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              Although the Manchus (mǎn zú 滿族) were not Han Chinese and were strongly resisted, especially in the south, they had assimilated a great deal of Chinese culture before conquering China Proper, and set up the Qing Dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝). Realizing that to dominate the empire they would have to do things the Chinese way, the Manchus retained many institutions of Ming (míng cháo 明朝) and earlier Chinese derivation. They continued the Confucian court practices and temple rituals, over which the emperors had traditionally presided.

              The Manchus continued the Confucian civil service system. Although Chinese were barred from the highest offices, Chinese officials predominated over Manchu officeholders outside the capital, except in military positions. The Neo-Confucian philosophy, emphasizing the obedience of subject to ruler, was enforced as the state creed. The Manchu emperors also supported Chinese literary and historical projects of enormous scope; the survival of much of China’s ancient literature is attributed to these projects.

              Ever suspicious of Han Chinese, the Qing rulers put into effect measures aimed at preventing the absorption of the Manchus into the dominant Han Chinese population. Han Chinese were prohibited from migrating into the Manchu homeland, and Manchus were forbidden to engage in trade or manual labor. Intermarriage between the two groups was forbidden. In many government positions a system of dual appointments was used–the Chinese appointee was required to do the substantive work and the Manchu to ensure Han loyalty to Qing rule.

              The Qing regime was determined to protect itself not only from internal rebellion but also from foreign invasion. After China Proper had been subdued, the Manchus conquered Outer Mongolia (now the Mongolian People’s Republic) in the late seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century they gained control of Central Asia as far as the Pamir Mountains and established a protectorate over the area the Chinese call Tibet (xī zàng 西藏) but commonly known in the West as Tibet. The Qing thus became the first dynasty to eliminate successfully all danger to China Proper from across its land borders. Under Manchu rule the empire grew to include a larger area than before or since; Taiwan (tái wān 臺灣), the last outpost of anti-Manchu resistance, was also incorporated into China for the first time. In addition, Qing emperors received tribute from the various border states.

              The chief threat to China’s integrity did not come overland, as it had so often in the past, but by sea, reaching the southern coastal area first. Western traders, missionaries, and soldiers of fortune began to arrive in large numbers even before the Qing, in the sixteenth century. The empire’s inability to evaluate correctly the nature of the new challenge or to respond flexibly to it resulted in the demise of the Qing and the collapse of the entire millennia-old framework of dynastic rule.


              清朝 
                
                 
                    清朝是由中國滿族建立的封建王朝,是中國歷史上統一全國的大王朝之一。清朝的人口數也是歷代封建王朝最高,清末時達到四億以上。清朝開疆拓土,鼎盛時領土達1300多萬平方公里。

                    清初為緩和階級矛盾,實行獎勵墾荒、減免捐稅的政策,內地和邊疆的社會經濟都有所發展。至十八世紀中葉,封建經濟發展到一個新的高峰,史稱“康乾盛世”。于是中央集權專制體制更加嚴密,國力強大,秩序穩定,清代人口至十八世紀后期,已達到三億左右。

                    康熙年間,統一了臺灣,并與俄國簽訂《尼布楚條約》,劃定了中俄東段邊界;乾隆中葉,平定準噶爾、回部,統一了新疆。這不僅一舉解決了中國歷史上游牧民族和農耕民族之間曠日持久的沖突,而具采取了一系列政策,發展邊疆地區的經濟、文化和交通,鞏固了中國多民族國家的統一,奠定了現代中國的版圖,增強了中華民族的團結力和凝聚力。

                    在文化上,康乾時期編纂了幾部集大成之作,像《四庫全書》、《古今圖書集成》等,對清理和總結中國歷史文化遺產作出了重大貢獻。

                清朝也有很多弊病。明代后期的君權有一定的松懈,而清朝又把封建專制推向了最高峰。清朝初期大力推行圈地投充等惡政,極大破壞了中原地區的經濟;重農抑商,制約資本主義萌芽的發展。制造了多起文字獄,加強對文人思想控制,導致思想上“萬馬齊喑”;在編撰古籍時又大肆銷毀古籍。剃發易服,一定程度上割裂了漢族的文化傳統;給旗人寄養的特權,使其迅速腐化。

                    統治者輕視科技和閉關鎖國,導致中國的科技極大落后西方。1840年后帝國主義的入侵,使清廷與侵略者分別締結了大量不平等條約,割地賠款,開放通商口岸,中國的主權受到嚴重損害,逐步淪為半封建半殖民地社會,人民負擔更為沉重,處于水深火熱之中。

               

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