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The history of Ancient China

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1.1.1 What evidence is there in Source 1A (written source) to suggest that Emperor Hongwu was a despot (autocrat)?
Emperor Hongwu was a despot and he expected every single person to obey his rules, he never liked it when somebody spoke about him with disrespect. If he was ever disrespected by somebody, that person would be most likely punished, death would be the punishment. “He was also said to have ordered the massacre of several thousand people living in Nanjing after having one talked about him without respect.”

1.1.2 Define the following concepts:

a) Dynasty: A ruler with absolute power.

b) Coup: A sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.

1.1.3 What was Emperor Hongwu so afraid of that he ordered the killing of his own advisors?

The emperor became more and more paranoid because of rebellions and coups, he even went too far as to order the execution of those of his advisors who dared to criticize him.

1.1.4 Do you think the Emperor’s actions (to murder) was justifiable? Motivate your answer.

No it was not justifiable. His actions were wrong because if one person dared to disrespect him, he would kill thousands of people where majority of them were innocent. He most-likely killed innocent people, and people who worshipped him, only for one person who dared to disrespect him. He thought he was superior to other people and he valued himself too much.

1.1.5 What clues are there in the visual source (painting) to suggest that Hongwu was an important man?

In the painting of Emperor Hongwu, he is wearing extremely wealthy clothing and is said to be sitting on a throne, he lived in luxury in the Forbidden City in a palace separated from the ordinary people. It is said that he brought the best artist in China to supervise and take care of these paintings of him.

1.1.6 In which city did the royal family live?

The royal family lived in the Forbidden City, in a palace that was separated from the ordinary people.

1.1.7 Why are paintings (like the one of Hongwu) an important source for people who study the history of Ancient China?

These paintings are extremely important for people who study the history of China because it shows them how people back then lived and what their way of life was and who was superior back then, and how the wealthy people dressed.

1.2.1 Extract evidence from the source to suggest that the Mughal Empire was a dynasty.

“The ‘golden era’ of the Mughal Empire, however, started in 1556 with Akbar the Great (Babur’s grandson) as ruler.”

1.2.2 Under whose leadership did the Mughal Empire experience a ‘golden era?’

Under the leadership of Babur’s grandson who is Akbar the Great as ruler.

1.2.3 List THREE aspects from the source to suggest that the Mughal Empire experienced prosperity from 1556 onwards. Economic progress, religious harmony and cultural development.

1.2.4 To what extent is source 1B useful to a historian who studies government systems of the Moghul Empire?

Source 1B is useful to historians because it makes them aware of how people in the Mughal Empire in India lived.

1.3.1 Discuss the similarities between Akbar (source 1B) Sonni Ali (source 1C).

Both Akbar and Sonni Ali were devoted Muslims, they were both wealthy empires. During the period whereby they both ruled the empire, the Songhai empire continued to show progress economically, religiously and culturally.

1.3.2 Is source 1C a primary source or a secondary source? Explain your answer. Source 1C is a secondary source because the information is coming from a person who didn’t one-handedly experience this in their lifetime but they did do the research on this topic.

1.3.3 Extract evidence from the source to confirm that Sonni Ali was one of Songhai’s best rulers.
“Sonni Ali established Gao as the capital of the empire, but there were also other important cities like Timbuktu and Djenne where trade flourished.

1.4 Refer to source 1A – source 1C and answer the following questions.

1.4.1 According to you, which emperor was the best ruler? Motivate your answer. In my opinion, I think Akbar the Great was the best ruler because the empire showed economic, cultural and religious progress, and he also allowed Hindus to practice their own religion when he was a devoted Muslim.

1.4.2 How did emperor Hongwu’s leadership style differ from Akbar and Ali’s leadership styles? Hongwu wanted people to love him and they wanted people to bow down to his feet to worship him as if he were a God. Whomever did something different like say him in a sentence where they were disrespecting him, he would kill them along with thousands of other people whether they respecting him or not.

1.5 Use all the sources and your own knowledge and write a paragraph of about EIGHT lines in which you discuss the similarities and the differences between the rulers of the Ming Dynasty, the Moghul Empire and the Songhai empire.
During the 1600s, great changes were taking place. Trade and expansion dominated almost all three societies. However these three empires collapsed due to invasions and revolts

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