The High Qing era (1683—1839)refers to the period of the Qing dynasty in China during which the country's prosperity grew to new heights. Set after the rule of the Ming dynasty, the High Qing saw China transformed into a commercial state with nearly twice the population of its predecessor, due to high political stability. Improvements in literacy also took place during this period.
The defining characteristics of the High Qing Empire are its new generation of rulers, commercialization, and territorial expansion.
Firstly, a new generation of emperors that combined the strengths of their culture in addition to a level of sinicization of the conquered cultures in order to combine assimilation and the retaining of their own cultural identity. This was initiated with the Kangxi Emperor who was in power at the initiation of the High Qing. As an emperor he elevated the status of the Qing empire through his passion for education in combination with his military expertise, and his restructuring of the bureaucracy into that of a cosmopolitan one. His son and successor, the Yongzheng Emperor ruled differently through more harsh and brutal tactics, but was also an efficient and unprecedented level of commitment to the betterment of the empire.The last successful emperor of the High Qing was the Qianlong Emperor who, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, was a well-rounded ruler who created the peak of the High Qing empire. The unique and unprecedented ruling techniques of these three emperors, and the emphasis on multiculturalism fostered the productivity and success that is the High Qing era.
Another key characteristic of the High Qing period was the spike in population growth. After the Ming dynasty, population had dropped. However due to the commercialization of the state, new types of foods became available. Produce like sweet potatoes and corn became substitutes for rice in times of need, which enabled the population to grow without food shortages. This allowed for the population to double in the eighteenth century.
Additionally, the conquest of the western territories of the Mongols, Tibetans, and Muslims under the rule of the Qing were another factor of prosperity. Again, the skillful rule of the era’s emperors allowed for this success. Rule through chiefdoms in territories like Taiwan, allowed for the conquered peoples to retain their culture and be ruled by their own people while the Qing Empire still possessed the ultimate control and rule. These such ruling tactics created for little need or reason for rebellion of the conquered.Another aspect of Manchu rule under the Qing Empire was rule within modern day China. The Mongols' attempt to rule may have failed because they attempted to rule from the outside. The High Qing Emperors ruled from within, enabling them to obtain and retain stable and efficient control of the state.
A heavy revival on the arts was another characteristic of the High Qing Empire. Through commercialization, items such as porcelain were mass produced and used in trade. Also, literature was emphasized as Imperial libraries were erected, and literacy rates of men and women both, rose within the elite class. The significance of education and art in this era is that it created for economic stimulation that would last for a period of over fifty years.
Another characteristic of the High Qing was rising literacy rates, not only among men, but women as well. Because men left the home more frequently during this era due to the commercialization of the trade industry, there was this conception that in order for the males for the family to succeed outside the home, women of the house needed to possess their own distinct morals and authority.This meant that the most ideal mothers of elite families would be educated as well as their husbands, in reading and writing. The main purpose for this was to start teaching their sons to read and write as young as possible to better prepare them for the civil service examinations in their intended futures. The emphasis on women's education is a major change from that of previous eras, which further distinguishes the High Qing from that of other eras, and empires.
The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty, during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient historical texts such as the Book of Documents, the Records of the Grand Historian and the Bamboo Annals mention and describe a Xia dynasty before the Shang, but no writing is known from the period, and Shang writings do not indicate the existence of the Xia. The Shang ruled in the Yellow River valley, which is commonly held to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. However, Neolithic civilizations originated at various cultural centers along both the Yellow River and Yangtze River. These Yellow River and Yangtze civilizations arose millennia before the Shang. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization.
The history of Asia can be seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions such as East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe.
The Qing dynasty or Manchu dynasty, officially the Great Qing Empire, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China. It was the fifth largest empire in world history.
The Ming dynasty, officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynasty of China ruled by Han Chinese. Although the primary capital of Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng, numerous rump regimes loyal to the Ming throne – collectively called the Southern Ming – survived until 1662.
Emperor of China is the title given the monarch of China during the imperial period of Chinese history. In traditional Chinese political theory, the Emperor was considered the Son of Heaven and the autocrat of All under Heaven. Under the Han dynasty, Confucianism replaced Legalism as the official political theory and succession theoretically followed agnatic primogeniture. The Chinese emperors who shared the same family were classified into historical periods known as dynasties. The absolute authority of the emperor was notionally bound with various duties and obligations; failure to uphold these was thought to remove the dynasty's Mandate of Heaven and to justify its replacement. In practice, emperors and heirs sometimes avoided the strict rules of succession and dynasties' ostensible "failures" were detailed in official histories written by their successful replacements. The power of the emperor was also often limited by the imperial bureaucracy staffed by scholar-officials and eunuchs and by filial obligations to surviving parents and to dynastic traditions, such as those detailed in the Ming dynasty's Ancestral Instructions.
The Manchu are an ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria derives its name. They are sometimes called "red-tasseled Manchus", a reference to the ornamentation on traditional Manchu hats. The Later Jin (1616–1636), and Qing dynasty (1636–1912) were established and ruled by Manchus, who are descended from the Jurchen people who earlier established the Jin dynasty (1115–1234) in China.
Hong Taiji, sometimes written as Huang Taiji and formerly referred to as Abahai in Western literature, was the second Khan of Later Jin and the founding emperor of the Qing dynasty. He was responsible for consolidating the empire that his father Nurhaci had founded and laid the groundwork for the conquest of the Ming dynasty, although he died before this was accomplished. He was also responsible for changing the name of his people from Later Jin to Qing in 1636 and from Jurchen to Manchu. The Qing dynasty lasted until 1912.
Pax Sinica is a historiographical term referring to periods of peace in East Asia led by China. The multiple periods of Pax Sinica, when taken together, amounted to a length of approximately two thousand years.
The Foreign relations of the Imperial era of Chinese history from the Qin dynasty until the Qing dynasty encompassed many situations as the fortunes of dynasties rose and fell. Chinese culture had influenced neighboring and distant countries, while being transformed by outside influences as well as being conquered. During the Western Han dynasty, the Silk Road trade routes were established and brought Hellenistic Central Asia, Persia under the Parthian Empire, and South Asia into contact with the Chinese empire. During the 2nd century BC, Zhang Qian became the first known Chinese diplomat to venture deep into Central Asia in search of allies against the Mongolic Xiongnu confederation. Han Chinese attempts were made at reaching the Roman Empire and although the mission led by Gan Ying in 97 AD was a failure, Chinese historical records nevertheless maintain that the Romans traveled to southern China and Vietnam via the Indian Ocean. Buddhism from India was introduced to China during the Eastern Han period and would spread to neighboring Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, all of which would adopt similar Confucian cultures based on the Chinese model.
Imperial China: 900–1800 is a book of history written by F. W. Mote, Professor of Chinese History and Civilization, Emeritus, at Princeton University. The book was published in 1999 by Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-01212-7.
Mongolia under Qing rule was the rule of the Qing dynasty over the Mongolian steppe, including the Outer Mongolian 4 aimags and Inner Mongolian 6 leagues from the 17th century to the end of the dynasty. "Mongolia" here is understood in the broader historical sense. The last Mongol Khagan Ligden saw much of his power weakened in his quarrels with the Mongol tribes and was defeated by the Manchus, he died soon afterwards. His son Ejei Khan gave Hong Taiji the imperial authority, ending the rule of Northern Yuan dynasty then centered in Inner Mongolia by 1635. However, the Khalkha Mongols in Outer Mongolia continued to rule until they were overrun by the Dzungars in 1690, and they submitted to the Qing dynasty in 1691.
The Ming dynasty, officially the Great Ming or Empire of the Great Ming, founded by the peasant rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang, known as the Hongwu Emperor, was an imperial dynasty of China. It was the successor to the Yuan dynasty and the predecessor of the short-lived Shun dynasty, which was in turn succeeded by the Qing dynasty. At its height, the Ming dynasty had a population of 160 million people, while some assert the population could actually have been as large as 200 million.
This is a family tree of Chinese emperors from the Mongol conquest of 1279 to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1912.
The exact nature of relations between Tibet and the Ming dynasty of China (1368–1644) is unclear. Analysis of the relationship is further complicated by modern political conflicts and the application of Westphalian sovereignty to a time when the concept did not exist. Some Mainland Chinese scholars such as Wang Jiawei and Tibetan scholars such as Nyima Gyaincain, assert that the Ming dynasty had unquestioned sovereignty over Tibet, pointing to the Ming court's issuing of various titles to Tibetan leaders, Tibetans' full acceptance of these titles, and a renewal process for successors of these titles that involved traveling to the Ming capital. Scholars within China also argue that Tibet has been an integral part of China since the 13th century and that it was thus a part of the Ming Empire. But most scholars outside China, such as Turrell V. Wylie, Melvin C. Goldstein, and Helmut Hoffman, say that the relationship was one of suzerainty, that Ming titles were only nominal, that Tibet remained an independent region outside Ming control, and that it simply paid tribute until the Jiajing Emperor (1521–1566), who ceased relations with Tibet.
The Northern Yuan was a dynastic regime ruled by the Mongol Borjigin clan based in the Mongolian Plateau. It operated as a rump state after the collapse of the Yuan dynasty of China in 1368 and lasted until its conquest by the Jurchen-led Later Jin dynasty in 1635. The Northern Yuan dynasty began with the end of Yuan rule in China proper and the retreat of the Yuan remnants led by Toghon Temür to the Mongolian steppe. This period featured factional struggles and the often only nominal role of the Great Khan.
The economic history of China covers thousands of years and the region has undergone alternating cycles of prosperity and decline. China, for last two millennia, was one of the world's largest and most advanced economies. Economic historians usually divide China's history into three periods: the pre-imperial era before the rise of Qin; the early imperial era from Qin to the rise of the Song ; and the late imperial era, from Song to the fall of the Qing.
Various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei state, the Rouran Khaganate (330–555), the Turkic Khaganate (552–744) and others, ruled the area of present-day Mongolia. The Khitan people, who used a para-Mongolic language, founded an empire known as the Liao dynasty (916–1125) and ruled Mongolia and portions of the present-day Russian Far East, northern Korea, and North China.
The Qing dynasty in Inner Asia was the expansion of the Qing dynasty's realm in Inner Asia in the 17th and the 18th century AD, including both Inner and Outer Mongolia, Manchuria, Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang. Wars were fought primarily against the Northern Yuan dynasty and the Dzungar Khanate (1687–1758). Even before the conquest of China proper, the Manchus had controlled Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, with the latter being previously controlled by the Mongols under Ligdan Khan. After suppressing the Revolt of the Three Feudatories and the conquest of Taiwan as well as ending the Sino-Russian border conflicts in the 1680s, the Dzungar–Qing War broken out. This eventually led to Qing conquests of Outer Mongolia, Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang. All of them became part of the Qing Empire and were garrisoned by Qing forces, but they were governed through several different types of administrative structure and also retained many of their existing institutions. Furthermore, they were not governed as regular provinces, but instead were supervised by the Lifan Yuan, a Qing government agency that oversaw the empire's frontier regions.
Manchuria under Ming rule refers to the domination of the Ming dynasty over Manchuria, including today's Northeast China and Outer Manchuria. The Ming rule of Manchuria began with its conquest of Manchuria in the late 1380s after the fall of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, and reached its peak in the early 15th century with the establishment of the Nurgan Regional Military Commission, but the Ming power waned considerably in Manchuria after that. Starting in the 1580s, a Jianzhou Jurchen chieftain named Nurhaci (1558–1626), began to take control of most of Manchuria over the next several decades, and the Qing dynasty established by his son would eventually conquer the Ming and take control of China proper.
The Later Jin (1616–1636) was a dynastic khanate in Manchuria ruled by the Jurchen Aisin Gioro leaders Nurhaci and Hong Taiji. Established in 1616 by the Jianzhou Jurchen chieftain Nurhaci upon his reunification of the Jurchen tribes, its name was derived from the former Jurchen-led Jin dynasty which had ruled northern China in the 12th and 13th centuries before falling to the Mongol Empire. In 1635, the lingering Northern Yuan under Ejei Khan formally submitted to the Later Jin. The following year, Hong Taiji officially renamed the realm to "Great Qing", thus marking the start of the Qing dynasty. The Qing subsequently overran Li Zicheng's Shun dynasty and various Southern Ming claimants and loyalists, going on to rule an empire comprising China proper, Tibet, Manchuria, Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Taiwan until the 1911 Xinhai Revolution established the Republic of China.