Qing Dynasty
(1644–1912)
   Also known as the Ch’ing or Manchu dynasty, the Qing Dynasty comprised a succession of emperors from Manchuria who ruled China from 1644 until 1912. The foreign Qing gained acceptance by adopting Chinese language, culture, and institutions and by ensuring a period of peace and prosperity lasting until the late eighteenth century. The nineteenth-century Qing rulers failed to deal with population pressure, institutional decline, corruption, and the economic and social consequences of opium imports from British India. They were slow to recognize the threat posed by the Western powers and thwarted attempts at administrative, military, and economic reform. While maintaining themselves in power despite the Taiping and Boxer Insurrections they were increasingly discredited by repeated military defeat and the concessions to foreign powers. Qing rulers flirted with radical reformism (Kuang-hsü in 1898), with anti-Western resistance in alliance with the Boxers (Tz’u-hsi in 1900),and with cautious modernization, but gradually lost support and had to abdicate after the 1911 revolution.
   See also <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Gernet, Jacques. A History of Chinese Civilization. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982;
    Hsieh, P. C. The Government of China, 1644–1911. Translated by J. R. Foster. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1925;
    Hsü, Immanuel C. The Rise of Modern China. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
   NIELS P. PETERSSON

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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