Qing Dynasty 清朝


Chinese Name: 清朝

English Name: Qing Dynasty, Qing Chao

Other Name:Great Ming 大明, Zhu Ming 朱明

Duration: About 1636 AD – 1912 AD

King: Nurhachi 努尔哈赤, Huangtaiji 皇太极, Emperor Shunzhi 顺治帝, Emperor Kangxi 康熙帝, Emperor Yongzheng 雍正帝, Emperor Qianlong 乾隆帝

Territory Map of the Qing Dynasty 清朝疆域图
Territory Map of the Qing Dynasty 清朝疆域图

Brief Introduction

The Qing Dynasty 清朝 (1636-1912) was the last feudal dynasty in Chinese history. It was handed down to twelve emperors, and the ruler was Aisin Jueluo 爱新觉罗氏.

It has been 296 years since Nurhachi 努尔哈赤 was founded. It lasted 276 years since Huang Taiji 皇太极 changed the country’s name to Qing Dynasty. It was 268 years since the Qing army entered the customs and established a national political power.

During this period, China’s traditional society has achieved unprecedented development achievements. Land reclamation is increased, and products are abundant. The social life of the small-scale peasant economy is prosperous and stable, and the overall national strength is strong.

Nurhachi 努尔哈赤
Nurhachi 努尔哈赤

During the Qing Dynasty, the unified multi-ethnic country was consolidated and developed. The rulers of the Qing Dynasty unified the Mongolian ministries and included Xinjiang and Tibet in their territory. They actively safeguard the integrity of national territorial sovereignty.

During this period, absolutism in ancient China also reached its peak. Agriculture and commerce were developed in the early Qing Dynasty. There have been dense commercial cities in Jiangnan, and significant commercial gangs have emerged.

Major Historical Events

Establish a foundation and unify the country 开基立业统一全国

In 1616, Nurhachi founded the country and called himself Khan. The country’s name was Jin, which was called later Jin 后金 in history.

Huang Taiji 皇太极
Huang Taiji 皇太极

After the death of Nurhachi, Huang Taiji, the eighth son, succeeded to the throne. At the beginning of Huang Taiji’s accession to the throne, the situation faced by the later Jin Dynasty was very severe.

The external situation was isolated and surrounded by the Ming Dynasty 明朝, Mongolia 蒙古, and North Korea 北朝鲜. The internal conflict is becoming increasingly serious due to the contradiction of aristocratic decentralization forces.

Huang Taiji gradually established the State governing institution to replace the state power exercised by the Eight Banners system 八旗制度. Huang Taiji continued to launch an offensive against the Ming Dynasty and joined forces with Mongolian ministries to expand his power.

In 1635, Huang Taiji abolished the old clan name Jurchen. He named the clan Manchu 满洲族. In May 1636, Huang Taiji became emperor and changed the country’s name to Qing Dynasty.

Dourgen 多尔衮
Dourgen 多尔衮

In 1644, the Dashun army led by Li Zicheng 李自成 captured Beijing, the capital of the Ming Dynasty. Later, general Dourgen 多尔衮 of the Qing Dynasty led his troops to defeat Li Zicheng. The Qing army entered and occupied the capital. After the Qing army swept away the residual forces, it gradually unified the country.

Three Prosperous times of the Qing Dynasty 清朝三盛世

In 1661, Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty康熙帝 ascended the throne. In the early years of Kangxi, four Manchu ministers assisted the government.

In 1669, Emperor Kangxi captured the powerful minister Aobai 鳌拜 and took charge of the court. After calming the rebellion of the three vassal states, he put Taiwan 台湾 on the agenda. In 1684, the Qing government set up one government and three counties in Taiwan. Taiwan and the mainland are unified.

Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty康熙帝
Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty康熙帝

After the middle period of Kangxi, the handicraft industry, which was seriously damaged by the war, gradually recovered and developed. In 1722, Emperor Kangxi died and Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty 雍正帝 ascended the throne.

In the late years of Kangxi, the lax administration of officials and corruption had become a common practice. Therefore, Emperor Yongzheng instructed civil and military officials at all levels that if they did not change their ways, they would be severely punished for serious crimes.

Emperor Yongzheng carried out a series of policies and continued to strengthen the authoritarian monarchy. He improved the secret passbook system which only officials chartered by the emperor are qualified to go on the secret passbook.

In August 1735, Emperor Yongzheng died, and his fourth son Hongli 弘历 succeeded to the throne, namely Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. During the reign of Emperor Qianlong 乾隆, he made achievements in both culture and martial arts.

Ministers of the Qing Dynasty 清朝大臣
Ministers of the Qing Dynasty 清朝大臣

It made important contributions to consolidating China’s unified multi-ethnic country and developing the prosperous situation of the Qing Dynasty. But it was also during his rule that earth-shaking changes took place in the world, and China gradually lagged behind the tide of the world.

Seclusion and Decline 闭关锁国,走向衰落

The emperors in the late Qing Dynasty lost the enterprising spirit of the early monarchs, and their governing style became increasingly conservative and rigid. In addition, the wanton confrontation of the great powers and the corrupt politics of the Qing Dynasty led to serious Customs Smuggling and rampant opium trade. The government’s ban is in vain. The proliferation of opium has caused serious harm to China.

Lin Zexu 林则徐
Lin Zexu 林则徐

In 1839, Emperor Daoguang 道光帝 sent Lin Zexu 林则徐 to Guangzhou 广州, the trade center, to ban smoking in order to solve the disadvantages of opium. In order to open the Chinese market, Britain launched the Opium War 鸦片战争 in 1840, and the Qing Dynasty was defeated and forced to seek peace. In 1842, the Qing Dynasty was forced to sign an unequal treaty with the British Invaders, the Nanjing Treaty 南京条约, which opened the modern history of China.

After that, all the powers took advantage of the fire to rob. Russia alone has appropriated more than 1.5 million square kilometers of territory in northern China. According to a series of unequal treaties, China has lost a lot of territories, sovereignty, and wealth, and the degree of semi-colonial and semi-feudal society has greatly deepened.

Smoke heavily 抽大烟
Smoke heavily 抽大烟

In order to change this situation, the Qing Dynasty carried out the Westernization Movement 洋务运动, the reform movement of 1898 戊戌变法 (the hundred-day reform 百日维新), and other revolutionary movements. But they all ended in failure.

Until the 1911 Revolution broke out. This revolution aims to overthrow the autocratic monarchy of the Qing Dynasty and establish a republic. The revolution was successful on January 1st, 1912, and the Republic of China was proclaimed in Nanjing. Sun Yat Sen 孙中山 was appointed interim president of the Republic of China in Nanjing. On February 12, Yuan Shikai 袁世凯 stole the revolutionary achievements. The Qing dynasty fell.

Important Influences

The last ancient regime in Chinese history

Qing Dynasty is the most advanced and longest-lasting Dynasty in China’s ethnic minority regime. It was the most prosperous and populous in the feudal history of China. It is also the most successful national integration in Chinese feudal history.

slave 奴隶
slave 奴隶

During the reign of the Qing Dynasty, autocracy in ancient China also reached its peak. Although in the late Qing Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty began to compete with the west after the great navigation and the industrial revolution and was defeated. The subsequent semi-colonial and semi-feudal society also made the Qing Dynasty bear the label of humiliation.

But if we think from the perspective of the whole history, the Great Qing Dynasty’s meritorious service to the Chinese nation is not lower than that of the prosperous period of the Han 汉 and Tang 唐 Dynasties.


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