The Legacy of the Qing Dynasty

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Assess the Legacy of the Qing Dynasty
By Vanessa C. Song

INTRODUCTION
The Qing Dynasty lasted for 268 years and was the last dynasty in China and was declared in 1644 by the Manchurian people of outer China after the conquest of the Ming Dynasty. It fell in 1849 to the Chinese communist party (CCP) led by Mao Zedong. Throughout the beginning of the Qing dynasty, the public confusion in regards to the new “Alien Rulers” caused havoc and widespread chaos, small anti-Qing efforts were formed in order to secure surviving Ming princes and restore the Ming Dynasty, this of course failed. Despite the issues that arose in the first forty, starting years of the dynasty in regards to rebellions and rejection towards the new government through; urban rioting, social unrest, strikes and outlaw raids in the South of China (Prominently more so in Nanjing), this dynasty, Debatably, was one of the most successful and progressive dynasties of Ancient China through its impact upon growth and expansion on the country at the time. Significant issues arose in concern to institutional adaptation and development beyond traditional tribal politics that early Manchurians had adopted, but after the takeover, progress was gradual but great. Although a new power and government was in place, the previous practices were not banned but encouraged as Manchurian emperors (particularly the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors) supported the exploration of Chinese culture and traditions, and built the Qing Dynastic empire upon Chinese Confucian values, this also helped to attain the respect of Chinese scholars, and more importantly, the respect of the general public. Through the use of Mongol military techniques and Chinese administrative Government, the Qing Empire expanded China’s control to Mongolia and Taiwan, under the reign of the Qianlong emperor the Qing Dynasty extended its empire to Tibet, small states of SE Asia, Korea and large parts of central Asia, some of what is part of modern-day Russia today. The Manchurians had managed to establish a successful framework for a progressive and successful dynastic government through a series of changes, mostly during the reign of the second emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Kangxi (Xuanye), whose first-half of his rule was devoted to the stabilization of Qing China through gaining control of the empire and suppressing rebel forces. The Second-half of the Kangxi emperor’s rule was devoted to the promotion of Chinese culture (art and music) and economic progression; this is demonstrated to the Kangxi emperor’s “Tours to the South” which led the emperor from Beijing to the culturally enriched areas of the South of China. The Qing dynasty was dominated by the 60-year reigns of the emperors; Kangxi and his grandson Qianlong, their reigns, wrote the course of Chinese history as well as the economic, political and cultural legacy that is currently evident in modern China today. The main aspects and areas of impact and change included; fiscal and economic change in the Qing Dynasty, political advancement and the cultural changes and advancements that have shaped China to its current, culturally-enriched form. The legacy of the Qing Dynasty is clear in modern China today.

ECONOMIC PROGRESSION
During the course of the era of the Qing dynasty, one of the most significant changes was the level of economic activity that vigorously prospered as commercialism and privatisation of business and markets increased and China’s population flourished from 200 million to 390 million. Qing China was an immense market with no hindrances to the movement of goods through and across China and its surrounding provinces, important items of trade included medicinal herbs, cotton and rice. These items, along with things like silk and porcelain were sent to Europe every year, one of the most important commodities that the Qing saw as vital to life was salt, the state did not monopolise its manufacturing, but stated the need for a licence if it...
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