Qing dynasty

Manchu-led dynasty of China (1636–1912)
(Redirected from Qing Dynasty)

The Qing Dynasty or the Qing Empire (Chinese: 清朝; pinyin: Qīng cháo) was a dynasty of rulers of China from 1644 to 1912. The dynasty was founded by the Manchus and so its other name is the Manchu dynasty. The surname of the Qing emperors was Aisin Gioro. It became the Republic of China in 1912 after the 1911 Xinhai Revolution.

Qing Dynasty
Flag of Qing dynasty
Imperial Seal of Qing dynasty
Imperial Seal
Gǒng Jīn'ōu
"Cup of Solid Gold"
The Qing dynasty at its greatest extent in 1760 superimposed on a modern world map. Territory under its control shown in dark green; territory claimed but not under its control shown in light green.
The Qing dynasty at its greatest extent in 1760 superimposed on a modern world map. Territory under its control shown in dark green; territory claimed but not under its control shown in light green.
CapitalMukden (1636–1644)
Beijing (1644–1912)
Official languagesManchu, Mandarin Chinese
Chinese Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese folk religion
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy[a]
• 1636–1643 (founder)
Chongde Emperor
• 1643–1661 (first in Beijing)
Shunzhi Emperor
• 1908–1912 (last)
Xuantong Emperor
• 1643–1650
Dorgon, Prince Rui
• 1908–1911
Zaifeng, Prince Chun
Prime Minister 
• 1911
Yikuang, Prince Qing
• 1911–1912
Yuan Shikai
• Total
13.400000 km2 (5.173769 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Later Jīn
Shun dynasty
Southern Ming
Dzungar Khanate
Kingdom of Tungning
Republic of China
Zheltuga Republic
Republic of Formosa
Bogd Khanate
Uryankhay Republic
Today part ofPeople's Republic of China, Mongolia
Territory of the Qing Dynasty (1820)

Rise of the Manchu state change

In 1580, Nurhaci became the Jian Zhou general of the Ming dynasty. He unified the Manchu tribe and organised the Eight Banners. In 1616, Nurhaci declared himself Khan (King) and founded the Jin dynasty in Liao Ling. In 1626, Nurhaci led armies to attack Ning Yuan. Unluckily, Nurhaci was wounded by Yuan Chonghuan's Portuguese cannon and he died 2 days later. Huang Taiji, the son of Nurhaci, then succeeded to the throne and became the Khan of the Manchu tribe. In 1643, Huang Taiji was dead, caused by apoplexy. Shunzhi Emperor inherited Huang Taiji's throne. Prince Dorgon became the regent. In 1644, the Manchu armies conquered the north of China. The capital was changed to Beijing. The Ming dynasty was overthrown, though fighting continued until 1683.

Late-Qing change

Restoration change

A. The self-strengthening movement (1861 - 1895) change

The Zongli Yamen - A Foreign Office of the Qing Dynasty

The self-strengthening movement (Chinese: 洋務運動 or 自強運動; 1861 - 1895) was a reform organised during the late Qing. With the defeat in the Opium Wars and the outbreak of Taiping Rebellion, the emperor and the imperial officials realised that it was necessary to improve the country's state with a series of reforms. Therefore, the Self-Strengthening Movement was started.

The movement could be divided into three phases: the first phase (1861 - 1872), the second phase (1872 - 1885) and the third phase (1885 - 1895). The major leaders are Yixin, Prince Gong (Chinese: 恭親王), Wenxiang (Chinese: 文祥), Zeng Guofan (Chinese: 曾國藩), Li Hongzhang (Chinese: 李鴻章), Zuo Zongtang (Chinese: 左宗棠), Shen Baozhen (Chinese: 沈葆禎) and Zhang Zhidong (Chinese: 張之洞). However, owing to the conservatives opposition and the problems of modernization, it failed finally.

Reforms were:

  • Industry and trade
    • Modern banks were built.
    • Many industries were built in the South of China.
  • Diplomatic modernization
    • The Zongli Yamen, a foreign office of the Qing dynasty, was set up in 1861.
    • In 1868, the Qing government sent its first official diplomatic mission aboard.

B. The hundred days' reform (1898) change

Liang Qichao - a leader of the Hundred Day's Reform

With the failure of the Self-Strengthening Movenment, the defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War and the scramble for concessions, many Chinese leaders realised that reforms were urgently needed. Thus, the Hundred Day's Reform (Chinese: 戊戌變法; 11 June 1898 - 21 September 1898) was started in 1898. The leaders of the reform were Guangxu Emperor, Kang Youwei (Chinese: 康有為) and Liang Qichao (Chinese: 梁啟超). Eventually, it ended in a coup d'état led by Empress Dowager Cixi.

The main reforms were:

  • Political reforms
    • Useless government posts were to be abolished.
  • Military reform
    • The army and navy were to have modern weapons.
    • A national militia would be organised.

Qing government and society change

Politics change

The Manchus changed their ways to be more like the Chinese in order to rule them better. The Manchus started wearing Chinese clothes and writing in Chinese. They began to enjoy Chinese food and art. One of the Manchu emperors, Qianlong Emperor, began to worry about how much like the Chinese the Manchus were becoming and he tried to get Manchus to be more Manchu. Qianlong Emperor made Manchus ride horses and shoot bows and arrows so that they would remember where they came from. The Chinese people used different types of clothes like maccukau, konaha, schinin and sakahn.

Regional Development change

  • Guangdong

In the early Qing, Guangdong was a province. There were 79 counties. In 1911, it was checked that there were 5,041,780 households, approximately 28,001,564 people. The famous mountains in Guangdong were Lingchau, Huangling and Luofu. Dongjiang, Beijiang and Xijiang were the most important rivers in Guangdong. Guangzhou, Zhaoqing, Xiamen and Fujian were the major Guangdong cities.

Further reading change

  • History of Ming, compiled under Zhang Tingyu in 1739.
  • Draft History of Qing, compiled under Zhao Erxun in 1927.

Related pages change

Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).