- Slides: 38
Decline of the Qing Dynasty
The Decline of the Qing Dynasty Main Ideas • The Qing dynasty declined because of internal and external pressures. • Western nations increased their economic involvement with China. • extraterritoriality • sphere of influence • self-strengthening • indemnity
Causes of Decline • In 1800 the Qing dynasty of the Manchus was at the height of its power. • After more than a century of Western humiliation and harassment, the Qing dynasty collapsed in the early 1900 s. • Internal changes also played a role in the downfall of the Qing dynasty.
Causes of Decline (cont. ) • It began to suffer from corruption, peasant unrest, and incompetence. • Rapid population growth– 400 million by 1900–along with food shortages and regular famine made these matters worse. • The ships, guns, and ideas of foreigners probably hastened the end of the Qing Era.
The Opium War • In 1800 European merchants in China were restricted to a trading outlet at Guangzhou, or Canton. • The British were not happy with the arrangement. • Britain also imported more from China than it exported to China, giving Britain an unfavorable balance of trade as its hard currency was paid to China.
The Opium War (cont. ) • Negotiations to address the trade imbalance failed, and Britain turned to trading opium to address their economic concerns. • The British East India Company grew the opium in India and shipped it to China, where its use skyrocketed. • Soon silver was flowing out of China to Britain.
The Opium War (cont. ) • The Chinese knew of the dangers of this highly addictive drug and had made its trade illegal. • At first they appealed to the British government on moral grounds to stop the export of opium into China. Britain refused to stop. • The Chinese government blockaded Guangzhou to force the traders to surrender their opium, and Britain responded by starting the Opium War (1839– 1842).
By 1835, 12 million Chinese citizens were addicted to opium
The Opium War (cont. ) • After the British fleet sailed almost unopposed up the Chang Jiang, China made peace. • The Treaty of Nanjing (1842) opened five coastal ports in China to British trade, limited taxes on imported British goods, and gave the British the island of Hong Kong. • The Chinese also agreed to pay for the war. • The treaty did not mention opium.
The Opium War (cont. ) • Europeans lived in the five ports in their own sections and were not subject to Chinese laws, a practice known as extraterritoriality. • The end of the Opium War marked the beginning of strong Western influence in China. • China offered the same concessions to other Western nations it had to Britain, and soon the five treaty ports were booming with trade.
The Tai Ping Rebellion • Because the Chinese government failed to handle its internal economic problems, the Tai Ping Rebellion, a peasant revolt, occurred from 1850 to 1864. • It was led by Hong Xiuquan, who saw himself as the younger brother of Jesus Christ. • He was convinced God had given him the mission of destroying the Qing dynasty.
The Tai Ping Rebellion (cont. ) • Hong and his peasant army captured Yongan, where he proclaimed a new dynasty– the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace (Tai Ping Tianguo in Chinese, hence the name Tai Ping Rebellion. ) • The rebellion called for social reforms that included giving land to all peasants and treating women as the equals of men.
The Tai Ping Rebellion (cont. ) • Hong’s rebellion called for people to give up private possessions. • Land was to be held in common, and food and money were to be shared equally. • Hong outlawed alcohol, tobacco, and foot binding. • The social goals of the twentieth-century Chinese Communist Revolution would be similar.
The Tai Ping Rebellion (cont. ) • In 1853, the rebels seized Nanjing and massacred 25, 000 men, women, and children. • Europeans helped the Qing dynasty respond to the rebellion. • In 1864, combined Chinese and European forces took back Nanjing. • Gradually, the power of the rebellion weakened.
The Tai Ping Rebellion (cont. ) • The Tai Ping Rebellion was one of history’s most devastating civil wars. • As many as twenty million people died in the 14 year struggle.
The Tai Ping Rebellion (cont. ) • In 1856, Great Britain and France began applying force to gain greater trade privileges. • In the ensuing Treaty of Tianjin in 1858, the Chinese agreed to legalize the opium trade, open new ports to foreign trade, and surrender the Kowloon Peninsula to Great Britain. • The British seized Beijing in 1860 when the Chinese resisted parts of the treaty.
Efforts at Reform (cont. ) • Reformers called for a new policy of “selfstrengthening” for the Qing dynasty. • This approach meant that China should adopt Western technology while keeping its Confucian values and institutions. • This policy guided China for the next 25 years.
Efforts at Reform (cont. ) • Some reformers wanted to introduce democracy, but such an idea was too radical for most. • Rather, China tried to modernize its military and industrialize while retaining the basic elements of Chinese civilization and values.
The Advance of Imperialism • The new policy did not help the Qing dynasty retain power. • European advances into China and internal deterioration continued. • Russia forced China to give up territories in Siberia. • Tibet was freed from Chinese influence by the struggle for it between Russia and Great Britain. • European states began to create spheres of influence inside China
The Advance of Imperialism (cont. ) • In 1894 another matter weakened the Qing. • China went to war with Japan over Japanese inroads into Korea, and Japan soundly defeated the Chinese.
The Advance of Imperialism (cont. ) • This scramble for territory took place in a time of internal crisis. • The emperor Guang Xu launched his massive reform campaign called the One Hundred Days of Reform. • Conservatives at court opposed the reforms.
Opening the Door to China • Great Britain and the United States feared other nations would overrun China should its government collapse. • In 1899 the U. S. secretary of state John Hay proposed equal access to the Chinese market for all nations. • No nation disagreed, and Hay declared that the foreign states agreed China should have an Open Door policy.
The Boxer Rebellion • The Open Door policy did not stop the Boxer Rebellion • Boxer was the popular name for members of the secret group called the Society of Harmonious Fists, who practiced a system of exercise they thought would protect them from bullets. • Not boxer dogs. You can’t make this stuff up
The Boxer Rebellion (cont. ) • The Boxers were upset over foreign influence in China. • They especially disliked Christian missionaries and Chinese converts to Christianity. • They killed Christians and foreigners, including the German envoy to Beijing. Actual Chinese “boxers”
The Advance of Imperialism (cont. ) • The Empress Dowager Ci Xi, the emperor’s aunt, also opposed the reforms. • With the help of the army, she imprisoned the emperor and ended the reform efforts. • She ruled China for almost 50 years.
The Boxer Rebellion (cont. ) • In response an allied army of the Western powers and Japan attacked Beijing in 1900. • It restored order and demanded more concessions from the Chinese government, which was forced to pay a heavy indemnity– payment for damages–to the powers that had ended the rebellion. • The Chinese imperial government was weaker than ever.
The Fall of the Qing • After the Boxer Rebellion, China desperately tried to reform. • Even the Empress Dowager now embraced educational, administrative, and legal reforms.
The Fall of the Qing (cont. ) • The emerging elite of merchants and professionals was angry on learning that the new assemblies could not pass laws but could only advise the ruler. • The reforms did nothing for the peasants, artisans, and miners, whose conditions worsened as taxes rose.
The Fall of the Qing (cont. ) • A Western educational system replaced the traditional civil service examination educational system. • In 1909, legislative assemblies were formed at the provincial (local) level. • Elections for a national assembly were held in 1910.
The Fall of the Qing (cont. ) • The emerging elite of merchants and professionals was angry. • Assemblies could not pass laws but could only advise the ruler. • The reforms did nothing for the peasants, artisans, and miners, whose conditions worsened as taxes rose.
The Fall of the Qing (cont. ) • The first signs of revolution came with Sun Yat-sen and his Revive China Society, founded in the 1890 s. • He believed China had to be united under a strong government to resist the foreigners. • Sun developed a three-part reform process: military takeover, a period in which Sun’s revolutionary party would prepare the people for democracy, and a constitutional democracy.
The Fall of the Qing (cont. ) • Sun united radical groups from across China and formed the Revolutionary Alliance, later the Nationalist Party. • In 1908, the Empress Dowager died, and the Qing dynasty was near its end.
The Fall of the Qing (cont. ) • The infant Henry Pu Yi now occupied the throne. • In 1911, followers of Sun Yat-sen began an uprising in central China. • Sun was in the United States. • The Qing dynasty collapsed, but Sun’s party did not have the strength to form a new government, so it turned to a member of the old order, General Yuan Shigai, who controlled the army and had been sent to suppress the rebellion.
The Fall of the Qing (cont. ) • General Yuan negotiated with Sun’s party and agreed to serve as president of a Chinese republic and allow for the election of a legislature. • The events of 1911 did not produce a new social and political order. • The Revolutionary Alliance with its Western liberal democratic principles was supported mainly by the urban middle class and so was too small to support a new order.
An Era of Civil War (cont. ) • When General Yuan dissolved the parliament, the Nationalists rebelled. • The rebellion failed, and Sun Yat-sen fled to Japan. • After he died in 1916, Yuan was succeeded by one of his officers. • For several years China slipped into civil war as weakened governmental power allowed warlords to seize provincial power. • Massive destruction and hunger were the outcome.
Chinese Society in Transition (cont. ) • Chinese society was already changing in the mid-1800 s. • The growth of industry and trade brought to the cities a market for commodities– marketable products–such as oil, copper, salt, tea, and porcelain. • Transportation was improving, and new crops from abroad increased food production.