In the 1400s Europe was still in the diseased Dark Ages while China flourished as one of the world’s leading civilizations with advanced technology and expansive naval exploration. The Ming Dynasty’s capital city of Nanjing was the largest in the world, with the world’s longest city wall, able to house 3,000 soldiers. Yet the centralized, monolithic Chinese civilization lacked the competitive decentralization of Europe. From 1500 Europe’s autonomous cities, nations, and corporations increased exploration and colonization for money and power, while at the same time China closed itself off in a fragile bubble. Chinese instability would meet Western expansionism and cave to its pressures.