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The Decline of Imperial China. Disorder under Heaven Natural calamities Human-caused disorder Natural calamities: Earthquake , drought, flood, famine, plague, volcanic eruption, Two types of human-caused disorder Foreign invasion (from outside of the empire) Rebellion (within the empire).

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the decline of imperial china
The Decline of Imperial China
  • Disorder under Heaven
    • Natural calamities
    • Human-caused disorder
  • Natural calamities:
    • Earthquake, drought, flood, famine, plague, volcanic eruption,
  • Two types of human-caused disorder
    • Foreign invasion (from outside of the empire)
    • Rebellion (within the empire)
Foreign invasion:
    • Before the Ming, the Jurched and the Mongols were two of many foreign powers that invaded China and ruled China partially or entirely
      • The Jurched (north China)
      • The Mongols (entire China)
      • Foreign conquest of China resulted in the formation of “Conquest Dynasty”—Jin, Yuan
    • After the Ming, the Manchus and the Qing
  • Results of the onslaught
    • The conqueror: Mass killing, slaughter, massacre
    • The conquered: Resistance, insurgence, rebellion

Further results:

    • the empire declined, collapsed, disintegrated
  • Some dynasties did experience “restoration”

The Last Conquest Dynasty: Qing

  • The concept of Chinese world order--All under Heaven” (tian xia)
  • The Concept of Chinese rulership--“Son of Heaven” (tianzi)
  • Question about the imperial system in China
the disorder during the qing
The Disorder during the Qing
  • During the 268 years of the Manchus rule, the Qing dynasty experienced many troubled times marked by regional and nation-wide disorders

Anti-Manchu/anti-foreign sentiment was often the cause of riot, insurgence, anti-government movement, anti-Manchu movement, rebellion…

better known rebellions
Better Known Rebellions
  • Better known rebellions during the Qing:
    • The White Lotus (1796-1806)—central and north China
      • And its branches and successors
    • The Nian (1850s)—north China, Yellow River
    • The Miao (1830s)—central and southwest China
    • The Yao (1830s)—central China
    • The Triads (1850s)—south China
      • And its offshoot, The Short Swords (1850s)--Shanghai
    • The Taiping (1950s-1960s) south, central, and north China
causes of rebellions
Causes of Rebellions
  • Causes vary and are often difficult to pin down
  • Two important ideas supported rebellions
    • “Guanbi minfan”, rebellion in response to officials’ suppression
    • Change of the mandate of Heaven
  • Normally Han people rebelled because of the following reasons:
Economic distress
    • Destruction of traditional forms of handicraft employment by the competition of foreign manufactures?
  • Famine
  • Landlordism
  • Population pressure
    • Conflict between migrating Han farmers and the aboriginals minorities
  • Nationalism
    • Viewing the Manchus’ rule as representing a corrupt alien dynasty
  • Religious affiliations
the taiping rebellion
The Taiping Rebellion
  • The Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864)
    • The largest and most influential rebellion during the Qing
    • The only rebellion that had connection with the Western impact on China
    • Communist historians called it “peasant uprising,” which started from Guangxi province in south China
      • an area of secret societies, lineage feuds, and conflict between the locals and the Hakka (guest people)
      • this area suffered the most disruption from the Opium War, the result of which made the open of new trade ports and huge numbers of porters lost their jobs
rebels and rebellions
Rebels and Rebellions
  • Hong Xiuquan, his visions, and the Heavenly Kingdom
  • The Heavenly Kingdom and the old capital Nanjing
  • The “Peasant Uprising” in the Communist ideology
mass killings
Mass Killings
  • China: Mao's reign of terror, 1949-65, 20 million plus
  • China: Civil war, 1945-49 1.2 million
  • USSR: Stalin's terror, 1936-53 20 million plus
  • WWII: combatant deaths 16.8 million
  • WWII: noncombatant deaths
    • Russia/USSR:civilian deaths by Nazis 7-12 million
    • Europe: The Holocaust, 1933-45 6 million
    • Other WWII noncombatant deaths 6 million
    • Sino-Japanese War: 1937-45 3.5 million
  • Korean War: 1950-53 2 million
the origin of the taiping
The Origin of the Taiping
  • The Taiping refers to both the Taiping Rebellion and the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace). “The Taipings” refers to the constituents of the rebels and kingdom
  • The Rebellion was one of many anti-Manchu movements in the middle-Qing period
Its goal was to overturn the Manchu regime, which was regarded as alien, repressive, and corrupt
  • The founder and his cohort began their movement by organizing religion called the God-Worshippers (Bai Shangdi jiao)
    • Based on their understanding of the Catholicism derived from a pamphlet written by a Christian convert, Liang Afa, entitled Good Words to Exhort the Age (World)
the founder of the taiping
The Founder of the Taiping
  • The founder: Hong Xiuquan (1814-1965)
  • Originally a school teacher who passed the local preliminary examination but failed provincial examination four times

Inspired by Good Words to Exhort the Age, he claimed that during his illness after the failure of the third examination, he was adopted by the Heavenly father as the younger brother of Jesus Christ and was given a divine mission

Jintian where Hong started his “uprising”

  • Identify the devils of China and cast them out.
  • The devils are idols of China’s temples (including ancestral temples), the Manchu rulers, opium and alcohol, foot-binding and prostitution
the beginning of the rebellion
The Beginning of the Rebellion
  • Hong soon became well-known and respected
  • Hong’s organization, the God-Worshippers, became the shelter for the victims of social disorder in Hong’s hometown and its vicinity

The Hakka people joined them because of being harassed by bandits--who were originally members of the demoralized local militia

  • Thirty bandit gangs operated in the area
  • Local landlord and rich clans joined the God-Worshippers

The God-Worshippers grew rapidly and its members rose from 10,000 to 30,000

    • Local and central governments found the growing God-Worshippers threatening and began to suppress them
    • This resulted in mass killing and wars between them, which anticipated a large-scale rebellion
the early phase of the taiping
The Early Phase of the Taiping
  • The Taipings turned into a large political entity
    • Publicly declared their purposes to overthrow the “devilish Qing”

Hong’s study

taiping constituents
Taiping Constituents
  • Important leading members came from an wide array of social constituents: failed examinee and village schoolteacher, charcoal-burner and government clerk, female bandit chief, Triad leader and river pirate, wealthy money-lenders and pawnbrokers, merchant, scholar, former account, head of rich clan, poor peasant
  • Predominantly Hakka people
  • Not motivated by peasant discontent, nor by destitution, but by the God-Worshippers’ faith and ethnic identity
taiping s quick success
Taiping’s Quick Success
  • After several major battles with government troops, the Taipings took control of the ancient capital, Nanjing, which became its capital
  • They also took control of important cities in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hubei, and Anhui and with this areas as their military bases, continued to launch military and cultural campaigns against the Manchu rulers
  • The expansion of the Taiping and its forceful implementation of the Christian faith resulted in the Taipings’ conflict with the people
taiping heavenly kingdom
Taiping Heavenly Kingdom
  • After succeeding in taking control of Nanjing (Nanking), Hong built Taiping’s capital there
    • Killing all Qing bureaucrats and Confucian scholars and burnt all Confucian texts, which Hong regarded as “evil”
  • He proclaimed himself Heavenly King and five of his closest comrades Eastern, Western, Southern, Northern, and Wing Kings
The fratricide among the Taipings resulted in the gradual collapse of the kingdom, even though it might have promise to overthrow the Qing regime
  • A 100,000 Taipings died in Nanjing rather than surrender to the Qing.
  • Death of Population during the rebellion: 50-70 million