From the late 1400s to the 1700s, three Muslim empiresthe Ottoman, the Safavid Persian, and the Mogulflourished in parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa. At the same time in China the Ming dynasty encouraged the development of agriculture and sponsored some overseas explorations. For a long time under the Chinese Qing dynasty, there was internal peace, prosperity, and an increase in population. During the 1700s, however, corruption, internal revolts, and threats from European explorations weakened the government. In the 1500s, Japan saw the warrior classes come under the rule of military leaders known as shoguns. During this period, Europeans, including Catholic missionaries, arrived in Japan. Fearing foreign influence, Japan closed its borders. Effects of the European presence were felt everywhere in East Asia. Only Thailand (Siam) remained free of European control.