Qing Dynasty | Definition, Dates, & Facts

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The Qing Dynasty was the final Chinese dynasty. Prior to being ousted by the Republic of China in 1912, the Qing dynasty controlled China from 1644 to that point. The Manchu Dynasty is another name for it.


The Manchu people of northern China started banding together against the Ming Dynasty in the early 1600s. They organized a sizable army and established a fairly militaristic culture. The Manchus invaded China by breaching the Great Wall in 1644. They quickly seized control of Beijing, the capital of China, and proclaimed the establishment of the Qing dynasty.

A five-year-old kid who became the Shunzhi Emperor was the first Qing emperor. The Manchus kept enlarging and capturing more of China. The Qing Empire, led by the Kangxi Emperor, included the entirety of China in 1683.

At first, the Manchu kept everything in line by enforcing strict rules. Anyone suspected of disloyalty was put to death. Much of the Ming government, including the civil service examinations, was later reinstated, but only Manchu individuals could hold positions of authority. Under the Qing dynasty, China grew and lived in peace for about 150 years. 400 million or so individuals now make up the population.

The Outside World

China was fairly cut off from the outside world throughout the Qing Dynasty. They exchanged some goods with other nations, including silver and tea, but not many others. Foreign ambassadors were not even permitted to approach the Chinese capital for many years. The 1800s saw the legalization of Christianity as a means of preventing European dominance.


Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism were the three principal religions practiced in China under the Qing Dynasty. Generally speaking, the Qing emperors were fervent Buddhists. Under the Qing dynasty, all forms of art flourished, including porcelain, poetry, opera, and painting.

The Manchu people were regarded as belonging to the highest socioeconomic stratum in society. Han Chinese, who made up the bulk of the population, frequently faced discrimination. Manchu and Han Chinese, for instance, were not permitted to wed. As a result, there was unrest among the populace, which ultimately contributed to the Qing’s demise.

Opium War

The British started selling opium in China in the 1800s. Because so many Chinese individuals developed opium addictions, the authorities quickly outlawed the narcotic. But the British persisted in bringing opium into the country. A battle started when the Chinese authorities seized British ships and dumped their opium into the water.

China’s fleet at the time was small and out of date. In both the First and Second Opium Wars, British ships defeated Chinese forces. By the time the Opium Wars came to a close in 1860, the British had taken control of Hong Kong, the legalization of Christianity, and all of China had been made accessible to British traders.

Fall of the Qing

The early 1900s saw the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. Famine and a weak economy were caused by numerous natural calamities, internal uprisings, and the war with Japan. Finally, the Qing government was overthrown in 1911 by a group of revolutionaries. A six-year-old boy named Puyi was the final emperor, and the Republic of China assumed control in 1912 after he formally abdicated.

Qing Dynasty facts that are interesting

The longest reign of any Chinese emperor was that of the Kangxi Emperor, who ruled for 61 years.

All men were compelled to receive queue haircuts during the Qing, which included shaving the hair off the front of the head and tying the remaining hair up in a long ponytail.

In 1917, the Manchu Dynasty was briefly reinstated.

A covert organization of martial arts professionals was in charge of the Boxer Rebellion in 1899.

Sun Yat-sen served as the Republic of China’s first president and its founding father.

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