotton and silk looms were made. Agricultural production was increased due to advancements in technology. Advancement in military technology led to invention of powerful artillery and the Huochong gun, a projection firearm. A medical book named Compendium of Materia Medica advanced knowledge in the field of medicine.
Achievements in the Arts
Notable contributions were made to the arts, literature, and philosophy. The Forbidden City in Beijing, a great architectural achievement, was constructed during this time. China’s famous blue and white porcelain was originated in the Ming era. Ceramic, jade, and bamboo carvings led to the prosperous development of handicrafts and arts during that time. China became famous for its handicrafts, printing and silk and cotton weaving.
Most of the famous Chinese literature works like Journey to the West and Outlaws of the Marsh were produced during the Ming Dynasty. Development of painting skills were seen where painters used more colors and seal brown in their paintings. Major achievements were established in the fields of calligraphy, novels, and Chinese dramas. Another contribution by the Ming Dynasty was a monumental compilation of knowledge at the time, this was known as the Yǒnglè Dàdiǎn, or the Yongle Encyclopedia.
During the later period of the Ming Dynasty, trade and commerce with other nations of the world flourished. China was recognized as a major political and cultural power under the reign of emperors of Ming Dynasty.