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The claim is sourced from 明興野記, lit. Unofficial Records of the Rise of Ming, by the contemporary Yu Ben. It was originally titled 紀事錄, lit. Chronicles, but a certain Zhang Da Tong later changed it because it wasn't fancy enough. Zhang also inserted some editorialising, especially to defend the emperor, as well as an abstract introducing Yu's work as "...


22

This is still a mystery. It was probably a combination of several factors, though. The government's focus shifted. Coincidentally or not, after 1433 the Oirat Mongols emerged as a serious threat. Their chieftain, Toγan, united Mongolia under the figurehead Taisun Khan in 1434. Oirat power grew further under his son, Esen. He incorporated neighbouring tribes,...


6

Compared to modern legal systems, the scope of the Ming (and similarly Qing) legal system is extremely limited, primarily as a means for the Imperial court to govern its bureaucracy of scholar-officials, down to the local magistrates. The Imperial court was not concerned about governing citizens directly, rather it was through layers of hierarchy, from ...


6

TL;DR According to Roger Hart [1], this view is widely held but wrong. He cites, among (many) others, Needham who speaks of a decay and Mikami who considers Ming scholars to be degenerate. The alleged reason is not a decree, but societal and technical characteristics of the society. This view is slow to revert, because almost no one studies Ming mathematics, ...


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