The Qing – China’s Last Dynasty – Part 1/3

December 11, 2010

The Qing and/or Manchu Dynasty was established due to a revolution led by Li Tzu-cheng (1605-1645), who attacked Beijing in April 1644.

The Qing Dynasty survived from 1644 to 1911 AD.

After the rebels entered the city, the last Ming Dynasty emperor hung himself on a hill that is part of the Forbidden City.

Meanwhile, a Manchurian army led by Dorgan was allowed through the Great Wall, defeated the Chinese rebels, executed Li Tzu-cheng, and made Fu-lin, a Manchurian, the emperor of China, which was the beginning of the last imperial dynasty.

This was the second time in China’s history that foreigners ruled the Middle Kingdom. The first time was during the brief Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1277-1367 AD).

A CCTV 9 Travelogue History Special takes us on a tour of the Qing Dynasty.

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, many wealthy businessmen built large estates on the fertile lands of Shanxi province not far from Beijing.

The Wang family’s estate is situated in Lingshi county. This mansion is an example of the architecture of the Qing Dynasty

This estate covers 150,000 square meters (about 180 thousand square yards).

There was even a school for the family’s children.

The host of this program says that walking into the estate’s courtyard is like walking into a museum.

Everywhere you look, there are works of art. Every stone carving, every statue means something. The art represents either family tradition or the Qing Dynasty culture or the social status of the family.

Continued in The Qing – China’s Last Dynasty – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of “The Concubine Saga”, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Dream of the Red Chamber

April 28, 2010

The Dream of Red Chamber (also known as The Story of Stone) is generally considered one of four of China’s greatest classical novels. The novel has had several versions and translations and was made into a TV series in China. See Preview of TV series

From TV Series “Dream of the Red Chamber”

The author, Tsao Hsueh-chin (1715-1763) came from a powerful and wealthy family and lived a privileged life as a child in Nanjing. Later, he became poor and struggled to survive. Going from wealth to poverty provided him with the necessary experiences to write this tragic story.

Although this novel has great literary merit on many levels, there is difficulty keeping the characters straight—there are more than four hundred characters and almost thirty are major.  The plot, like most Chinese novels, meanders and doesn’t always flow in the same direction.

Book Cover

None-the-less, readers and students of Chinese history/culture should read this book to develop a better understanding of Imperial China during the Ch’ing Dynasty. The novel paints a vivid portrait of a corrupt feudal society on the verge of the capitalist, market economy we see flourishing in China today.

Another plot is the Romeo and Juliet love story between Chia Pao-yu and Lin Tai-yu, who—like Romeo and Juliet—wanted to be free to marry anyone they desired.

To learn more about China, see About Lin YuTang’s My Country and My People

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The Summer Palace

April 16, 2010

The history of the Summer Palace starts with the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) when the Golden Hill Palace was built in the present site of the Summer Palace.  The Summer Palace that exists today dates back to Kublai Khan (Yuan Dynasty – 1277-1367).  In 1750, Emperor Qian Long (Ch’ing Dynasty – 1644 -1911) had canals built leading to Kunming Lake, which was enlarged to serve as a reservoir for Beijing and is still in use today. He built palaces on the hill to celebrate his mother’s birthday.

Summer Palace

In 1860, during the Second Opium War, a combined British-French military force invaded Beijing and destroyed many of the buildings.  Twenty-eight years later, the Dowager Empress Ci Xi’s brother-in-law rebuilt and expanded the palaces using money (when he was the leader of China’s the navy) that was meant to modernize the Chinese navy.

Summer Palace

After the Ch’ing Dynasty was swept aside during the 1911 rebellion, this new Summer Palace was opened to the public.  In 1990, the Summer Palace was designated a world heritage site by the United Nations.

Summer Palace

This “site” has more pictures and information about the Summer Palace.

Summer Palace

This “video” shows the Summer Palace from the main gate to Suzhou Street where Emperors went to be entertained.

Pagado seen from the Summer Palace

To learn more about China, see Zhouzhuang—China’s Venice

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Heaven Grants the Right to Rule

April 15, 2010

The Mandate of Heaven is based on four principles:

1. The right to rule is granted by Heaven
2. There is only one Heaven therefore, there can be only one ruler.
3. The right to rule is based on the ‘virtue’ of the ruler.
4. The right to rule is not limited to one dynasty

When the Ch’ing Dynasty fell in 1912, and the Nationalists stepped in, a claim could be made that this change occurred because The Mandate of Heaven made it so. After all, history tells us that the Manchu of the Ch’ing Dynasty were brutal rulers. In addition, during the nineteenth century, China suffered through droughts, famines and rebellions that cost millions their lives.

The principals from the Mandate of Heaven and Confucius’s Five Great Relationships must be on the minds of the members for China’s central government. That’s why, after Mao, China’s government revised the constitution and built-in term limits (two five-year terms) unlike the United States and other Western democracies. There is also an age limit in China set at sixty-seven. In China, we will not see deaf men nearing ninety falling asleep in their senate seats.

See Power Corrupts http://wp.me/pN4pY-40

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Tibet Inside China – 5/5

April 13, 2010

Regardless of the evidence that proves the Tibetan government in exile is not telling the truth about Tibet being part of China for centuries before declaring independence in 1913 (when the Ch’ing Dynasty was collapsing and the British Empire urged Tibet to break free for political reasons), the Dalai Lama and his Prime Minister represents less than 100,000 Tibetans outside China.

Tibet Monastery

If Rinpoche’s figure of six million is correct, that means the Tibetan government in exile represents about 1% of the Tibetan population.  If China’s 2.5 million is correct, the percentage goes up to 3.2%.  Not much of a base to wage a violent rebellion. There are more troops in the PRC’s army than the entire Tibetan population inside and outside of China.

I also wonder if that 1% in exile were the Tibetan landowners. Did they leave most of the serfs/slaves behind when they fled?

Maybe the Tibetan separatists/rebels (whatever term you like), with help from the CIA, should join the American Tea Bagger movement and gain the support of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. They could sit around the campfire during protests and sing hymns about marching into battle to take back the wealth.

Start with Tibet Inside China – Part 1 or discover how Power Corrupts

View as Single Page

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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