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Beijingfuturesdreams, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

China's Dynastic History -- Qing Dynasty

The Qing Dynasty

The last dynasty of the Chinese Imperial period, The Qing dynasty was generally a time of sorting and redistributing power amongst the new Manchurian leadership, the last vestiges of the Ming and other Han-Chinese, and vying with the influx of powerful European nations hungry for trade.

Though the Qing rulers were able to hold a succession of power, and establish a quasi-stable form of governance, the constant threat of rebellion and outside invaders pocked the dynasty. Human and material resources were spent on maintaining the region under dynastic rule, resulting in little development, occasional famine, and growing civil unrest.

The European maritime powers of Spain, Britain, Portugal, and others were intent on expanding trade within China. The Qing, on the other hand, repeatedly rebuked offerings and treatises aimed at promoting such trade. Instead, the conservative government declared that outside nations should pay tribute to China. This action provoked the Opium Wars and a series of other conflicts that exposed the under-development of China’s defensive technologies, and forced the nation to open up its reluctant trade routes.

The weakened Qing rulers were no longer able to support the fragile infrastructure they had built, and by the end of the 19th century a number of civil rebellions had taken place. These rebellions eventually succeeded in ending the Qing Dynasty, and with it the Chinese Imperial Era.

Much more information exists about the various artistic and cultural developments of the time, as well as the civil instability that was to account for the formation of the republic system of governance. Please follow the following links to more information, or submit your own suggestions:

Wikipedia Entry
China History Forum

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