The Qing Dynasty before the Opium War: Learning, Prosperity and Stability
It is not easy to analyse historical processes when multiple shaping forces interact in a complicated way over time and space, as is the case in China’s history. To help us we may use Mao’s idea of major contradiction as well as the more scientifically sophisticated ‘slaving principle’ (Haken, 1977; Zhang, 1991). To understand the complexity of China’s modernisation, and conflicts between China and the West, it is essential to note that during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) the (majority) of Chinese had been governed by the (minority) of ‘foreigners’, the Manchus. This explains why the overriding consideration of the dynasty, before the collapse of the Qing, had always been related to how to maintain Manchu control.
KeywordsQing Dynasty Chinese Official State Ideology Civil Service Examination Qing Government
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