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Ancient China
Qing - China's Last Dynasty



Qing - China's Last Dynasty
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.26

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    anti-Manchu, consolidation, impervious, institutional, quashed, indemnity, disloyal, regent, conquest, assimilate, uprising, flat-out, insurgent, depose, unreasonable, avail
     content words:    Kublai Khan, Zhu Yuanzhang, His Ming, Its Qing, Qing Emperors, First Opium War, Hong Kong, Taiping Rebellion, Emperor Xiangfeng, Emperor Tongzhi


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Qing - China's Last Dynasty
By Vickie Chao
  

1     Looking back in history, there were only two times that a foreign ethnic tribe ruled the whole of China. The first was the Mongols, whose leader Kublai Khan established the Yuan dynasty in 1271 A.D. Kublai Khan and his successors' oppressive, authoritarian governing style didn't sit well with the Chinese, triggering numerous bouts of civil unrest. In 1368 A.D., Zhu Yuanzhang (a Chinese) orchestrated a revolution and toppled the Mongols. His Ming dynasty fell into turmoil in 1644 A.D., giving the Manchu, a nomadic tribe living in the northeast of present-day China, an opportunity to step up their effort of conquest. The Manchu (plural: Manchus or Manchu) succeeded and became the second foreign ethnic tribe to rule the whole of China. Its Qing dynasty (1644 A.D. - 1911 A.D.) also happens to be China's last dynasty.
 
2     As foreign rulers, the Manchus appreciated and embraced the Chinese culture. Their willingness to assimilate was a sharp contrast from the Mongols' flat-out refusal to integrate. But despite their numerous efforts in consolidation, the Manchus remained skeptical toward the Chinese. As a show of asserting authority, they forced all Chinese men to adopt the Manchus' traditional hairstyle. They mandated them to shave the front of their heads and braid the hair in the back into long queues. Any man who dared to resist was considered disloyal and would have his head cut off!
 
3     Though the Qing Emperors were autocrats, they carried out many popular reforms to stabilize the society and to stimulate the economy. The three earlier ones (Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong) in particular were credited with creating a time of peace and prosperity for China. They sent troops to quash the neighboring states and laid the foundation for modern China's territorial boundaries. Altogether, the three Emperors reigned 133 years, from 1662 A.D. to 1795 A.D.

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