Before and after the Qing

In order to situate the Qing dynasty in its global historical context ask students to create a diagram similar to those in Tim Urban’s article ‘Horizontal History’. What else was happening in the world during the Qing dynasty and immediately before and after?

Short summaries of the political systems preceding and following the Qing dynasty are included to kickstart the process.

Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

The Qing dynasty replaced the Ming dynasty.  The Ming had continued dominance through military rule, which was contrary to the Confucian tradition of civilian control.  However, economic growth under the Ming led to increasing literacy and expanded consumption of elite culture: more people had money and time for leisure; there were fewer positions in the civil service; those failing the civil service examinations had high levels of literacy and turned to literature, medicine or teaching; and there was an increase in printed material.

Republic of China (1912–1949)

The Xinhai Revolution broke out on 10 October 1911 In Wuchang, when a republican–minded military unit mutinied.  Forced prematurely into action, the uprising spread to other provinces and by December Nanjing was taken.  Sun Yat-sen returned to China on Christmas Day and he was installed as interim President on 29 December 1911.  The Republic of China was declared on 1 January 1912.  The Emperor abdicated in February 1912 and power was transferred to the Republic.