Territory

The Manchu court succeeded in ruling China proper for nearly three centuries, as well as administering parts of Mongolia and the Islamic northwest.  They remained conscious of the need to understand local and traditional structures in order to rule effectively over such a culturally diverse territory, and engaged with Tibet in different ways.

1. Have your students investigate the strategies used by the Manchu to manage the broader empire. They might focus their attention particularly on:

  • language
  • religion
  • administrative structure

1. While the Lei family’s plans for the imperial palaces are inscribed on UNESCO Memory of the World register, the sites themselves are also recognised by the UN cultural agency on its World Heritage List.

There are ten selection criteria against which World Heritage sites are selected. The Imperial Palaces of the Qing Dynasty fulfil requirements against criteria i-iv:

(i) to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;

(ii) to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;

(iii) to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;

(iv) to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history

Have students prepare a significance assessment for including the Imperial Palaces of the Qing Dynasty on the World Heritage List following the actual criteria outlined above.

D’Anville’s maps were based on land surveys conducted with the aid of French Jesuits, several of whom had been expressly sent to China by Louis XIV of France in 1685 in order to collect geographical information. Explore some or all of the following questions with the group using the Think-Pair-Share strategy.

  • Who were the Jesuits?
  • Investigate the biographies of Jesuit missionaries sent to China by Loius XIV:
    • Louis Le Comte (1655–1728)
    • Jean de Fontaney (1643–1710)
    • Jean-François Gerbillon (1654–1707)
    • Claude de Visdelou (1656–1737)
    • Joachim Bouvet (1656–1730)
  • What was the French’s interest in China at the end of the seventeenth century?
  • How does this map fit into the Western world’s understanding of China during the eighteenth century?