Timeline Capsule
Time Capsule Details | BeingBlackToday.com
1368 . 03 . 13
Ming Dynasty Becomes Ruling Dynasty of China and Last Dynasty Ruled by the Han Chinese
Following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty, the Ming dynasty -- the Empire of the Great Ming -- became the ruling dynasty of China, that would rule for nearly 300 years, from 1368 to 1644.  This dynasty became the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by the ethnic Han Chinese.

Hongwu was the first emperor of the Ming dynasty, ruling for 30 years.  He was a former commander of one of the many rebel forces that rose in rebellion against the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. 

Emperor Hongwu Builds a Million Strong Standing Army and the Largest Navy in the World
Hongwu attempted to create a society of self-sufficient communities that would guarantee and support a permament class of soldiers for his dynasty.  Eventually, he had a standing army of more than one million troops and the largest navy in the world.

Trusting only his family, Hongwu provided much of the land throughout China to his many sons, installing them as feudal princes.

Zhu Yunwen Succeeds Emperor Hongwu
The natural successor of Hongwu died before he did, so Hongwu passed the throne to his grandson, Zhu Yunwen, who became the second emperor of the Ming dynasty in 1389, after Hongwu's death.

The Jianwen Emperor, Zhu Yunwen, Overthrown
Zhu Yunwen's reign did not last very long.  After four years, in 1402, he was overthrown by one of his uncles, a son of Hongwu and feudal prince, after making an attempt to reduce the power and influence of all of his uncles by taking back the territories that they were granted by their father.  By his second year on the thrown, Zhu Yunwen had demoted or arrested several of his uncles.  It was Hongwu's fourth son, Zhu Di, Prince of Yan, who overthrew him.

Zhu Di Assumes Throne as the Yongle Emperor
After personally leading forces in revolt against Zhu Yunwen to overthrown his nephew, Zhu Di assumed the throne as the Yonge Emperor in 1402.

Beijing Becomes the Capital
The Imperial City is Built
The Yongle Emperor moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing, constructing a new city there, pver a four mile area, taking over 13 years to complete.  The Imperial City was built at its center, and the Forbidden City, the palatial residence of the emperor and his family was built at the center of the Imperial City.

China Increases in Power and Wealth Becoming the Great Naval Power of the 15th Century
The Yongle Emperor built a gigantic fleet of militarized ships, designated for making expeditions and "treasure hunting", which provided China with notoriety as a power nation with great wealth, throughout the known world.