The Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) – Part 2/2

December 14, 2010

The Yongzheng Emperor ruled from 1722 to 1735. He was frugal like his father, the Kangxi Emperor.

Yongzheng created an effective government and used military force to preserve the dynasty’s position as his father had. Under his leadership, he continued the era of peace and prosperity by cracking down on corruption and waste while reforming the financial administration of the empire.

The Qianlong Emperor (birth/death 1711 – 1799) ruled China for much of the 18th century (1735 – 1796). He subdued about ten rebellions known as the “ten successful campaigns”, which drained the Qing Dynasty’s treasury. These rebellions stretched from 1747 to 1792.

However, when the Qianlong Emperor died, China was unified, at peace and strong. He was a brilliant military leader and expanded the empire further into Mongolia and Tibet.

During the rule of the Qianlong Emperor, Manchu and Chinese armies proved the Qing sovereignty over Burma and Nepal.

Chinese settlers in Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan and Taiwan dealt with rebellions of the aboriginal tribes that could only be subdued by military force. Muslim people also resisted the Qing regime in Gansu and Xinjiang.

During the 19th century, the two Opium Wars started by Britain and France weakened the Qing Dynasty.

Besides the Opium Wars, there was also the Taiping Rebellion, which lasted more than a decade and cost about 20 million lives.

In 1900, The so-called Boxer Rebellion (known as “I-ho Chuan” or the “Righteous and Harmonious Fists”) was originally started against the Manchu Qing Dynasty but the Qing government managed to redirect this rebellion against the foreigner invaders that had defeated China during the earlier Opium Wars.

This ended in a worse defeat after the foreign powers formed an alliance and marched on Beijing slaughtering the rebels.

The driving force behind the revolution of 1911 that ended the Qing Dynasty was Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

However, once the Qing Dynasty fell, warlords tore China apart and it would take years of struggle to reunify China under one government in 1949 after the Communist Party defeated the Nationalists, who fled to Taiwan with much of China’s imperial treasures and gold.

Return to The Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) – Part 1

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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.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

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The Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) – Part 1/2

December 13, 2010

Since the Qing Dynasty was the last imperial dynasty to rule China, I searched for a YouTube video that would do it justice.

A student for a history class produced the best YouTube video I discovered. 

The student narrator spends about two-and-a-half minutes in the first segment summarizing China’s history from Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor, to the fall of the Ming Dynasty.

The Qing Dynasty had its roots from the 1580s when a Manchurian chieftain Nurachi (1558–1626) unified the Jurchen tribes of the region.

Over the next several decades, Nurachi took control over most of Manchuria.

In 1616, he declared himself khan, and founded the Later Jin Dynasty (which his successors renamed in 1636 to the Qing Dynasty).

The Chinese peasant revolt that ended the Ming Dynasty (1368-1643) was quickly defeated by the Manchurian Qing Dynasty in 1644.

However, the Chinese fought hard to drive the Manchurians from China and continued resistance in southern China until crushed.

The Kangxi Emperor (1654 – 1722) ruled for 62 years and is considered by many historians one of the ablest emperors to govern the vast Chinese empire. He laid the foundation for a long period of political stability and economic prosperity for China.

The rebellions he 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.

Then there were campaigns against the Mongols until they were defeated. In 1720, the Qing Dynasty occupied Tibet and incorporated that country into the empire.

However, even in times of war, the Kangxi emperor provided tax relief for the people, and he was a frugal and wise leader. He left China strong and in good financial condition.

Discover more about the lifestyles of The Qing – China’s Last Dynasty

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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.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.