Yuan Dynasty

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In 1260 Kublai succeeded the Khan of the Mongol Empire; in 1271 he changed the dynasty title to "Yuan," and the following year had the capital moved to Dadu. In 1279 the Yuan eliminated the Southern Song Dynasty and united China. The Yuan central bureaucracy included Zhong Shu Sheng, Shu Mi Yuan and Yu Shi Tai, respectively taking charge of government affairs, military affairs and supervision work. Except for a few regions directly under the central government, the entire country was divided into different administrative provinces. During this dynasty, irrigation works, agriculture and handicraft were greatly developed; post stations were set up at important land and water passageways; transportation was improved; and the economy, culture and foreign trade were also extensively developed. However, domestic policy also retained aspects of old Mongol traditions, and as its rule continued, these traditions clashed more and more frequently with traditional Chinese economic, social and cultural values. After it was established by Kublai Khan, the Yuan Dynasty went through 11 emperors, until eventually expelled by Ming forces to the Mongolian Plateau in 1368.

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