Sample History Essays on Qing Dynasty

The Qing dynasty was founded in 1644 to extend the territory and influence of Manchus into other Chinese areas. It was the last imperial dynasty, and succeeded the captured Ming dynasty located in Beijing China. The Qing reign established its authority in China by retaining the services of Ming officials in some posts to make the area seem to be still “Chinese.” However, the higher levels were held by the Manchu which made Qing a “Manchu dynasty”. The dynasty retained the traditional Chinese system of administration but imposed own leadership strategies of ensuring that people remained loyal, such as using the Manchu banners. They used eight banners that displayed military officials and their families living in the capital and villages.  The imperial control of the Qing empire was imposed through military forces and loyal courts that would reward the collaborators among the defeated Chinese armies. Indeed, the Manchu emperors’ adoption of the Chinese system guaranteed success in territories and victories against powerful enemies.

During the Qing Dynasty, the appreciation for poetry and exquisite painting grew among the emperors who kept vast collections. The arts and literature were promoted using resources provided by the emperors, and the publications were highly regarded among the elite Chinese (Smith 423). The leadership remained hereditary, and the emperors upheld the values of the empire while spreading their ideologies among the population, a move that caused many to defect from the Ming dynasty to join the Qing. The people respected the rules that the emperors set, and those who fled were punished. The impact of the Sing dynasty on the Chinese culture resulted in gradual changes in the provinces in some sectors, such as education and governance. The ruling emperor directly influenced the examinations set in the provinces and the standards for those who wanted to serve in his court. Undoubtedly, schooling was valued as it gave the civil servants high ranking.

The Qing dynasty enjoyed economic prosperity for several decades as opposed to the Manchu.  The Manchu rule had decided to freeze the taxation of the peasant populace, which was a contributing factor to its decline.  Manchus were also hesitant to conduct international trade since the seas posed a danger from pirates (Theobald). Similar to the former dynasty, they signed treaties which allowed foreign traders to purchase local products, including tea and crafted chinaware, through the Canton port. The early Qing emperors reopened porcelain trade, and the thriving returns supported the growth of the vast empire. They also resolved to tax the subjects, which promoted the success of the economy. Government officials collected levies from the peasant farmers as well as elite classes.

The methods of the Manchu kingdom differed from those of the “Chinese” predecessors. For example, the Manchu researched  improved farming techniques as well as porcelain production. Innovations were incorporated, and they improved the crop yield and quality and the appearance and color of porcelain. During the Qing dynasty, the trading merchants ventured further than they did during the previous empires, crossing province boundaries and organizing sea expeditions through the emperor’s sponsorship (Hays).

Essentially, the Manchu dynasty integrated its rule with the Chinese system and made improvements to sectors that were doing poorly. The empire’s success was attributed to increased production of merchandise, new philosophies that were wide-spread and dynastic leadership that made laws. Indeed, the Qing dynasty was prosperous because of its policies and leadership style. It remained a “Manchu dynasty” and succeeded in uniting the Chinese people because it upheld the social values and expanded their influence to other regions.



Works Cited

Hays, Jeffrey. “Ming-Qing economy and foreign trade.” Facts and Details, 2013. Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.

Smith, Richard J. The Qing Dynasty and traditional Chinese culture. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015,

Theobald, Ulrich. “Qing Dynasty 清, 1644-1912.”, 2006. Accessed 18 Sept. 2018.