Before the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall of China was the only barrier between the Chinese Empire and Genghis Khan’s Mongolian Empire. Despite a large numerical minority, the Mongols managed to capture the wall and China. After the death of the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan, the Mongols lost much of their power. Hongwu (Zhu Yuanzhang) eventually pushed the Mongols back behind the badly damaged walls and established the Ming dynasty. The rulers of this dynasty recognized the importance of the wall and ordered the construction and extension of the wall. Most of the wall as we know it today was built during this period (1368-1644).