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China: the basics.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

China: the basics 1. Geographical Considerations * Total Area: 9,596,960 sq km or just a bit smaller than the U.S. * World's 4th largest country * Total Land Boundary: 22,147.34 km - Border Countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Hong Kong, India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Vietnam * Total Coastal Boundary: 14,500 km * Total Arable Land: 13.31% * Total Population: 1,284,303,705 (July 2002 Estimate) * World's most populous nation * 6/7ths of the population live on 1/3rd of total land * 23% of world's population live in 7% of world's arable land Source: CIA World Factbook http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ch.html 2. Weather Problems * Main Rivers: Yellow River d Yangtze River flood regularly - often with disastrous results * Due to location, China is often subject to severe weather, drought, famine, typhoons, dust storms, earthquakes, 3. Agriculture * Northern Area (above Yangtze River): - wheat producing area - 1 crop per year - not as labor intensive as rice * Southern Area (below Yangtze River): - rice producing area - 2-3 crops per year - very labor intensive - leading to dense population - mountainous area required terraced farming in some areas * Most farming done manually; very little mechanization of farming. * Most farming done in family or village units. * Production has not changed significantly in last 600 years. * Generally, China has had self-sufficient food production. * Areas not under intense cultivation (Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, etc.) support livestock rangelands, small plot farming and nomadic groups. Skinner's Macroregions * G. William Skinner's theory tat Chinese economy is traditionally divided into 9 distinct and separate macroregions. * The 9 regions were fairly self-sufficient in themselves. * Commercial activity was limited within the region. * Macroregion centered on prosperous, central region. The main city in the central region was usually in a river drainage basin and had a fairly efficient transportation system. ...read more.

Middle

* Chinese state and society was based on moral authority of Confucianism * Relatively small bureaucracy kept the whole state running with help of local gentry * Classes and Mutual obligations kept society harmonious and stable * Economic growth was limited by low class of merchants and sufficient production Emperor vs. Imperialists The Rise of the Qing * "Barbarians" from the North * Nomadic, horse based culture * Placed high emphasis on military arts * Manchu's had their own language, religion, culture and social structure * Highly organized and autocratic hierarchy Quite different from Chinese - so how did they succeed? * The Manchu succeeded by becoming Chinese * The Manchu split power with the Chinese * Chinese held 50% of high level government jobs * Chinese were included into the Banner System (Manchu military organization) * Preservation of Manchu customs o Qing required all men to wear the queue as a symbol of loyalty to the Qing o Manchu noblemen were not allowed to marry Chinese o Manchu nobility continued to speak/write Manchu and practice traditional religion and culture Government changes * Grand Council (after 1729) advised Emperor on policy; initially Manchu and Chinese, but eventually became Manchu dominated * Lifanyuan (Board of Colonial Affairs) was the first Chinese institution to deal with foreigners - however only covered Kangxi 1662-1723 * 2nd Qing emperor * Very powerful and hands-on emperor * Serious student of Chinese history, literature philosophy * Open to Western ideas and technology Traditional Foreign Relations * Traditional relations took form of Tributary system. * Regional governments accepted authority of Qing court in exchange for protection, military aide and trade privileges. * Countries involved in system: Korea, Annam, Burma, Siam, Liuchiu, Japan * Tribute system very expensive and burdensome for both sides - but the ritual of it was very important * All official contact had to abide by the system * Peripheral areas allowed for private contact * By the end of the 18th c. ...read more.

Conclusion

privilege to trade * Inability to accept different rituals and customs * Different concepts of law and justice Aftermath of Opium War * Unequal treaty leads the way for other countries to take advantage of China * Chinese officials and intellectuals realize that they need to change and learn about west * Significant weakening of Qing authority * West confident and in control in Asia 03/10/03: Crisis Within Taiping Rebellion 1850-1864 * Started by Hong Xiuquan o Failed civil examination several times o Exposed to Christianity; began to believe he was younger son of Jesus o Charismatic and charming personality o Easily influenced others Taiping Rebellion 1850-1864 * Popular due to its radical ideas on land reform, equality of citizens and initial Anti-Qing sentiment. * Finally defeated by the semi-private armies of Zeng Guofan and Li Hongzhang together with foreign led Ever Victorious Armies. Nian Rebellion 1851-1868 * Took place in the north where natural disasters were common and people were impoverished * Largely unorganized, but engaged in guerilla warfare making it difficult to control * popular due to Anti-Qing sentiment. Muslim rebellions Yunnan (1855-1873) * Let by Sultan Suleiman * Controlled Dali City and Kunming (briefly) Xinjiang (1862-1878) * Began as local fighting between Chinese and Hui peoples * Defeated by Zuo Zongtong Secret Societies - Triads * Popular in big cities and in the south * Offered alternative form of protection and community * Lower classes and poorer people * Often religious, military or criminal * Examples include Heaven and Earth Society * Often supported by local gentry or merchants Effect of Rebellions * Though not successful, the rebellions added pressure to the already weakened Qing Government * Qing military could not handle rebellions on their own - used gentry militia to defeat them * Showed the lack of control the government held over China. Reasons for rebellion * Inflation * Official corruption * Massive population growth without growth in arable land * Growth of landlord control of land * Increasing debt of peasants * Loss of government military power serious natural disasters ...read more.

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