The Qing Dynasty can be traced back to the 1580s when a Manchurian chieftain Nurhachi (1558–1626) unified the Jurchen tribes in an area north of the Great Wall of China. In time, Nurachi controlled most of Manchuria. In 1616, Nurhachi declared himself khan, and founded the Later Jin Dynasty, that his successors renamed in 1636, the Qing Dynasty.
He launched his war against China in 1618. In February 1626, he was defeated for the first time by the Chinese and died of his wounds by the end of September.
In 1644, his son Dorgon conquered China. However, the Chinese fought hard to drive the Manchurians from China and continued resistance in Southern China until crushed.
The second emperor of the Qing Dynasty was Kangxi (1654 – 1722) who ruled for sixty-two years and is considered by many historians one of the ablest emperors to govern the vast Chinese empire. He laid the foundation of a long period of political stability and economic prosperity for China.
The rebellions Kangxi put down was called the Rebellion of the Three Feudatories, which lasted from 1673 to 1681.
Then there was the pirate-merchant Zheng Chenggong, who set up an independent kingdom on the island of Taiwan. Eventually, that kingdom was defeated and brought back into the Qing empire.
The Kangxi emperor also fought wars with Russia from 1685 until 1689 when the Treaty of Nerchinsk was signed.
Next were the campaigns against the Mongols until they were defeated. In 1720, the Qing Dynasty occupied Tibet adding that region to the empire.
However, even in times of war, the Kangxi emperor provided tax relief for the people, and he was known as a frugal and wise leader. When he died, he left China strong and in good financial shape
It is also well known that the Qing Dynasty did not trust the Han Chinese and went out of its way to hire foreigners to fill government positions held by Han Chinese for centuries.
Part 2 will be posted on June 7, 2018
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.
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