41 Facts About Qing


Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing, was a Manchu-led imperial dynasty of China and the last orthodox dynasty in Chinese history.

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In orthodox Chinese historiography, the Qing dynasty was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China.

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The multiethnic Qing empire lasted for almost three centuries and assembled the territorial base for modern China.

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Qing led Ten Great Campaigns that extended Qing control into Inner Asia and personally supervised Confucian cultural projects.

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The character Qing is composed of "water" and "azure", both associated with the water element.

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Qing dynasty was founded not by the Han people, who constitute the majority of the Chinese population, but by the Manchus, descendants of a sedentary farming people known as the Jurchens, a Tungusic people who lived around the region now comprising the Chinese provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang.

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When he was presented with the imperial seal of the Yuan dynasty after the defeat of the last Khagan of the Mongols, Hong Taiji renamed his state from "Great Jin" to "Great Qing" and elevated his position from Khan to Emperor, suggesting imperial ambitions beyond unifying the Manchu territories.

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Qing established six boards or executive level ministries in 1631 to oversee finance, personnel, rites, military, punishments, and public works.

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Qing ordered that Han who assimilated to the Jurchen before 1619 be treated equally with Jurchens, not like the conquered Han in Liaodong.

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Qing had taken shrewd advantage of Ming civilian government discrimination against the military and encouraged the Ming military to defect by spreading the message that the Manchus valued their skills.

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Qing was succeeded by his third son Xuanye, who reigned as the Kangxi Emperor.

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The Qing used the title of Emperor in Chinese, while among Mongols the Qing monarch was referred to as Bogda khan, and referred to as Gong Ma in Tibet.

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In 1683, Qing forces received the surrender of Formosa from Zheng Keshuang, grandson of Koxinga, who had conquered Taiwan from the Dutch colonists as a base against the Qing.

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Qing expanded his father's system of Palace Memorials, which brought frank and detailed reports on local conditions directly to the throne without being intercepted by the bureaucracy, and he created a small Grand Council of personal advisors, which eventually grew into the emperor's de facto cabinet for the rest of the dynasty.

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Qing shrewdly filled key positions with Manchu and Han Chinese officials who depended on his patronage.

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In exchange for territory and trading rights, the Qing would have a free hand dealing with the situation in Mongolia.

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The Qing navy, composed entirely of wooden sailing junks, was severely outclassed by the modern tactics and firepower of the British Royal Navy.

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Drought in North China, combined with the imperialist designs of European powers and the instability of the Qing government, created background conditions for the Boxers.

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In 1900, local groups of Boxers proclaiming support for the Qing dynasty murdered foreign missionaries and large numbers of Chinese Christians, then converged on Beijing to besiege the Foreign Legation Quarter.

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The victorious allies then enforced their demands on the Qing government, including compensation for their expenses in invading China and execution of complicit officials, via the Boxer Protocol.

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Early Qing emperors adopted the bureaucratic structures and institutions from the preceding Ming dynasty but split rule between Han Chinese and Manchus, with some positions given to Mongols.

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The Qing divided the positions into civil and military positions, each having nine grades or ranks, each subdivided into a and b categories.

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Formal structure of the Qing government centered on the Emperor as the absolute ruler, who presided over six Boards, each headed by two presidents and assisted by four vice presidents.

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In order not to let the routine administration take over the running of the empire, the Qing emperors made sure that all important matters were decided in the "Inner Court", which was dominated by the imperial family and Manchu nobility and which was located in the northern part of the Forbidden City.

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However, Qing policy changed with the establishment of Xinjiang province in 1884.

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The Qing court sent forces to defeat Yaqub Beg and Xinjiang was reconquered, and then the political system of China proper was formally applied onto Xinjiang.

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The Qing court responded by asserting Chinese sovereignty over Tibet, resulting in the 1906 Anglo-Chinese Convention signed between Britain and China.

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Furthermore, similar to Xinjiang which was converted into a province earlier, the Qing government turned Manchuria into three provinces in the early 20th century, officially known as the "Three Northeast Provinces", and established the post of Viceroy of the Three Northeast Provinces to oversee these provinces, making the total number of regional viceroys to nine.

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Indeed, the Qing government did far more to encourage mobility than to discourage it.

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Qing gentry were marked as much by their aspiration to a cultured lifestyle as by their legal status.

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The Neo-Confucian ideology, especially the Cheng-Zhu thinking favored by Qing social thought, emphasised patrilineal families and genealogy in society.

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Inner Mongols and Khalkha Mongols in the Qing rarely knew their ancestors beyond four generations and Mongol tribal society was not organized among patrilineal clans, contrary to what was commonly thought, but included unrelated people at the base unit of organization.

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The Qing tried but failed to promote the Chinese Neo-Confucian ideology of organizing society along patrimonial clans among the Mongols.

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Qing united political and spiritual roles that in medieval Europe were separated into the roles of emperor and pope and performed the imperial rites that ensured political order, prosperity, and social morality.

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Qing completed a translation of the entire Bible in 1819.

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Qing formed the Taiping Movement, which emerged in South China as a "collusion of the Chinese tradition of millenarian rebellion and Christian messianism", "apocalyptic revolution, Christianity, and 'communist utopianism'".

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Under the Qing, inherited forms of art flourished and innovations occurred at many levels and in many types.

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Qing emperors were generally adept at poetry and often skilled in painting, and offered their patronage to Confucian culture.

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The poetry of the Qing dynasty is a lively field of research, being studied for its association with Chinese opera, developmental trends of Classical Chinese poetry, the transition to a greater role for vernacular language, and for poetry by women.

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The Qing dynasty was a period of literary editing and criticism, and many of the modern popular versions of Classical Chinese poems were transmitted through Qing dynasty anthologies, such as the Quan Tangshi and the Three Hundred Tang Poems.

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New Qing History is a revisionist historiographical trend starting in the mid-1990s emphasizing the Manchu nature of the dynasty.

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