P - Political - Leaders, state structure, war, diplomacy, courts/laws
Around 1500, the Ming dynasty was declining. The provinces were run badly, and many officials were corrupt. There were many famines and floods that made a lasting impact. Peasants rose up in frequent revolutions in response to poor living conditions. Northern nomads were constantly attacking and putting pressure on the emperor. The most important of these northern nomads were the Manchus.
In 1644, these Manchus took advantage of the rising chaos in China and the decline of the Ming dynasty by attacking the capital and taking over rule. Thus, the Qing dynasty was formed, and it was often called the most successful Chinese dynasty. Not until 1680, however, was the country fully under Qing control. Emperors Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong ruled from 1667 to 1795. They expanded China's borders until it took up most of East and Southeast Asia. These emperors also brought great peace with a strong central government.
E - Economic - Type of system, technology/industry, trade, money, types of businesses
At the end of the Ming dynasty, the economy was in a downward spiral. The Qing dynasty almost immediately rectified this problem. Industries such as porcelain, steel and textiles were the main trade in the 18th century. The economy suddenly became amazing thanks to the Qing dynasty.
R - Religious - Holy books, beliefs, conversion, sin/salvation, deities
As soon as the Qing dynasty was put into place, they began to implement a strictly traditional Confucian philosophy. This is how it was for most of the 1500-1750 period.
S - Society - Family, gender relations, social classes, inequalities, lifestyles
Interestingly, the Manchurian Qing dynasty made Chinese people wear their hair in a queue, or braid. With the introduction of maize, sweet potatoes, and peanuts in the Qing dynasty, peasant life was good, unlike the life with frequent famines experienced during the Ming dynasty. In just the 18th century, the population doubled. Migration increased as other countries and their residents saw Chinese success.
I - Intellectual, Innovations, and Inventions - Writing, literature, philosophy, math, science, education
Calligraphy remained very important and a mark of the educated. The most powerful emperors during this time embraced Chinese culture and writings in order to endear themselves to the population. Many novels were also written.
A - Art and Architecture - Arts, music, dances, buildings
While some artists during this period sought to bring back the more traditional art style, others focused on a more personal art form. The following painting, by Zhu Da, uses calligraphic influences to create a disorienting and unsettling effect. The viewer only knows it is an underwater landscape because of the fish.
N - Near Geographic - Location, physical, movement, human/environment, region
Near the end of the Ming dynasty, northern nomads increased their attacks on the border. The Manchus, so-called because of their homeland in Manchuria, took control of China in 1644. This was the beginning of the new and expanding Qing Dynasty. More parts of China than ever before were now under Qing control, as they had an expansionist mindset. The following two images show the great growth caused by the rule of the Qing dynasty.
"Bada Shanren (Zhu Da): Fish and Rocks" (1989.363.137) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History . New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1989.363.137. (October 2006)
Hearn, Maxwell K. "The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911): Painting". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/qing_1/hd_qing_1.htm (October 2003)
"World History Timeline China History." TimeMaps Atlas of World History. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014. <http://www.timemaps.com/history/china-30bc>.
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