World Civ. China
9:55 Mon, Wed
Part A , Number 2
The Qing Dynasty, like all the Chinese Dynasties, began with an expectation of success. The Zhou Dynasty found such success within the “100 schools of thought”, while the Qin found success within trade and exploration which in the end, unified China (Russ). However, the Qing Dynasty found a different way to make their mark with the development of the Chinese Dictionary, forming Banner systems and population increase. Nevertheless, while all of the Dynasties strived for success, they ended with the ultimate failure; by not obtaining the mandate of Heaven. Throughout the history of the region many Dynasties attempted to push China in a positive, powerful position, yet none succeeded. The Qing Dynasty marked the final dynasty effort in China. Due to demographics, foreign influences and corruption the Chinese were progressively pulled away from the Dynasty influence to form a powerful republic.
Despite the effort to be a powerful force within China, the Qing Dynasty became known as the final Dynasty. The Qing Dynasty, despite all effort to maintain control, fell prey to the three main crises of the 19th century: demographic issues, foreign issues and corruption in government. Population growth contributed to many political and social issues within the eighteenth century. China’s population doubled from 150 million to 300 million during the Qing Dynasty (184,Ebey), which resulted in a higher demand for food, land, and livelihood to meet the growing burden of the population.. In order to meet this need the Qing Dynasty found a temporary solution within global trade. While the solution seemed to be a successful solution, yet after time and progressive implications, trade efforts ended up having a negative effect on the dynasty and region.
China was a source of global luxuries such as tea, silk, porcelain, cloisonné, wallpaper, and folding fans which drew the European trade with China (BOOK).Yet, the Chinese strict requirements and stipulations within trade agreements began to anger their European customers. This began with emperor Kangxi’s “Tribute System”, which stated that you must “kao tow” to the emperor and become military allies with China (Russ) in order to engage in trade activities. While this turned many away, several Europeans still obtained materials from China, yet the trade was one side agreements, since despite how much they would give to China the trade never gave any quality products to the buyer. This enraged those that engaged in trade with China, and this dissatisfaction ultimately contributed in the outcome of the Opium War.
The Opium War has a deep rooted cultural story that goes much further than the boundaries of trade. The British conquered India and began the production of Opium. The production of this volatile produce was not regional and eventually began to spread across other areas through trade and smugglers. The product was not a positive impact such as food and materials that build the economy of China. With the introduction of this substance, the population began to experience negative effects and disenegrate. So much so, that eventually 90 percent of east China became so addicted to the opium that daily function could not be carried out (Russ). This wide spread plague of addiction left fields unattended, food supplies were effected and the population began a rapid decline. Devastated, China did not know what to do. They reacted by warning the Europeans that trade was now banned and illegal. However, this achieved little to stop the spread of addiction and forced Lin Zexu to make a physical statement by seizing the British opium cargo and destroying it (Russ). This left the British enraged and led to a delclaration of war against the Chinese. However due to the affects of opium the Chinese were unable to fight, defend or implement a strategy of war which ultimately led to the “Treaty of Nanjing” and other Unequal...
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