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Ming Dynasty

Zhu Yuanzhang, the Ming emperor, established his capital in Nanjing. But in 1420 Beijing was designated the first capital and Nanjing designated the second. Their names mean Northern Capital and Southern Capital respectively. And it was the last dynasty in China ruled by Han group.

Through series of reforms carried out by Ming emperor, the nation's economy soon recovered and progressed to its highest level. Such achievements made Zhu Yuanzhang one of the most outstanding emperors in Chinese history, just like Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty and Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty.

The golden age of the Ming Dynasty was under Emperor Chengzu's reign, known as the Yongle period (circa 1402). During this period, Zheng He's voyage to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean which strengthened greatly foreign relations and promoted the cultural and economic exchanges. Under the Ming dynasty, China experienced one of the greatest economic expansions in its history. This expansion affected every area of Chinese economic life: agriculture, commerce, and maritime trade and exploration.

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