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Was The Fall Of The Ming Dynasty Really A Major Break In Chinese History Or Was It Merely A Transition Between One Ruling House And Another? What

2024 words - 9 pages

China has had a long dynastic ruling – monarchical history with many different dynasties ruling the land one over the other. Among these victorious dynasties, the Ming-Qing dynasties were those of the most well-known dynasties of all. The fall of the Ming dynasty conquered by the Qing house thus left a great impact on society and cultural lifestyle to the old Ming elites which reflected in cultural products such as poems, novels, and essays from the Qing period. In addition, this period also involved new capital and foreign engagement, Chinese’s border was expanded into Manchuria and Vietnam. Technology and science were not that flourish during Ming dynasty as compared to Song dynasty. ...view middle of the document...

Although the Ming dynasty was a power with political strength, the political hierarchy centralized around the emperor causing absolute power that could be misused without guidance. It was the first time in Chinese history with major changes in government reorganisation: prime ministership was abolished, outer court powers with top level authorities were removed, and royal heirs were sent out to rules provinces with large population as to strengthen the central political power with the likes. This new organisation of political power lasted until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911. The emperor executed absolute power and abolished all suspicious authorities who could have been a threat to the throne. In later Ming period, eunuchs were given larger roles in government practices and precedents causing corruptions and dictators who abused powers and shaped up new bureaucratic government to suit their demands: eunuch bureaucracy. Emperors were taken for granted for not exercising their power and left the court into the hands of eunuchs resulted in political failure, bribery, and high taxation to ordinary peasants and farmers (Zhou, 2003) causing dissatisfaction in farmers and poor people who then expressed their rebellion by forming battalion to protest the central power. With lower and middle class people not willing to cooperate with the government and Manchu troops took the opportunity to penetrate the land; the Ming dynasty fell apart and was taken over by the Qing dynasty.
The fall of the Ming dynasty marked a major break in the Chinese history. Some of the Ming elites such as Ming princes and forces moved down to the Southwest of China waiting to revoke back their land from Manchurian people while some Ming officials and specialists surrendered and agreed to work for the Qing. Many of the old Ming elites were beheaded. During the transition of Ming to Qing era, the Qing learned from the brutal Ming and decided to rule over the country using forces and power as well as kindness and benevolent to treat the people. The Qing government started to return happiness back to its people by reducing taxation and liberated farmers and peasants to be freed from slavery status (Widmer, 1987). The Qing emperor and his government acted quickly in resolving dispute between the Qing and small neighbouring troops and foreign invaders and conquered larger area of China and owned the largest land ever in the Chinese history. They also favoured agricultures and supported advance development in cultural and economy causing prosperity to their land and people in the mid 18 century. This period was known as the “prosperous era of Kang Yongzheng”. Emperor still held onto central power and eunuchs were removed from political authorities. People were forced to change their hairstyle into Manchu braids and more than a million of those who disagreed were executed (Wang & Shang, 2005). The Qing adopted the slogan “Keep your hair and lose your head, or keep you head and...

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