In general, territory of Ming Dynasty is about 4 million square kilometers. However, this territory is territory of two capitals and thirteen provinces of Ming Dynasty, and its time probably falls on period of Zhu Yuanzhang and Ming Dynasty after death of Zhu Di. So how big was territory at height of Ming Dynasty? This contradiction is relatively large: Baidu Encyclopedia says it is 9.97 million square kilometers, including Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, 20 million square kilometers, or even 48 million square kilometers.
We must have a single set of standards to measure territory of each dynasty, and we cannot follow route of double standards. My point is that territories with administrative divisions are considered territories, while territories with military control but no administrative control are spheres of influence that can hardly be considered territories. As for nominally confiscated territory, one cannot simply say that this is territory only in order to save face.
Then here I need to find out extent of administrative division, military jurisdiction and nominally entrusted territories of Ming dynasty. The scope of administrative division, at peak of Ming Dynasty, there were two capitals and fourteen chief ministers, and chief minister Jiaozhi (1407-1428) was added to original base, covering an area of about 3.5 million square meters. kilometers. Besides chief envoy Jiaozhi, two other capitals and thirteen provinces were main territory of Ming Dynasty. This main territory was later called "inland" and "Han land", and it was usually located in south. Great Wall - Liaodong side wall, east of Jiayuguan.
Main territory of Ming Dynasty
Then take a look at scale of military organization in Yongle era. The expansion of military establishments during Yongle period took place mainly in northeast, in Monan and northwest. In northeast, Nurgand division (1411-1433) was created to control Heilongjiang river basin. Nurgan Dusi's administration area extends from Sakhalin Island in east, Onan River in west, and Waixing'an Mountains in north. It should be noted that all guards in area controlled by Nuergandusi are canonized, and only Nuergancheng has deployed troops in place. Therefore, as soon as Nuer Gandu division is abolished, protection under it will exist only nominally. The area is about 2 million square kilometers.
Monan District has been under Zhu Yuanzhang's control since Zhu Yuanzhang's time, but control is very weak. During Yongle period, Shanxi Xingdu Division was created to increase control over Hetao territory. However, Ming dynasty never included Hetao under provincial jurisdiction. During Jiajing period, Hetao was lost.
Northwestern region, Ming Dynasty canonized him as The Seven Guardians of Kansai, namely Anding, Aduan, Qiuxian, Handong, Shazhou, Chijin Mongolia and Seven Guardians of Hami. These are in fact various forces of Mongolia, which, although they accepted canonization of Ming dynasty, were rebellious and fickle. However, during Yongle period, they were indeed considered sphere of influence of Ming Dynasty. Although Ming Dynasty did not have garrisons, they were under control of the Ming Dynasty. After Yongle, these Mongol princes took refuge in Vale.
The Seven Guards of Kansai
In southwest, territory of Ming Dynasty extended to Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. It should be noted that there are a large number of chiefs on Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, and character of these chiefs varies greatly. We can divide toasts into three categories. First category is internal chiefs, all chiefs in Guizhou and chiefs east of Yongchang Prefecture in Yunnan, they are completely under control of Ming Dynasty and take administrative jurisdiction of Ming Dynasty. , such as Ming Dynasty, these chieftains stationed troops in region, sent officials, built roads, and set up propaganda schools. Another part, Mengyang, Jinchi, Cheli (Xishuangbanna), Mubang and Mengeng Tufu west of Yongchang Mansion, etc., can be regarded as sphere of influence of Ming Dynasty, and literature of Ming Dynasty is called this "Wayi Tusi". The Ming Dynasty had neither administrative jurisdiction nor garrison troops over them. They surrendered because they were under military containment from Ming Dynasty, which can be considered their sphere of influence. Among them, Jintut often fought against Ming Dynasty and was finally destroyed by Ming Dynasty during Ming Yingzong period.
The light red part is foreign toast
As for eight hundred Dadian military and civilian consolation commissioners (Langna Kingdom), military and civilian consolation commissioners of Laos (Lancang Kingdom), Demas, Daghul (Khandawadi Kingdom), Myanmar (Awa Dynasty), several Xuanweixi< /strong> is actually a kingdom formed after split of original Burmese Bagan Dynasty.The Ming Dynasty only symbolically conferred and did not send any soldiers to these places on a part-time basis. These kingdoms had very little contact with Ming Dynasty, and even tribute trade was almost non-existent. Therefore, it cannot be considered a sphere of influence. During Yongle period, these chiefs practically cut off communication with Ming dynasty, for example, six years after Yongle period, Demasa announced that consolation messengers could not come.
Let's go back to Old Port Declaration Section. Xuanweixi of Jiugang is also Three Buddha Qi Realm. In Hongwu's 30th year (1397), Kingdom of Malacca destroyed old Sanfoqi dynasty, so Sanfoqi Chinese supported Cantonese Liang Daoming as king and established a new kingdom of Sanfoqi. Sanfoqi was later threatened by Guangdong pirate Chen Zui. In 1406, Zheng He arrived in this sea area and eliminated Chen Zui, Liang Daoming accepted consolation and returned to mainland. Yi Shi Jinqing, Liang Daoming's subordinate, became king, and Ming Dynasty conferred title of Xuanweixi of Jiugang . From this, it can be seen that Xuanwei area of the Old Port must belong to sphere of influence of Yongle period of Ming Dynasty. Of course, the area of the Old Port is very small, so it is ignored here.
Ming dynasty painting in USA (with old Hong Kong Xuanweixi)
So Tubo is considered a territory of Ming Dynasty? The Ming Dynasty conducted large-scale canonizations in Tubo region, such as Duogandus, Wuxi Zangdusi, Mansion of Military and Civil Marshal Erisi, etc., and also appointed some eminent monks as marshals, recruits and thousands of household monks, thousands courts, guards, Tongzhi commanders, under command of Qianshi, promotional and consolation envoys, Tongzhi, deputy envoys, etc. In fact, Ming Dynasty knew nothing about Tibetan affairs, and reason they did canonization was mentality of Heavenly Dynasty . For example, canonization by Ming dynasty of military and civil marshal administration of Erlisi was written like this:
My lord, world, all those who come and return with admiration from all sides will treat them with courtesy and give them officials. Er Jin Xi Gong lost his prison and lived in West for a long time. Hearing my voice and teaching, he can obey his heart and follow his example and protect earth. I praise him. Today position of Marshal of Army and People of Erlisi has been established, and you are ordered to take position of Marshal. However, General Huaiyuan, Olisi, marshal's military and civil mansion, must get Yixi Gong out of prison. Allow it.
This means that as long as you come to Ming Dynasty, I will "treat you with courtesy and give you an official position." The Ming Dynasty never sent a single soldier or official to Tibet. Even Sakya, Padrup, Rinbungpa, Zangba Khan, Ali and other dynasties in Tibet could not understand. The reason to entrust official positions to eminent monks. The History of Ming Dynasty records that territory of Ming Dynasty is "western occupation of Tubo", many people understand it as occupying Tubo region (Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau), Actually Tubo here is propaganda department of Tubo in Hezhou (Ningxia, Gansu). Therefore, territory of Ming Dynasty could not include Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
Yuan Dynasty Xuanzheng Yuan
In terms of sphere of influence, territory of Ming during Yongle period should be from Outer Mountains of Xing'an to north, Jiugang to south, Hami to west, and North Korea to south. East. The main ones are two capitals and thirteen provinces, as well as chief commissioner of Cochin, Shanxi Xindu Division, Nuer Gandu Division, Kansai Seven Guards, Duoyan Three Guards, Yunnan Tuxi, and Jiugang Xuanwei Division. In total, area of administrative-territorial units is 3.5 million square kilometers, territory under military control is about 3 million square kilometers, and total area is about 6.5 million square kilometers.
"History of Ming Dynasty" describes territory of Ming Dynasty "Starting from North Korea in east, according to Tufan in west, Annan in south, and Dhaka in north, 11,750 miles from east to west and 10,940 miles from north to south " means that Ming dynasty stretched approximately 5500 kilometers from east to west and from south to north. accurate? The records state that Ming Dynasty was most "encompassing Annan in south and Dhaka in north", however, according to map, from Gobi Desert in Outer Mongolia to central Vietnam is about 3,000 kilometers. According to this calculation, territory of Ming dynasty should have extended from Yalu River to Caspian Sea and from Inshan Gobi to island of Java. Obviously no exaggeration.