Qing dynasty is also called the Empire of the Great Qing. It was an imperial dynasty that ruled China from 1644 to 1912 with an abortive restoration though brief in 1917. Qing dynasty was the last to rule China and Ming dynasty preceded it. After the Qing dynasty, Republic of China was established. Qing dynasty was a multi-cultural empire and it lasted for about three centuries. It formed a territorial base that led to the formation of the contemporary Chinese nation.
The clan of Jurchen Aisin Gioro founded the Qing dynasty in the Northern eastern China. This clan was historically called the Manchuria. Nurhachi, who was a Ming vassal initially, started organizing the clan of Jurchen to form banners in the late 16th century. Banners were military-social units that formed Manchu people. The son of Nurhachi, Hong Taiji started driving the Min forces from Southern Manchuria declaring a new dynasty called the Qing.
Peasant rebels under the leadership of Li Zicheng conquered Beijing which was the capital of Ming dynasty in 1644. Instead of serving them, Wun Sangui, a Ming general entered into an alliance with Manchus and eventually opened Shanhai Pass for the Banner Armies under the leadership of Prince Dorgon. This led to the defeat of the rebels and seizure of Beijing.
China was not conquered properly until 1683 under Kangxi Emperor. Qing control was extended by Ten Great Campaigns by Qianlong emperor between 1750s and 1790s which enabled Qing to control even Central Asia. Early rulers maintained the Manchu culture and they used Confucian styles as well as bureaucratic government systems to govern. Imperial examinations were retained in recruiting Han Chinese who worked parallel with the Manchus. Ideals of tributary system were also adopted in international relations.
Initially, several policies of the Qing court were used in reviving social economy as well as eradicating class contradiction. The centralized system was strengthened by rulers who continued the ruling patterns of Ming. Nevertheless, the court resumed Sheng administrative system established between 1271 and 1368 by Yuan. This was common in different frontiers such as Tibet, Mongol, Taiwan Island and Xinjiang. The aim of the court was to enhance imperial ruling power.
Qing dynasty reached the Zenith in the feudal economy in mid 18th century. The dynasty economy spanned reign of Emperor Yongzheng, Emperor Kangxi and the Emperor Qianlong. This made this period to be known as the golden age of the three emperors. Both science and culture were also prosperous during the era of Qing dynasty.
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