The Qing Dynasty Part II: The Final Dynasty

The Qing Dynasty Part II: The Final Dynasty

The Kangxi Emperor ascended the throne in 1661, at the age of seven, after his father, the Shunzhi Emperor, died suddenly from smallpox at just 23 years old. Kangxi’s reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning emperor in Chinese history, and he is also reckoned to be one of its most illustrious.

At the beginning of Kangxi’s reign, four regents were chosen to run the actual affairs of state. Eventually, one of them, Oboi, obtained absolute power as sole regent, and this was a threat to the young emperor. This problem was resolved in 1669, when Oboi was arrested, and actual power was transferred to Kangxi’s hands.

Young Kangxi Emperor, age about 20. ( Public Domain )

Qing Dynasty Achievements

It was during Kangxi’s reign that a number of significant achievements were made by the Qing Dynasty. For instance, in 1683, the Kingdom of Tungning (in present day Taiwan), which was founded in 1661 by the Ming loyalist Zheng Chenggong, was conquered. As mentioned in the previous article, a major revolt, the Revolt of the Three Feudatories, was also put down.

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Additionally, the Treaty of Nerchinsk was signed between the Qing Dynasty and the Russians in 1689, which stopped the Russians from advancing further south, thus ensuring that the Amur Valley and Manchuria were in Qing hands. Furthermore, Kangxi checked the power of the Dzungars, a nomadic Oirat tribe from the western part of Mongolia. Louis Cha’s wuxia novel, The Deer and the Cauldron , has these events of Kangxi’s reign as part of its background.

Jade book, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period. (Rama/ CC BY SA 2.0 )

Kangxi is also remembered as a strong administrator and a highly cultured ruler. For instance, he is recorded to have read all the reports and memorandums presented to him and dealt with each one efficiently. Kangxi was also an avid reader and a study hall called the Nanshufang was opened in 1677, where he regularly had discussions on historical and philosophical matters with the leading scholars of the day. Kangxi’s voracious appetite for learning also led to the entry of the Jesuits into China, who brought with them not only Christianity, but also Western knowledge.

Matteo Ricci and Paul Xu Guangqi From La Chine d'Athanase Kirchere de la Compagnie de Jesus: illustre de plusieurs monuments tant sacres que profanes, Amsterdam, 1670. Plate facing p. 201. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

The Rule of the Qianlong Emperor

Kangxi’s grandson, the Qianlong Emperor, was another eminent Qing emperor. It was during his reign, which lasted from 1735 to 1796 that the Qing Dynasty achieved its largest territorial extent. As a side note, Qianlong abdicated in 1796, so as to not reign longer than his grandfather. He remained as an ‘Emperor Emeritus’ till his death in 1799.

Qianlong’s ‘Ten Great Campaigns’, which lasted from the 1750s to the 1790s, may be said to have had mixed results. On the one hand, the Qing were successful in their campaigns in Inner Asia, though much less so in their wars with the Burmese. Several anti-Qing rebellions, such as one in Taiwan, and another in Lhasa, Tibet, were also quelled.

While Qianlong was a benevolent ruler, the decline of the Qing Dynasty had already begun during the later years of his reign. The last two decades of Qianlong’s reign saw the rise of Heshen, a favorite of the emperor. Although an intelligent individual, Heshen was corrupt and power hungry. The emperor turned a blind eye towards his favorite, and it was only after Qianlong’s death that his successor, the Jiaqing Emperor, was able to arrest Heshen, relieve him of his duties, confiscate his properties, and forced him to commit suicide. By then, however, the damage had already been done.

Grand Secretary of the Wenhua Palace . ( Public Domain )

The Fall of the Qing Dynasty

The Jiaqing Emperor did all he could to maintain order within the empire, although the growing problems proved to be too much for him (as well as subsequent emperors) to handle. Additionally, he tried to curb the smuggling of opium into China, which would eventually lead to the Opium Wars during the reign of his successors. Whilst these wars highlight the external pressures faced by the Qing Dynasty, the empire was also facing threats from within.

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The most famous example of these is the Taiping Rebellion, which occurred around the same time as the Second Opium War. Although the rebels were eventually defeated, this rebellion is reckoned to have nearly brought the Qing Dynasty down and is regarded to be the first major instance of anti-Manchu sentiment that threatened the existence of the empire.

A scene of the Taiping Rebellion, 1850-1864. ( Public Domain )

Unfortunately for the Qing Dynasty, things only got worse after the Taiping Rebellion. Dissatisfaction amongst the population continued to grow over the decades, whilst the court remained entrenched in its corrupt practices. Eventually, in 1911, the Wuchang Uprising, which led to the Xinhai Revolution, broke out. Thus, in 1912, the Qing Dynasty was overthrown, its last emperor, Puyi, who was still a child, was forced to abdicate, and the Republic of China was established.

A photo of Puyi, the last emperor of China. ( Public Domain )


The Qing Dynasty Part II: The Final Dynasty - History

Emperor Kangxi of China, also known as K’ang-hsi, May 4, 1654 – December 20, 1722) was the fourth Emperor of China of the Manchu Qing Dynasty (also known as the Ching), and the second Qing emperor to rule over all of China, from 1661 to 1722. He is known as one of the greatest Chinese emperors in history. His reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning Emperor of China in history, though it should be noted that having ascended the throne aged eight, he did not exercise much, if any, control over the empire until later, that role being fulfilled by his four guardians and his grandmother the Dowager Empress Xiao Zhuang. The Qing emperors set themselves the same task that all Emperors of China do, that is, to unify the nation and to win the hearts of the Chinese people. Although non-ethnic Chinese, they quickly adopted the habits and customs of China’s imperial tradition. Open to Western technology, Emperor Kangxi, (or Kʻang-hsi) discoursed with Jesuit missionaries and he also learned to play the piano from them. However, when the Roman Catholic Pope Clement XI refused the Jesuit attempt to Christianize Chinese cultural practice, Kangxi banned Catholic missionary activity in China in what became known as the Chinese Rites Controversy.


Background

Qing Manchu Dynasty

The Manchu Qing ( Ch’ing) dynasty was first established in 1636 by the Manchus to designate their regime in Manchuria and came to power after defeating the Chinese Ming dynasty and taking Beijing in 1644. The first Qing emperor, Shunzhi Emperor (Fu-lin ,reign name, Shun-chih), was put on the throne at the age of five and controlled by his uncle and regent, Dorgon, until Dorgon died in 1650. During the reign of his successor, the Kangxi Emperor (K’ang-hsi emperor reigned 1661–1722), the last phase of the military conquest of China was completed, and the Inner Asian borders were strengthened against the Mongols. In 1689 a treaty was concluded with Russia at Nerchinsk setting the northern extent of the Manchurian boundary at the Argun River. Over the next 40 years the Dzungar Mongols were defeated, and the empire was extended to include Outer Mongolia, Tibet, Dzungaria, Turkistan, and Nepal.

During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the Qing enacted policies to win the adherence of the Chinese officials and scholars. The civil service examination system and the Confucian curriculum were reinstated. Qing (Ch’ing) emperors learned Chinese, and addressed their subjects using Confucian rhetoric, as their predecessors had. More than half of the important government positions were filled by Manchu and members of the Eight Banners, but gradually large numbers of Han Chinese officials were given power and authority within the Manchu administration. Under the Qing, the Chinese empire trebled its size and the population grew from 150,000,000 to 450,000,000. Many of the non-Chinese minorities within the empire were Sinicized, and an integrated national economy was established.


Cultural achievements

The efforts of the Manchu rulers, from the beginning of their rule, to become assimilated into Chinese culture bred strongly conservative Confucian political and cultural attitudes in official society and stimulated a great period of collecting, cataloging, and commenting upon the traditions of the past. Decorative crafts declined to increasingly repetitive designs, although techniques, notably in jade carving, reached a high level. Much architecture survives although it is often grandly conceived, it tends to an inert massiveness with overwrought ornamentation. The two major visual art forms of the period were painting and porcelain.

Despite the prevailing attitude of conservatism, many Qing dynasty artists were both individualistic and innovative. Based largely on the dicta of a late Ming dynasty artist-critic, Dong Qichang, Qing painters are classified as “individualist” masters (such as Daoji and Zhu Da) and “orthodox” masters (such as the Six Masters of the early Qing period). In addition, there are “schools” of painting (though painters so classified share more a common location than a single style), such as the Four Masters of Anhui, the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou, and the Eight Masters of Nanjing. The attitude shared by most artists, in spite of obvious differences, was a strong preference for “literati painting” (wenrenhua), which emphasized personal expression above all.

Qing porcelain displays a high technical mastery even to the almost total obliteration of any mark of the potter’s hand. Among the innovations of the period was the development of coloured glazes such as copper red, called “blown red” (jihong) by the Chinese and “oxblood” (sang-de-boeuf) by the French, and two classes of painted porcelain ware, known in Europe as famille verte and famille rose, from their predominant green and rose colours.

The literature of the Qing dynasty resembled that of the preceding Ming period in that much of it focused on classical forms. The Manchu conducted a literary inquisition in the 18th century to root out subversive writings, and many suspect works were destroyed and their authors jailed, exiled, or killed. Novels in the vernacular—tales of romance and adventure—developed substantially. After Chinese ports were opened to overseas commerce in the mid-19th century, translation of foreign works into Chinese increased dramatically.

In music, the most notable development of the dynasty probably was the development of jingxi, or Peking opera, over several decades at the end of the 18th century. The style was an amalgam of several regional music-theatre traditions that employed significantly increased instrumental accompaniment, adding to flute, plucked lute, and clappers, several drums, a double-reed wind instrument, cymbals, and gongs, one of which is designed so as to rise quickly in pitch when struck, giving a “sliding” tonal effect that became a familiar characteristic of the genre. Jingxi—whose roots are actually in many regions but not in Beijing—uses fewer melodies than do other forms but repeats them with different lyrics. It is thought to have gained stature because of patronage by the empress dowager Cixi of the late Qing, but it had long been enormously popular with commoners.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy McKenna, Senior Editor.


Contents

Early European writers used the term "Tartar" indiscriminately for all the peoples of Northern Eurasia but in the 17th century Catholic missionary writings established "Tartar" to refer only to the Manchus and "Tartary" for the lands they ruled. [7]

After conquering "China proper", the Manchus identified their state as "China" (中國, Zhōngguó "Middle Kingdom"), and referred to it as Dulimbai Gurun in Manchu (Dulimbai means "central" or "middle," gurun means "nation" or "state"). The emperors equated the lands of the Qing state (including present-day Northeast China, Xinjiang, Mongolia, Tibet and other areas) as "China" in both the Chinese and Manchu languages, defining China as a multi-ethnic state, and rejecting the idea that "China" only meant Han areas. The Qing emperors proclaimed that both Han and non-Han peoples were part of "China". They used both "China" and "Qing" to refer to their state in official documents. [8] [9] In the Chinese-language versions of its treaties and its maps of the world, the Qing government used "Qing" and "China" interchangeably. [10]

Formation of the Manchu state Edit

The Qing dynasty was founded not by Han Chinese, who constitute the majority of the Chinese population, but by the Manchu, descendants of a sedentary farming people known as the Jurchen, a Tungusic people who lived around the region now comprising the Chinese provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang. [11] The Manchus are sometimes mistaken for a nomadic people, [12] which they were not. [13] [14]

Nurhaci Edit

What was to become the Manchu state was founded by Nurhaci, the chieftain of a minor Jurchen tribe – the Aisin-Gioro – in Jianzhou in the early 17th century. Nurhaci may have spent time in a Chinese household in his youth, and became fluent in Chinese as well as Mongol, and read the Chinese novels Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin. [15] [16] [17] Originally a vassal of the Ming emperors, Nurhaci embarked on an intertribal feud in 1582 that escalated into a campaign to unify the nearby tribes. By 1616, he had sufficiently consolidated Jianzhou so as to be able to proclaim himself Khan of the Great Jin in reference to the previous Jurchen dynasty. [18]

Two years later, Nurhaci announced the "Seven Grievances" and openly renounced the sovereignty of Ming overlordship in order to complete the unification of those Jurchen tribes still allied with the Ming emperor. After a series of successful battles, he relocated his capital from Hetu Ala to successively bigger captured Ming cities in Liaodong: first Liaoyang in 1621, then Shenyang (Manchu: Mukden) in 1625. [18]

Furthermore, the Khorchin proved a useful ally in the war, lending the Jurchens their expertise as cavalry archers. To guarantee this new alliance, Nurhaci initiated a policy of inter-marriages between the Jurchen and Khorchin nobilities, while those who resisted were met with military action. This is a typical example of Nurhaci's initiatives that eventually became official Qing government policy. During most of the Qing period, the Mongols gave military assistance to the Manchus. [19]

Hong Taiji Edit

The unbroken series of Nurhaci's military successes ended in January 1626 when he was defeated by Yuan Chonghuan while laying siege to Ningyuan. He died a few months later and was succeeded by his eighth son, Hong Taiji, who emerged as the new Khan after a short political struggle amongst other contenders . Although Hong Taiji was an experienced leader and the commander of two Banners at the time of his succession, his reign did not start well on the military front. The Jurchens suffered yet another defeat in 1627 at the hands of Yuan Chonghuan. This defeat was also in part due to the Ming's newly acquired Portuguese cannons.

To redress the technological and numerical disparity, Hong Taiji created his own artillery corps in 1634, the ujen cooha (Chinese: 重軍) from his existing Han troops who cast their own cannons in the European design with the help of defector Chinese metallurgists. One of the defining events of Hong Taiji's reign was the official adoption of the name "Manchu" for the united Jurchen people in November 1635. In 1635, the Manchus' Mongol allies were fully incorporated into a separate Banner hierarchy under direct Manchu command. Hong Taiji conquered the territory north of Shanhai Pass by Ming dynasty and Ligdan Khan in Inner Mongolia. In April 1636, Mongol nobility of Inner Mongolia, Manchu nobility and the Han mandarin held the Kurultai in Shenyang, and recommended the khan of Later Jin to be the emperor of the Great Qing empire. One of the Yuan Dynasty's jade seal was also dedicated to the emperor (Bogd Setsen Khan) by the nobility. [20] [21] When he was presented with the imperial seal of the Yuan dynasty after the defeat of the last Khagan of the Mongols, Hong Taiji renamed his state from "Great Jin" to "Great Qing" and elevated his position from Khan to Emperor, suggesting imperial ambitions beyond unifying the Manchu territories. Hong Taiji then proceeded to invade Korea again in 1636.

The change of name from Jurchen to Manchu was made to hide the fact that the ancestors of the Manchus, the Jianzhou Jurchens, were ruled by the Chinese. [22] The Qing dynasty carefully hid the original editions of the books of "Qing Taizu Wu Huangdi Shilu" and the "Manzhou Shilu Tu" (Taizu Shilu Tu) in the Qing palace, forbidden from public view because they showed that the Aisin-Gioro family had been ruled by the Ming dynasty and followed many Manchu customs that seemed "uncivilized" to later observers. [23] The Qing also deliberately excluded references and information that showed the Jurchens (Manchus) as subservient to the Ming dynasty, from the History of Ming to hide their former subservient relationship to the Ming. The Veritable Records of Ming were not used to source content on Jurchens during Ming rule in the History of Ming because of this. [24]

In the Ming period, the Koreans of Joseon referred to the Jurchen-inhabited lands north of the Korean peninsula, above the rivers Yalu and Tumen to be part of Ming China, as the "superior country" (sangguk) which they called Ming China. [25] After the Second Manchu invasion of Korea, Joseon Korea was forced to give several of their royal princesses as concubines to the Qing Manchu regent Prince Dorgon. [26] In 1650, Dorgon married the Korean Princess Uisun. [27]

Meanwhile, Hong Taiji set up a rudimentary bureaucratic system based on the Ming model. He established six boards or executive level ministries in 1631 to oversee finance, personnel, rites, military, punishments, and public works. However, these administrative organs had very little role initially, and it was not until the eve of completing the conquest ten years later that they fulfilled their government roles. [28]

Hong Taiji's bureaucracy was staffed with many Han Chinese, including many newly surrendered Ming officials. The Manchus' continued dominance was ensured by an ethnic quota for top bureaucratic appointments. Hong Taiji's reign also saw a fundamental change of policy towards his Han Chinese subjects. Nurhaci had treated Han in Liaodong differently according to how much grain they had: those with less than 5 to 7 sin were treated badly, while those with more than that amount were rewarded with property. Due to a revolt by Han in Liaodong in 1623, Nurhaci, who previously gave concessions to conquered Han subjects in Liaodong, turned against them and ordered that they no longer be trusted. He enacted discriminatory policies and killings against them, while ordering that Han who assimilated to the Jurchen (in Jilin) before 1619 be treated equally, as Jurchens were, and not like the conquered Han in Liaodong. Hong Taiji recognized that the Manchus needed to attract Han Chinese, explaining to reluctant Manchus why he needed to treat the Ming defector General Hong Chengchou leniently. [29] Hong Taiji instead incorporated them into the Jurchen "nation" as full (if not first-class) citizens, obligated to provide military service. By 1648, less than one-sixth of the bannermen were of Manchu ancestry. [30]

Claiming the Mandate of Heaven Edit

Hong Taiji died suddenly in September 1643. As the Jurchens had traditionally "elected" their leader through a council of nobles, the Qing state did not have a clear succession system. The leading contenders for power were Hong Taiji's oldest son Hooge and Hong Taiji's half brother Dorgon. A compromise installed Hong Taiji's five-year-old son, Fulin, as the Shunzhi Emperor, with Dorgon as regent and de facto leader of the Manchu nation.

Meanwhile, Ming government officials fought against each other, against fiscal collapse, and against a series of peasant rebellions. They were unable to capitalise on the Manchu succession dispute and the presence of a minor as emperor. In April 1644, the capital, Beijing, was sacked by a coalition of rebel forces led by Li Zicheng, a former minor Ming official, who established a short-lived Shun dynasty. The last Ming ruler, the Chongzhen Emperor, committed suicide when the city fell to the rebels, marking the official end of the dynasty.

Li Zicheng then led a collection of rebel forces numbering some 200,000 [31] to confront Wu Sangui, the general commanding the Ming garrison at Shanhai Pass, a key pass of the Great Wall, located 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Beijing, which defended the capital. Wu Sangui, caught between a rebel army twice his size and an enemy he had fought for years, cast his lot with the foreign but familiar Manchus. Wu Sangui may have been influenced by Li Zicheng's mistreatment of wealthy and cultured officials, including Li's own family it was said that Li took Wu's concubine Chen Yuanyuan for himself. Wu and Dorgon allied in the name of avenging the death of the Chongzhen Emperor. Together, the two former enemies met and defeated Li Zicheng's rebel forces in battle on May 27, 1644. [32]

The newly allied armies captured Beijing on 6 June. The Shunzhi Emperor was invested as the "Son of Heaven" on 30 October. The Manchus, who had positioned themselves as political heirs to the Ming emperor by defeating Li Zicheng, completed the symbolic transition by holding a formal funeral for the Chongzhen Emperor. However, conquering the rest of China Proper took another seventeen years of battling Ming loyalists, pretenders and rebels. The last Ming pretender, Prince Gui, sought refuge with the King of Burma, Pindale Min, but was turned over to a Qing expeditionary army commanded by Wu Sangui, who had him brought back to Yunnan province and executed in early 1662.

The Qing had taken shrewd advantage of Ming civilian government discrimination against the military and encouraged the Ming military to defect by spreading the message that the Manchus valued their skills. [33] Banners made up of Han Chinese who defected before 1644 were classed among the Eight Banners, giving them social and legal privileges in addition to being acculturated to Manchu traditions. Han defectors swelled the ranks of the Eight Banners so greatly that ethnic Manchus became a minority—only 16% in 1648, with Han Bannermen dominating at 75% and Mongol Bannermen making up the rest. [34] Gunpowder weapons like muskets and artillery were wielded by the Chinese Banners. [35] Normally, Han Chinese defector troops were deployed as the vanguard, while Manchu Bannermen acted as reserve forces or in the rear and were used predominantly for quick strikes with maximum impact, so as to minimize ethnic Manchu losses. [36]

This multi-ethnic force conquered China for the Qing, [37] The three Liaodong Han Bannermen officers who played key roles in the conquest of southern China were Shang Kexi, Geng Zhongming, and Kong Youde, who governed southern China autonomously as viceroys for the Qing after the conquest. [38] Han Chinese Bannermen made up the majority of governors in the early Qing, and they governed and administered China after the conquest, stabilizing Qing rule. [39] Han Bannermen dominated the post of governor-general in the time of the Shunzhi and Kangxi Emperors, and also the post of governor, largely excluding ordinary Han civilians from these posts. [40]

To promote ethnic harmony, a 1648 decree allowed Han Chinese civilian men to marry Manchu women from the Banners with the permission of the Board of Revenue if they were registered daughters of officials or commoners, or with the permission of their banner company captain if they were unregistered commoners. Later in the dynasty the policies allowing intermarriage were done away with. [41]

The southern cadet branch of Confucius' descendants who held the title Wujing boshi (Doctor of the Five Classics) and 65th generation descendant in the northern branch who held the title Duke Yansheng both had their titles confirmed by the Shunzhi Emperor upon the Qing entry into Beijing on 31 October. [42] The Kong's title of Duke was maintained in later reigns. [43]

The first seven years of the Shunzhi Emperor's reign were dominated by Dorgon's rule. Because of his own political insecurity, Dorgon followed Hong Taiji's example by ruling in the name of the emperor at the expense of rival Manchu princes, many of whom he demoted or imprisoned under one pretext or another. Although the period of his regency was relatively short, Dorgon's precedents and example cast a long shadow over the dynasty.

First, the Manchus had entered "South of the Wall" because Dorgon responded decisively to Wu Sangui's appeal. Then, after capturing Beijing, instead of sacking the city as the rebels had done, Dorgon insisted, over the protests of other Manchu princes, on making it the dynastic capital and reappointing most Ming officials. Choosing Beijing as the capital had not been a straightforward decision, since no major Chinese dynasty had directly taken over its immediate predecessor's capital. Keeping the Ming capital and bureaucracy intact helped quickly stabilize the regime and sped up the conquest of the rest of the country. Dorgon then drastically reduced the influence of the eunuchs, a major force in the Ming bureaucracy, and directed Manchu women not to bind their feet in the Chinese style. [44]

However, not all of Dorgon's policies were equally popular or as easy to implement. The controversial July 1645 edict (the "haircutting order") forced adult Han Chinese men to shave the front of their heads and comb the remaining hair into the queue hairstyle which was worn by Manchu men, on pain of death. [45] The popular description of the order was: "To keep the hair, you lose the head To keep your head, you cut the hair." [44] To the Manchus, this policy was a test of loyalty and an aid in distinguishing friend from foe. For the Han Chinese, however, it was a humiliating reminder of Qing authority that challenged traditional Confucian values. [46] The order triggered strong resistance to Qing rule in Jiangnan. [47] In the ensuing unrest, some 100,000 Han were slaughtered. [48] [49] [50]

On 31 December 1650, Dorgon suddenly died during a hunting expedition, marking the official start of the Shunzhi Emperor's personal rule. Because the emperor was only 12 years old at that time, most decisions were made on his behalf by his mother, Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, who turned out to be a skilled political operator.

Although his support had been essential to Shunzhi's ascent, Dorgon had centralised so much power in his hands as to become a direct threat to the throne. So much so that upon his death he was bestowed the extraordinary posthumous title of Emperor Yi (Chinese: 義皇帝 ), the only instance in Qing history in which a Manchu "prince of the blood" (Chinese: 親王 ) was so honored. Two months into Shunzhi's personal rule, however, Dorgon was not only stripped of his titles, but his corpse was disinterred and mutilated. [51] to atone for multiple "crimes", one of which was persecuting to death Shunzhi's agnate eldest brother, Hooge. More importantly, Dorgon's symbolic fall from grace also led to the purge of his family and associates at court, thus reverting power back to the person of the emperor. After a promising start, Shunzhi's reign was cut short by his early death in 1661 at the age of 24 from smallpox. He was succeeded by his third son Xuanye, who reigned as the Kangxi Emperor.

The Manchus sent Han Bannermen to fight against Koxinga's Ming loyalists in Fujian. [52] They removed the population from coastal areas in order to deprive Koxinga's Ming loyalists of resources. This led to a misunderstanding that Manchus were "afraid of water". Han Bannermen carried out the fighting and killing, casting doubt on the claim that fear of the water led to the coastal evacuation and ban on maritime activities. [53] Even though a poem refers to the soldiers carrying out massacres in Fujian as "barbarians", both Han Green Standard Army and Han Bannermen were involved and carried out the worst slaughter. [54] 400,000 Green Standard Army soldiers were used against the Three Feudatories in addition to the 200,000 Bannermen. [55]

Kangxi Emperor's reign and consolidation Edit

The sixty-one year reign of the Kangxi Emperor was the longest of any Chinese emperor. Kangxi's reign is also celebrated as the beginning of an era known as the "High Qing", during which the dynasty reached the zenith of its social, economic and military power. Kangxi's long reign started when he was eight years old upon the untimely demise of his father. To prevent a repeat of Dorgon's dictatorial monopolizing of power during the regency, the Shunzhi Emperor, on his deathbed, hastily appointed four senior cabinet ministers to govern on behalf of his young son. The four ministers – Sonin, Ebilun, Suksaha, and Oboi – were chosen for their long service, but also to counteract each other's influences. Most important, the four were not closely related to the imperial family and laid no claim to the throne. However, as time passed, through chance and machination, Oboi, the most junior of the four, achieved such political dominance as to be a potential threat. Even though Oboi's loyalty was never an issue, his personal arrogance and political conservatism led him into an escalating conflict with the young emperor. In 1669 Kangxi, through trickery, disarmed and imprisoned Oboi – a significant victory for a fifteen-year-old emperor over a wily politician and experienced commander.

The early Manchu rulers established two foundations of legitimacy that help to explain the stability of their dynasty. The first was the bureaucratic institutions and the neo-Confucian culture that they adopted from earlier dynasties. [56] Manchu rulers and Han Chinese scholar-official elites gradually came to terms with each other. The examination system offered a path for ethnic Han to become officials. Imperial patronage of Kangxi Dictionary demonstrated respect for Confucian learning, while the Sacred Edict of 1670 effectively extolled Confucian family values. His attempts to discourage Chinese women from foot binding, however, were unsuccessful.

Controlling the "Mandate of Heaven" was a daunting task. The vastness of China's territory meant that there were only enough banner troops to garrison key cities forming the backbone of a defense network that relied heavily on surrendered Ming soldiers. In addition, three surrendered Ming generals were singled out for their contributions to the establishment of the Qing dynasty, ennobled as feudal princes (藩王), and given governorships over vast territories in Southern China. The chief of these was Wu Sangui, who was given the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou, while generals Shang Kexi and Geng Jingzhong were given Guangdong and Fujian provinces respectively.

As the years went by, the three feudal lords and their extensive territories became increasingly autonomous. Finally, in 1673, Shang Kexi petitioned Kangxi for permission to retire to his hometown in Liaodong province and nominated his son as his successor. The young emperor granted his retirement, but denied the heredity of his fief. In reaction, the two other generals decided to petition for their own retirements to test Kangxi's resolve, thinking that he would not risk offending them. The move backfired as the young emperor called their bluff by accepting their requests and ordering that all three fiefdoms to be reverted to the crown.

Faced with the stripping of their powers, Wu Sangui, later joined by Geng Zhongming and by Shang Kexi's son Shang Zhixin, felt they had no choice but to revolt. The ensuing Revolt of the Three Feudatories lasted for eight years. Wu attempted, ultimately in vain, to fire the embers of south China Ming loyalty by restoring Ming customs but then declared himself emperor of a new dynasty instead of restoring the Ming. At the peak of the rebels' fortunes, they extended their control as far north as the Yangtze River, nearly establishing a divided China. Wu hesitated to go further north, not being able to coordinate strategy with his allies, and Kangxi was able to unify his forces for a counterattack led by a new generation of Manchu generals. By 1681, the Qing government had established control over a ravaged southern China which took several decades to recover. [57]

To extend and consolidate the dynasty's control in Central Asia, the Kangxi Emperor personally led a series of military campaigns against the Dzungars in Outer Mongolia. The Kangxi Emperor was able to successfully expel Galdan's invading forces from these regions, which were then incorporated into the empire. Galdan was eventually killed in the Dzungar–Qing War. [58] In 1683, Qing forces received the surrender of Formosa (Taiwan) from Zheng Keshuang, grandson of Koxinga, who had conquered Taiwan from the Dutch colonists as a base against the Qing. Zheng Keshuang was awarded the title "Duke Haicheng" (海澄公) and was inducted into the Han Chinese Plain Red Banner of the Eight Banners when he moved to Beijing. Several Ming princes had accompanied Koxinga to Taiwan in 1661–1662, including the Prince of Ningjing Zhu Shugui and Prince Zhu Honghuan (朱弘桓), son of Zhu Yihai, where they lived in the Kingdom of Tungning. The Qing sent the 17 Ming princes still living on Taiwan in 1683 back to mainland China where they spent the rest of their lives in exile since their lives were spared from execution. [59] Winning Taiwan freed Kangxi's forces for series of battles over Albazin, the far eastern outpost of the Tsardom of Russia. Zheng's former soldiers on Taiwan like the rattan shield troops were also inducted into the Eight Banners and used by the Qing against Russian Cossacks at Albazin. The 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk was China's first formal treaty with a European power and kept the border peaceful for the better part of two centuries. After Galdan's death, his followers, as adherents to Tibetan Buddhism, attempted to control the choice of the next Dalai Lama. Kangxi dispatched two armies to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and installed a Dalai Lama sympathetic to the Qing. [60]


The Qing reestablished relations with the Ryûkyû Kingdom, Korea, and other tributaries quite quickly after the fall of the Ming disrupted them. The Qing received tribute from Korea annually, from Ryûkyû once every two years, from Siam every three years, Annam every four years, and from Laos and Burma once in a decade. Though all of these tributary relationships had de facto ended by the mid-to-late 19th century, an 1899 document still lists all of those polities as tributaries. ⎤] The Qing also established tributary relations with Nepal in this period. ⎥] Formal relations with Japan, severed in the 16th century, were not restored until 1871. ⎦] Unlike was the case in Tokugawa Japan and Joseon Korea, the Qing Dynasty allowed a number of Christian missionaries to reside permanently in China some of these successfully sneaked into Korea and enjoyed some limited successes proselytizing there. ⎧]

Korea sent at least 435 missions to Qing China between 1637 and 1881, bringing goods such as deer and leopard skins, ox horns, gold, silver, tea, paper, various types of textiles, and rice, along with goods obtained from Southeast Asia or elsewhere, such as sappanwood, pepper, and swords and knives. ⎨]

Qiānjiè policies were instituted in 1657 forcing coastal residents to move further inland, in response to maritime harassment by Ming loyalists all maritime trade was officially banned in 1662, though in truth it continued, illicitly. These policies were lifted following the conquest of Taiwan in 1684, but the Court continued to enforce various maritime prohibitions over the course of the period. Beginning in 1717, the Court banned Chinese ships from traveling to Southeast Asia (with the exception of Annam) as part of continued efforts to ensure the coastal security of Fujian province.

Russian traders and trappers began encroaching further upon Manchu and Chinese territory in the Amur River region in the 1660s, and the Kangxi Emperor (r. 1661-1722) responded by establishing military colonies and driving the Russians away. These tensions were resolved to an extent by the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk, negotiated via Jesuit translators, which permitted Russian traders to travel through the territory and all the way to Beijing, while forbidding Russian governmental intervention, settlement, or other more permanent activities in Manchuria.

Following a series of successful conquests in which the Qing acquired millions of square miles of new territories in the west, the Treaty of Kiakhta in 1727 similarly arranged for border agreements and trade arrangements between China and Russia in this more western region, where the Qing vied not only with Russia, but also with Tibet and the western Mongols. Outer Mongolia fell to Qing forces in 1697, Zungharia (to the west of Mongolia) in 1757, and East Turkestan (incl. Uighur lands and the city of Kashgar) in 1759, with Tibet becoming a protectorate in 1751. Ζ] The Qing consolidated a number of these areas into a "new territory" (Xinjiang) in 1768. Further border disputes between China and Russia over areas of Xinjiang would be addressed by a Treaty of St. Petersburg in 1881. Some of these lands had not been controlled by China since the Tang Dynasty, while others had never previously come under Chinese control. Nevertheless, all of Xinjiang and Tibet (invaded in the 1720s) are today often claimed by Chinese as integral parts of historical/traditional China. The Qing administered these western territories loosely for a time, allowing local or native administrative structures to remain in place. Only in the late 19th century did the Court first decide to integrate these regions more fully into "China proper."

Under the Qianlong Emperor, the Qing Empire engaged in Ten Great Campaigns, including intervention in a succession dispute in Vietnam in 1789 this ended in the expulsion of Chinese (Manchu) military force & civil control from Vietnam. The Chinese would fight for Vietnam again in 1884, this time against the French. Siam's final tribute mission to China took place in 1853.

The early encounters with Russia were to be just the beginning of broader and deeper interactions with Western powers. The 1793 British mission to the Court of the Qianlong Emperor led by George Lord Macartney is perhaps the most oft-discussed, but between the establishment of the Qing and the end of the Second Opium War in 1860, the Qing saw a total of 27 diplomatic missions from Western powers, including three from Britain, one from the United States, three from the Vatican, four from the Dutch, four from Portugal, and twelve from Russia. ⎩]

The Taiping Rebellion ended in 1864, and the Imperial Court set in motion the Tongzhi Restoration, a series of reforms aimed at slowing or reversing the dynasty's decline. While the expansion of foreign presence and influence in China at this time was widely seen in a negative light, the end of the Taiping Rebellion brought at least a respite from the war and chaos of previous decades, and is said to have been encouraging enough in that alone to warrant some calling the period a "revival" or "restoration." While China did not yet at this time set itself on the course towards industrialization, the economy was strengthened and expanded by a variety of agricultural policies, land reclamation projects, tax reforms, improvements in local administration, and so forth. Even among those who did advocate for an adoption of Western technologies (especially in military applications), the focus was on a restoration of virtuous government as conceived traditionally, according to Confucian ideals of the upright and virtuous gentleman scholar administrator. ⎪]

Japan's emergence into the world of modern nation-states began to have significant impacts on China's foreign relations as early as the 1870s. The 1876 Treaty of Ganghwa, concluded between Meiji period Japan and Joseon Dynasty Korea, acknowledged Korea as an independent nation-state, creating difficulties for China, which still saw Korea as a tributary state. Disputes between China and Japan over claims to Ryûkyû and Taiwan lasted throughout much of the 1870s, finally culminating in the Japanese abolition of the Ryûkyû Kingdom and annexation of its territory in 1879. Japan would then gain control of Taiwan in 1895, in the Treaty of Shimonoseki which ended the Sino-Japanese War. In addition to Taiwan, the Japanese exacted other considerable indemnities from the Chinese Japan also gained control of the Liaodong peninsula in northeastern China, though Japan was forced to return the peninsula after Russia, France, and Germany objected (an incident known as the Triple Intervention). China was also obligated to pay sizable monetary reparations to the Japanese government.


Brief History

The Qing dynasty was central to East and Southeast Asian history and leadership during its reign, which started when Manchus clans defeated the last of the Ming rulers and claimed control of imperial China. Extended China's vast history of imperial reign, the Qing military dominated East Asia after it finally managed to unify the entire country under Qing rule in 1683.

During much of this time, China was a superpower in the region, with Korea, Vietnam, and Japan trying in vain to establish power at the start of Qing rule. However, with the invasion of England and France in the early 1800s, the Qing dynasty had to begin reinforcing its borders and defending its power from more sides.

The Opium Wars of 1839 to 1842 and 1856 to 1860 also devastated much of Qing China's military might. The first saw the Qing lose over 18,000 soldiers and yield five ports to British use while the second awarded extraterritorial rights to France and Britain and resulted in up to 30,000 Qing casualties. No longer alone in the East, the Qing Dynasty and imperial control in China was heading for the end.


The Border Between China and Tibet

China took advantage of this period of instability in Tibet to seize the regions of Amdo and Kham, making them into the Chinese province of Qinghai in 1724.

Three years later, the Chinese and Tibetans signed a treaty that laid out the boundary line between the two nations. It would remain in force until 1910.

Qing China had its hands full trying to control Tibet. The Emperor sent a commissioner to Lhasa, but he was killed in 1750.

The Imperial Army then defeated the rebels, but the Emperor recognized that he would have to rule through the Dalai Lama rather than directly. Day-to-day decisions would be made on the local level.


Main keywords of the article below: door, commercial, practice, concluded, treaties, reflected, british, opium, dynasty, policy, qing, war, 1839-1842, originates, china, open, theory, first.

KEY TOPICS
As a theory, the Open Door Policy originates with British commercial practice, as was reflected in treaties concluded with Qing Dynasty China after the First Opium War (1839-1842). [1] The Open Door Policy had been further weakened by a series of secret treaties (1917) between Japan and the Allied Triple Entente, which promised Japan the German possessions in China on successful conclusion of World War I. The subsequent realization of such promise in the Versailles Treaty of 1919 angered the Chinese public and sparked the protest known as May Fourth Movement. [2] In finance, American efforts to preserve the Open Door Policy led (1909) to the formation of an international banking consortium through which all Chinese railroad loans would agree (1917) to another exchange of notes between the United States and Japan in which there were renewed assurances that the Open Door Policy would be respected, but that the United States would recognize Japan's special interests in China (the Lansing-Ishii Agreement ). [2] The crisis in Manchuria (Northeast China) brought about by the Mukden Incident of 1931 and the war between China and Japan that broke out in 1937 led the United States to adopt a rigid stand in favour of the Open Door policy, including escalating embargoes on exports of essential commodities to Japan, notably oil and scrap metal. [3] The Open Door Policy is a term in foreign affairs initially used to refer to the United States policy established in the late 19th century and the early 20th century that would allow for a system of trade in China open to all countries equally. [2] BBC. ^ Commercial Rights in China ("Open Door" Policy): Declarations by France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, and Russia accepting United States proposal for "open door" policy in China, September 6, 1899-March 20, 1900, 1 Bevans 278 ^ Philip Joseph, Foreign diplomacy in China, 1894-1900 ^ Shizhang Hu, Stanley K. Hornbeck and the Open Door Policy, 1919-1937 (1977) ch 1-2 ^ "Secretary of State John Hay and the Open Door in China, 1899-1900". [2]

The U.S. announced its Open Door Policy with the dual intentions of avoiding the actual political division of China and taking financial advantage, but only in a fair way, acknowledging equal rights for all nations to trade with China. [2] Although treaties made after 1900 refer to the Open Door Policy, competition among the various powers for special concessions within China for railroad rights, mining rights, loans, foreign trade ports, and so forth, continued unabated. [2] During World War II (1941-1945), when the Western Allies renounced their "unequal treaty" rights and China regained its territorial integrity, the Open Door policy became a dead issue. [4] In more recent times, Open Door policy describes the economic policy initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 to open up China to foreign businesses that wanted to invest in the country. [2] In China's modern day economic history the Open Door Policy refers to the new policy announced by Deng Xiaoping in December 1978 to open the door to foreign businesses that wanted to set up in China. [2]

As a response, William Woodville Rockhill formulated the Open Door Policy to safeguard American business opportunities and other interests in China. [2] The Open Door policy represented the growing American interest and involvement in East Asia at the turn of the century. [5]

The Open Door policy originated in the treaty port system that emerged in China during the 1840s. [6] …which had announced its commercial Open Door policy in 1899, made a second declaration of the policy in July 1900--this time insisting on the preservation of the territorial and administrative entity of China. [3] Technically, the term Open Door Policy was only applicable before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. [2] Open Door policy was rooted in the desire of U.S. businesses to trade with Chinese markets, though it also tapped the deep-seated sympathies of those who opposed imperialism, with the policy pledging to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity from partition. [2] Open door policy happened at the same time when the U.S. Government was closing the door on Chinese immigration to the United States- This effectively stifled opportunities for Chinese merchants and workers in the United States. [5] The Open Door Policy stated that all nations, including the United States, could enjoy equal access to the Chinese market. [2] In 1902, the United States government protested that Russian incursion into Manchuria after the Boxer Rebellion was a violation of the Open Door Policy. [2] The Open Door Policy was a principle, never formally adopted via treaty or international law. [2] The Nine-Power Treaty, signed in 1922, expressly reaffirmed the Open Door Policy. [2] The U.S. didn't follow it's Open Door policy completely. 2. [5] During these last years of the Qing regime, the U.S. had implemented the "open door policy" forcing open China's economy to the world for exploitation. [7] Japan’s defeat in World War II (1945) and the communist victory in China’s civil war (1949), which ended all special privileges to foreigners, made the Open Door policy meaningless. [3] Hay, John John Hay, principal architect of the Open Door Policy. [3] America's Open Door policy could not halt the rising tide of imperialism. [4] The Open Door policy was received with almost universal approval in the United States, and for more than 40 years it was a cornerstone of American foreign policy in East Asia. [3] Great Britain had greater interests in China than any other power and successfully maintained the policy of the open door until the late 19th century. [3] …Hay addressed the first so-called Open Door note to the powers with interests in China it asked them to accord equal trade and investment opportunities to all nationals in their spheres of interest and leased territories. [3] "Putting his foot down" Uncle Sam in 1899 demands Open Door while major powers plan to cut up China for themselves Germany, Italy, England, Austria, Russia & France are represented by Wilhelm II, Umberto I, John Bull, Franz Joseph I (in rear), Uncle Sam, Nicholas II, and Emile Loubet. [2] The late 19th policy was enunciated in Secretary of State John Hay's Open Door Note, dated September 6, 1899 and dispatched to the major European powers. [2] The Washington Naval Conference (officially termed the Conference on Limitation of Armaments) had as a goal guaranteeing China's territorial and administrative integrity--the purpose of the Open Door policy--but the resulting Nine Power Treaty was long on phrases and short on action. [4] Japan violated the Open Door principle with its presentation of Twenty-one Demands to China in 1915. [3]


The Qing dynasty in China managed to witness the beginning of an ever increasing global economy and an overwhelming amount of foreign pressure that ended up playing a large part in the dynasty's fall from grace by the year of 1911. [7] Following Britain's sweeping military victory over China in the First Opium War from 1839 to 1842, however, the Qing dynasty had no choice but to grant major concessions. [6] Within six months Japan dealt the crumbling Qing dynasty yet another humiliating defeat, destroying the Chinese military on land and at sea. [6]

One way the United States tried to realize the Open Door policy was through issuing loans to the Qing dynasty. [8] IV. What was the Open Door policy, and how did it come about The Open Door Policy is a concept in foreign affairs stating that, in principle, all nations should have equal commercial and industrial trade rights in China. [1] The interesting thing about the Open Door Policy is that at no point were Chinese citizens or the Chinese government involved in deciding what was going on in China. [9] In 1899, John Hay, the Secretary of State under President McKinley, proposed an Open Door Policy towards China for all countries. [9] The Open Door Policy was an American solution to the maneuvering among all countries to secure China. [9] If anything, the Open Door Policy ended up creating more resentment towards foreigners within China. [9] The Open Door Policy is a term in foreign affairs initially used to refer to the United States policy established in the late 19th century and the early 20th century, as enunciated in Secretary of State John Hay's Open Door Note, dated September 6, 1899 and dispatched to the major European powers. [10] In 1902, the United States government protested that Russian encroachment in Manchuria after the Boxer Rebellion was a violation of the Open Door Policy. [10] For this reason, Chinese scholars today regard the Open Door Policy as an offensive gesture by the United States. [9] The Open Door policy was rooted in the desire of U.S. businesses to trade with Chinese markets, though it also tapped the deep-seated sympathies of those who opposed imperialism, with the policy pledging to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity from partition. [10] Just like the example of the toy store, the Open Door Policy was put in effect to keep China's 'door' open to trade from all countries. [9]

The Open Door Policy was an American proposal that aimed to keep Chinese markets open for all and not allow any one country to gain control over the region. [9] Both Chinese citizens and their government resented the Open Door Policy because it had not taken into consideration their feelings or sovereignty. [9] To prevent one country from obtaining the upper hand, President McKinley's Secretary of State, John Hay, established the Open Door Policy. [9] This same type of behavior occurred when Hay rolled out his Open Door Policy. [9] The 'Open Door Note' was a message arguing for Hay's Open Door Policy. [9] In practice, the Open Door Policy resembled a group of friends standing around deciding whether or not to ride a roller coaster. [9] He even began to refer to the Open Door Policy as an actual policy and requirement, even though nobody had signed it. [9] As a specific policy with regard to China, it was first advanced by the United States in the Open Door Notes of September-November 1899. [1] Although the Open Door is generally associated with China, it was recognized at the Berlin Conference of 1885, which declared that no power could levy preferential duties in the Congo basin. [1]


When Sun helped to overthrow the Qing Dynasty in 1911, and to found the Republic of China, his principles became part of the new republic’s constitution. [11] During final years of the Qing Dynasty an anti foreign movement began that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Chinese Christians and over 230 missionaries. [12] Many suffering Chinese believed the 350-year-old Qing dynasty had surrendered its power and lost its Mandate of Heaven, and that a change of government was imminent. [13]

As the Qing dynasty faltered, the United States issued the "Open Door" notes. [8] In 1783, the ship Empress of China left New York harbor and headed to Canton, the sole port open to foreign trade during the Qing dynasty. [8]

By July 1900, Hay announced that each of the powers had granted consent in principle, although treaties made after 1900 refer to the Open Door Policy, competition among the various powers for special concessions within China for railroad rights, mining rights, loans, foreign trade ports, and so forth, continued unabated. [14] It was used mainly to mediate the competing interests of different colonial powers in China in more recent times, Open Door policy describes the economic policy initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 to open up China to foreign businesses that wanted to invest in the country. [14] Technically, the term Open Door Policy was only applicable before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, after Deng Xiaoping took office in 1978, the term referred to China's policy of opening up to foreign business that wanted to invest in the country, setting into motion the economic transformation of modern China. [14]

It felt threatened by other powers' much larger spheres of influence in China and worried that it might lose access to the Chinese market should the country be partitioned, as a response, William Woodville Rockhill formulated the Open Door Policy to safeguard American business opportunities and other interests in China. [14] William Woodville Rockhill - William Woodville Rockhill was a United States diplomat, best known as the author of the U. S. s Open Door Policy for China and as the first American to learn to speak Tibetan. [14] The Open Door Policy had been further weakened by a series of secret treaties (1917) between Japan and the Allied Triple Entente, which promised Japan the German possessions in China on successful conclusion of World War I, the subsequent realization of such promise in the Versailles Treaty of 1919 angered the Chinese public and sparked the protest known as May Fourth Movement. [14] Nine-Power Treaty - The Nine-Power Treaty or Nine Power Agreement was a 1922 treaty affirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China as per the Open Door Policy. [14] There was an essential conflict in the policy, the U.S. announced its Open Door Policy with the dual intentions of avoiding the actual political division of China and taking financial advantage, but only in a fair way, acknowledging equal rights for all nations to trade with China. [14] Hay was responsible for negotiating the Open Door Policy, which kept China open to trade with all countries on an equal basis, John Milton Hay was born in Salem, Indiana, on October 8,1838. [14]

The Open Door Policy was a principle, never formally adopted via treaty or international law, it was invoked or alluded to but never enforced as such. [14] Establish an environment of trust through an open door policy that allows two way feedback and most importantly, the willingness to listen non-defensively to all feedback even when it is critical. [15]

The First Anglo-Chinese War (1839-42) The First Anglo-Chinese War (1839-42), also known as the First Opium War, was fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing Dynasty of China over their conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade, and the administration of justice. [15] The area, collectively known as Manchuria by westerners and Japanese, was designated by Chinas erstwhile Qing Dynasty as the homeland of the familys ethnic group. [14] Herbert Giles wrote that Manchuria was unknown to the Manchus themselves as a geographical expression, the Qing Dynasty, which replaced the Shun and Ming dynasties in China, was founded by Manchus from Manchuria. [14] The atmosphere and political mood that emerged around 1919, in the words of Mitter, are at the centre of a set of ideas that has shaped Chinas momentous twentieth century, following the Xinhai Revolution in 1911, the Qing Dynasty disintegrated. [14] Boxer Rebellion - The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising or Yihequan Movement a violent anti-foreign and anti-Christian uprising that took place in China between 1899 and 1901, towards the end of the Qing dynasty. [14] While Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Republic of China was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty, following the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945, the ROC took control of Taiwan. [14] Qing dynasty - It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. [14] Over the course of the 19 th century, the Qing dynasty suffered from foreign wars and internal rebellions. [8] After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed by the Qing dynasty, the Qing ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War. [14] The Opium Warsinstigated in two interregnums from 1839 to 1842 known as first opium war and from 1856 to 1860 known as second opium war were the apex of conflicts between the British Empire and Qing Dynasty. [15] The above, plus Sakhalin Island, which is included on Qing dynasty maps as part of Outer Manchuria even though it is not explicitly mentioned in the Treaty of Nerchinsk. [14] The name Manchuria was never used by the Manchus or the Qing dynasty itself to refer to their homeland, the name itself holding imperialistic connotation. [14] During this time a lot of people died over 20 million Chinese and the qing dynasty was almost destroyed. [15] Soon after in 1910, a consortium of English, French, German, and American banks signed a contract with the Qing for Manchurian development and currency reform, a short time before the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912. [8] This was how the less fortunate people got back at the rich and the corrupted government for causing the Qing Dynasty to suffer. [15] At the end of the 19 th century, the Qing dynasty suffered a number of blows. [8] The Manchu emperors separated their homeland in Jilin and Heilongjiang from the Han Liaoning province with the Willow Palisade and this ethnic division continued until the Qing dynasty encouraged massive immigration of Han in the 19th century during Chuang Guandong to prevent the Russians from seizing the area from the Qing. [14]

In return for a Russian guarantee to aid China against Japanese or other foreign aggression, the Qing rulers granted Russia permission to extend its transcontinental railway through northern Manchuria. [6] Tension between China and Japan had mounted for several years amid obvious Japanese designs on Korea, which maintained an ambiguous tributary relationship with the Qing court. [6]

The treaty system became more elaborate in the following years as Qing authority continued to deteriorate amid civil wars and new military humiliations by Britain and France. [6]

They initiated the importation of opium and two wars with the Qing, which led to the opening of China to foreign powers. [13] By the end of the 1800s a number of foreign powers had moved into China and established spheres of influence to further their commercial and economic interests, leaving the Qing weakened and humiliated. [13]

The policy proposed to keep China open to trade with all countries on an equal basis, keeping any one power from total control of the country, and calling upon all powers, within their spheres of influence, to refrain from interfering with any treaty port or any vested interest, to permit Chinese authorities to collect tariffs on an equal basis, and to show no favors to their own nationals in the matter of harbour dues or railroad charges. [10] The U.S. supported an "Open Door" policy, which meant that China would have an "open door" to foreign investment and trade, but no nation would control it. [11] With the doors to China thrown open, foreign diplomats, officials, traders and missionaries poured in through the second half of the 19th century. [13] What is the best way to calm down this greedy and restless behavior? Most definitely, it is to open the door to all! This Black Friday scenario is not unlike the situation in China during the late 1800s and early 1900s. [9] "Come in.’-- Door opens, and discovers Mr. Calton sitting in an easy chair. [10] The squire himself unbolted the door, and threw it open to the limit of the chain. [10] It was a quiet grey night, and as the doors flew open, a largely-built man, dressed in a high-collared great-coat and fashio. [10] You open another door in it, and there are the stairs going up in a sort of tun. room or drawing-room. [10] We do not admit that by collisions of this trivial sort the doors of 25 EM Forster heaven may be shaken open. [10] When Japan tried to expand its empire in the early 1930s, the U.S. believed this violated the "Open Door" policy. [11]

Concerned that the European and Japanese carve-up of China threatened American commercial interests, U.S. diplomats negotiated an 'open door policy' for American trade in China. [13] "I say,’ said Tibbs, shutting the door which he had previously opened, and giving full vent to a hitherto corked-up giggle, "what bothers. pamphlet (and paid for its publication) en- titled "Considerations on the Policy of Removing the Duty on Bees’-wax."’ [10] Their resentment led to the Boxer Rebellion, which was put down by international forces, and led to Hay's reissuing of the 'Open Door Notes' - statements that emphasized America's willingness to use force in the pursuance of trade. [9] The outcome of Japan opening its doors was a rapid transformation from feudalism to modern industry. [13] In what would later be called the 'Open Door Note,' he wrote to each country. [9]

This time, Secretary of State Hay issued another 'note' to European countries, in which he reaffirmed that China should be open. [9] It basically said the best way to avoid a conflict over China was to keep it an open market for all. [9]

This is Commodore Perry was sent to open Japan in the 1850s, we needed people to buy our stuff. [1] I to beare this, 1894. es, 2096 All that you meete are Theeues: to Athens go, 2097 Breake open shoppes, nothing can you steale 2098 But Theeues do loose it: stea. as the best. 2224 Promising, is the verie Ayre o’th’ Time 2225 It opens the eyes of Expectation. 2226 Performance, is euer the duller for. [10]

The Qing rulers retained their sovereignty and control of the national government, though in reality much of China was under foreign control. [13] The actions of foreign imperialists in China also undermined the weakening Qing regime. [13] This was the document that began not only the first Opium War, but also the first of many conflicts between Qing China and industrialized Western powers. [16] In 1838 a Qing commissioner seized and destroyed 20,000 cases of British-imported opium, a move that triggered the First Opium War (1839-1842). [13]

In 1757 the Qing introduced the canton system, requiring foreign companies to trade with a Chinese merchant collective not directly with the Chinese people. [13] The Qing regime was forced to grant Britain 'most favoured nation' status, giving it precedence over other foreign powers. [13] Up to this point western imperialist powers have been wary of the Qing Empire, but after this conflict, China begins to experience a series of disadvantageous economic pressures form Britain and other European empires. [16] These negotiations, however, were done with the other imperial powers in China not with the Qing government. [13] Lord Palmerston, the Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, informs the Qing Government of British intentions to protect its interests in China. [16] With the official prohibition of opium in 1836 in China, the Qing government launched a campaign to confiscate all foreign imported opium in Canton. [16] It also contains a comprehensive overview of the company's tea and opium dealings with the Qing empire in China. [16]

His description of British Imperialism, the Opium Wars, and the Boxer Rebellion provides an overview from both the perspective of the Qing Empire and the Chinese nationalists. [16] The Opium War of 1839 was the first large scale military conflicts between the Qing Empire and western imperial powers. [16]

A Second Opium War began in 1856, after Britain tried levering the Qing into even more concessions, including the legalisation of opium. [13] In this way, Britain and France forced the Qing to carry out its obligations under the recently signed treaties, and gained a few new privileges, which the United States acquired under the terms of most favored nation status. [17] With permission from the U.S. Government, Burlingame resigned his post and led two Qing officials to the United States and Europe. [17] The Qing ended the program in 1881, due to rising anti-Chinese sentiment in the United States, fears that the students were becoming too Americanized, and frustration that they were not being granted the promised access to U.S. military academies. [17]

The Qing ultimately managed to suppress the rebellion, thanks in part to the assistance of American soldier-of-fortune Frederick Townsend Ward and other foreigners, but the dynasty never fully recovered. [17] Once he did so, the Qing negotiator, Qiying, quickly agreed to all the American terms (which were mostly the same as the British) and the two countries signed a treaty. [17] Again the Qing military suffered a humiliating defeat and the emperor was forced into a one sided treaty. [13]

The sources in this section explain the development of Chinese nationalism and the intricacies of international relations in the Qing court. [16] The Old Summer Palace, the Qing Chinese equivalent of a national museum, was looted and subsequently burnt down. [16] Though Lin does not fully understand the western concept of Imperialism, he is one of the earliest Chinese officials to recognize the "Barbarians" as a future threat to both Qing authority and Chinese society. [16]

Though Qing forces heavily outnumbered the British, they lacked Britain's naval strength and artillery firepower, so were comprehensively defeated. [13] One of these Jesuit missionaries, Johann Adam Schall von Bell, became an influential advisor to the first Qing emperor. [13] He died in Russia before the mission ended, leaving the Qing officials to complete it on their own. [17] Over the next few decades the Qing leadership tried to restrict foreign trade to Macau and the surrounding region, though their efforts were largely in vain. [13] Qing rulers sought to limit foreign trade and contact through the canton system, which placed restrictions on who foreigners could deal with, however these restrictions were largely unsuccessful. [13]

The following documents were critiques and interpretations of various foreign treaties that the Qing Empire was forced to sign. [16] Britain did not possess sufficient silver to trade with the Qing Empire. [16]

The result of this war not only lead to China's lost of Hong Kong Island, but also revealed the military weakness of the Qing government. [16] The Qing government understood the social and economic dangers posed by opium. [13] Clashes between the Qing government and British merchants ultimately escalated into the infamous Opium Wars. [16]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(17 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)


The final decade

On November 14, 1908 the Emperor Kuang Hsi died, power during his reign being held in any case by the Empress Dowager Yehanola, who also died the following day. The next chosen Emperor, Pu Yi, was three years old, and his father Prince Ch'un, younger brother of the last Emperor, was to act as Regent during his minority along with the new Dowager Lung Yu. Β] A new Draft Constitution had been published shortly before Yehonala's death providing for a national parliament to be established in nine years' time, but with the Emperor retaining the legislative veto and supreme judicial authority. Meanwhile regional assemblies sent delegates to Peking and induced the government to accept the principle of Cabinet rule and to promise that a Parliament would be convened by 1913. Γ]

In 1911 mutinous soldiers occupied Hankow, Hanyang and Wuichang, which cities formed the connurbation named Wuhan. General Yuan Shih-k'ai was recalled from retirement. His demanded conditions, however, were total control of the armed forces and the replacement of the present council of Princes by a Cabinet of which he would be Prime Minister. These demands were reluctantly accepted in return for the subduing of unrest in the Empire. Hankow was retaken and the threat to the North eliminated. Yuan now advised the Court that the dynasty could indeed be saved, but only, paradoxically, by surrendering all its powers, and for the Emperor to abdicate. The Regent and the other princes were stunned. The debate became violent, and Yuan then placed his own troops on guard outside the Forbidden City and sent a message to the Regent advising him to come to terms without delay. On February 12, 1912, an edict announcing the abdication of the Emperor and the establishment of the Republic was issued by the Dowager Empress. The republicans in a solemn agreement provided for the favoured treatment of the Manchu Emperor. His title was not to be abolished and the Republic would accord him all the courtesies normally extended to a foreign monarch. He would receive an annual subsidy of four million dollars and would be allowed to live in the Forbidden City, but later move to the Summer Palace. His bodyguard and other palace personnel would be retained in his personal service. Δ] After a decade or so had passed the Emperor and his entourage were expelled from the Forbidden City and he removed to Tientsin.


Qin Dynasty Epic (2020)

It follows the Qin State during the late stages of the Warring States era. Ying Zheng, Lu Bu Wei, Li Si, Wang Jian, and many formidable politicians work together to unite the six states under one rule. The Qin Empire becomes the first dynasty of Imperial China. The Qin State has achieved strategic dominance among the six states due to aggressive measures put forth by King Zhao Xiang. After the consecutive deaths of King Zhao Xiang and his successor King Xiao Wen, the royal court was thrown into disputes over legitimacy. Lu Bu Wei, a powerful and influential merchant attempts to seize power by helping Ying Yi Ren, a prince in exile, to the throne. The eldest prince leaves the capital bringing the political unrest to a close. Qin strikes down the other states with the ambition to rule all the lands. However, the battle between Qin and Zhao proves to be difficult and deadly. After Ying Zheng, a prince of Qin, and his mother Zhao Ji make their way home, Ying Zheng begins to exhibit the qualities of a ruler under the guidance of Lu Bu Wei. In order to seat her son on the throne, Zhao Ji and Lu Bu Wei join hands against Huayang Furen. Ying Zheng starts on a bloody path to becoming an emperor as he uses the people around him to secure power. (Source: Chinesedrama.info) Edit Translation

  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 78
  • Aired: Dec 1, 2020 - Dec 26, 2020
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network:CCTVTencent Video
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 8.2 (scored by 83 users)
  • Ranked: #6958
  • Popularity: #6924
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older
  • Watchers: 541
  • Favorites: 0

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When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

Qin Dynasty Epic, the fourth and final installment of the highly regarded Qin Dynasty series, is about how Yin Zheng fulfilled "Heaven's Mandate" to unify the Warring States (475-221 BC) and became the first emperor of China at age 38 in 221 BC. Such a monumental task was not achieved without the vision and dedication of many great talents from brilliant tacticians, crafty spies, talented engineers and powerful generals. These characters that made it all possible and how they were pitted against wily and determined opponents from six rival kingdoms is magnificently and vividly brought to life in this stunning production.

The production values are very high and there is extraordinary, game of thrones worthy battle footage against some truly breathless backdrops that convey the epic vastness and splendor of the empire. In-depth research and meticulous attention to detail are evident in the costumes, the weapons, the sets and the authentic portrayal of military strategies, diplomacy, espionage, the economics of funding prolonged warfare, the evolution of a common script, immigration and the consequent racial frictions and the conflict between meritocracy and legacy. These themes are seamlessly woven into the visual storytelling in a way that you cannot miss the natural, impenetrable mountain fortress that is Hangu Pass and the Qin life size battle map that further reinforces the topological and geographical advantages of the Qin state.

This is a historical drama but if you are not familiar with Qin history, then be warned that there are mild spoilers in the paragraphs ahead.

Duan Yihong's delicious portrayal of Lv Buwei, venal merchant turned kingmaker and indisputably one of history's great adventurers anchors well over half the drama. His economic reforms and policies paved the way for the eventual unification of the Warring States well before Ying Zheng's conquests began. This is the best written and best acted role in the drama that literally steals the show. This wonderfully grey character that was so inspired by a vision bigger than himself that he actively recruited and promoted the best talent even against his own nature and interest, notably in the case of Li Si. Their scheming both as rivals and allies and mutual respect despite their differences is one of the most complex and riveting portrayals in this drama. I find Li Si the character insufferable and while Li Naiwen's acting is good, it is not quite on par with that of Duan Yihong. Even though I think the drama ends at the right place, it is a pity we don't get to see the irony that Li Si whose life work was Qin's unification may have brought about Qin's rapid downfall with his cruel interference in Ying Zheng's succession. I love that this drama properly credits both Lv Buwei and Li Si with many of the lasting reforms made during Ying Zheng's reign indeed many (not all) were well underway while he was still a powerless boy king.

The most slanderous and malicious accusation in Sima Qian's Shiji (史记 or Records of the Grand Historian) is that Ying Zheng was in fact Lv Buwei's son that his former concubine Zhao Ji was already pregnant when she married Ying Yiren. Current historians are rightly skeptical as that would have been a 12 month pregnancy but the drama raises the question head on and leaves room for viewers to decide for themselves. It is likely no accident however, that they cast two actors that bear a strong resemblance to each other as Ying Yiren and Ying Zheng both in terms of stature and elongated, elegant facial features and in sharp contrast to both Zhao Ji and Lv Buwei's more common rounded features. The desire to put both actors side by side results in the drama's biggest judgement error of having a 40 year old man play the 13-year old Ying Zheng. This is a tall ask of any actor and Zhang Luyi did the best he could but it isn't until well over halfway through the drama that the character's age catches up with that of the actor. In a misguided attempt to make Ying Zheng more relatable, we suffer through some unfathomable cringe dialogues as the obviously middle aged Zhang Luyi plays an adolescent Ying Zheng who is bullied, questions his legitimacy, experiences infatuation and grapples with his mommy issues.

In an attempt to appeal to broad audiences, the drama over-indulges in the salacious Lao Ai/Zhao Ji arc. Zhao Ji is mercilessly portrayed as the wanton, shallow, selfish, reckless and easily manipulated harlot who likely turned Ying Zheng into a misogynist whose women were all anonymous. And while Lao Ai's allegedly majestic physical attributes can never be disproven, he definitely had a peanut sized brain and his attempted coup was puny and nowhere near the scale the drama suggests. Although scandal holds timeless appeal, I am here to watch the first emperor of China, not the first gigolo of China. The time would have been better spent building up characters who become prominent after Lv Buwei's exit and indeed the immediate next 1-2 episodes feel like one hand clapping.

I must mention that Zhang Lu Yi redeems himself with his characterization of the mature Ying Zheng. I was riveted by how he howled like his heart was torn from him when he "fulfilled" Zhao Yan's abominable request only to be overcome with remorse and cowardice when faced with the real thing years later. His portrayal of Ying Zheng's encounter with Jing Ke is also exceptional. That said, I have mixed feelings about how this larger than life figure was written, it somewhat diminishes him. While I like that they humanized him and gave him a benevolent side that is at odds with countless other depictions, I wish they went with a bolder, more controversial interpretation by balancing that out with some vices and a more ruthless, darker side as well. I didn't need to see him cook scholars but even how he dealt with Lao Ai's kids was just glossed over, not to mention his legendary harem and his intense superstition. The real Ying Zheng is probably turning in his undisturbed tomb at this millenial, tree hugging, touchy feely characterization that robs him of the requisite ruthlessness to do great and hard things.

While there are many epic battle scenes the unification wars were fought just as much behind the scenes as on the front lines as all warfare is based on deception. By the time Yin Zheng took over, the six kingdoms appeared to be largely sitting ducks but nonetheless, they put up a really good fight. While the conquest of the remaining kingdoms after Zhao (especially Chu) feels a bit rushed, all the important moments are there. I really felt for the vanquished in this show, was moved by their desperate causes and teared up at their inevitable defeats. The sense of loss experienced by the de-throned young Zhao king with his mother and uncle as regent could have well have been the young Ying Zheng. Under resourced, out smarted, undermined by their own and with the odds against them, Li Mu, Prince Fei and Prince Dan still fought bravely and valiantly. But when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

One of my favourite Cantonese expressions is 七国咁乱 which roughly means as chaotic as the warring states. I always find making sense of that messy, turbulent period of Chinese history so mind boggling that I cannot praise enough the clean, smart way this drama's narrative navigates the multitude of important events and characters that lead to the unification of China under Qin and the reforms and contributions that lasted thousands of years. Yes, there are some flaws, some missed opportunities and digressions that do not detract much from this sumptuous and enveloping historical drama that makes this a very solid 9.0 for me.


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