The Rise and Grandeur of Qing Dynasty
Summary of the development
The Qing dynasty was the last Chinese dynasty with began in 1644 and ended in 1912. It began after the decline of Ming dynasty which had ruled for 276 years. Qing dynasty was being ruled by a bordering nomadic clan known as Manchus. The Manchus forcefully entered Beijing to seize the throne from the Ming rulers. After crossing the walls of Beijing, the Manchu forces engaged in a fight against the Li Zicheng’s army. They succeeded and eventually managed to take the throne and that marked the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. The establishment of the Qing Dynasty marked the beginning of a period of growth for the Chinese and Manchu people. The public works sector significantly added to the growth of the cities and the living standards of people improved due to increased trade and lower taxes on people. Western missioners, who came to China at the time, brought about Christianity and also influenced the Chinese in science. Politically, positions were shared among the Manchu and Chinese people. They had well organized military units which especially played an important role in the success of the dynasty.
Historical context of the rise and grandeur of the Qing dynasty
The establishment of the Qing dynasty was preceded by a period in which the Ming government was weak due to their inability to address famine, natural disasters and economic instability in the empire. People were then convinced that the Ming had lost the Mandate of Heaven. Rebellions then erupted from the Mongols and Jurchens. It is the invasions of the Mongolians and attacks from the Manchus that led to the eventual fall and rise Ming and Qing dynasties respectively. Just before the Ming dynasty was overthrown and Qing dynasty established, China’s economy was undergoing one of the greatest expansions in history. New markets were being established and merchants were expanding their trade activities as far as the South China Sea. Through the ‘Ming Voyages’, Chinese merchants were able to reach Southeast Asia and were actively involved in businesses. The economic growth (dynamic, commercialized) continued through the Qing dynasty period until the eruption of the Opium wars. In 1900, a group of rebels in southern China carried out rebellion against the Qing Dynasty. The success of the revolt saw the establishment Republic of China and the end of Chinese dynastic system.
Significant contingent factor(s) relating to the rise and grandeur of Qing dynasty
The most significant contingent factors relating to the rise and grandeur of the Qing dynasty include the decline of the Ming dynasty, favorable policies and also the strong economic foundation that preceded the Qing dynasty period. The prominent problems as economic instability, natural disasters weakened the Ming dynasty and that acted as an important factor in influencing the Mongolians and Manchu’s to rebel and finally overthrow the government. That gave rise to the Qing Empire. Favorable policies allowed for lower taxes and improved living standards of the people who in turn gained confidence on the leadership of the Qing dynasty. Such policies allowed for active providence of public goods to improve the economic well-beings of the people of China and Manchu. The economic foundation laid in the pre-Qing dynasty period allowed for more growth and stability in the empire and largely contributed to its continuity through to the 20th century.
The Manchus (rulers of the Qing Dynasty) received much resistance because they were non Han Chinese. They had to adopt Chinese cultures and Ming institutions to be able to dominate over the empire and to reduce resistance. They, for example, sustained the Confucian temple rituals, court practices and civil service. To quell the ever inherent internal rebellion and foreign invasions, Qing rulers subdued China Proper and went beyond the borders to conquer Outer Mongolia, Central Asia (Tibet) and Taiwan, among other neighbouring states. In this way, they were able to eliminate threats both from within and from outside China Proper. Qing rulers were always suspicious of the Han Chinese. As a result, they implemented measures to ensure that the relatively fewer Manchus rulers were not absorbed into the Han Chinese population that was dominant. Such measures included outlawing intermarriage between the two groups and forbidding Chinese migration into the Manchu mainland, among others.
Significance of the rise and grandeur of Qing dynasty in the world today
The significance of the Qing dynasty is evident in the world today. First, it was a period that to a large extent lay foundation for the Republic of China particularly in terms of social and cultural ideals. Economically, the period influenced trade across the world and shaped trade trends that are still in effect even in the world today such as those established between China and Europe. It was the time in which religious constructs took shape in terms of the introduction of the world religions that exist in the world today. Missioners brought Christianity into China, a fact that has continued to influence people within and without the country. The Qing dynasty period is also well known as the period for the development of art in form of paintings and sculpturing. Much of the styles and principles of the arts at the time have had great influences on the art pieces in the contemporary world. Many artists today have borrowed specific techniques and styles from the paintings of the Qing dynasty period. Also, the period also gave rise to the Chinese culturalism and self-sufficiency which still forms an important ideal for the Chinese government today.
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