The Crisis of Self-Esteem

  • Frank Sieren


Globalisation made a relatively late appearance in China. This had more to do with China than with globalisation. In the second half of the seventeenth century — after the invasion of the Manchus who established the Qing Dynasty after toppling the Ming Dynasty in 1644 — the Middle Kingdom increasingly isolated itself from the rest of the world. From that point until the beginning of the nineteenth century the country enjoyed a brisk economic boom and solid stability, which caused the pride of the ruling classes to turn more and more into arrogance and also to reject any of the innovative drives that came from the outside. The country’s boom was to a certain extent an internal affair. ‘We already have everything’,1 Emperor Qianlong informed a baffled Lord McCartney in 1792, who had been sent from England by King George III to negotiate trading concessions with the Chinese court.


Nineteenth Century Eighteenth Century Opium Trade Qing Dynasty Ming Dynasty 
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© Frank Sieren 2007

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  • Frank Sieren

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