• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Qianlongs reign marked the beginning of the decline of the Qing Dynasty. To what extent do you agree with this judgement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Qianlong's reign marked the beginning of the decline of the Qing Dynasty." To what extent do you agree with this judgement? Emperor Qianlong, who reigned from 1736 to 1795, along with his father, Yongzheng, and his grandfather, Kangxi, are considered to be the three greatest emperors of the Qing dynasty. Kangxi and Yongzheng both helped to establish the authority of the new Qing dynasty and could not have left China in a better state to be ruled by their successor, Qianlong_. As Immanuel C.Y. Hsu says, during Qianlong's rule, "the country enjoyed peace and prosperity; the treasury was full, the dynasty glowed with an opulance and affluence it had never known before."_ Indeed, the Qing dynasty reached it's zenith in terms of riches, with a record of 70 million taels in the state treasury, during Qianlong's reign. However, towards the end of Qianlong's rule, the empire had already showed signs of the beginning of decline so that when Lord Maccarthy visited China for his mission in 1793, he was able to predict the eventual downfall of the Qing dynasty_. It will be argued that Qianlong's reign did mark the beginning of the decline of the Qing dynasty and Qianlong's senility being a principle reason. This essay will examine and analyse factors such as Qianlong's incompetency as a leader especially while senile, and as a consequence of that, a rapid increase in corruption within China, the decline of the ...read more.

Middle

Corruption was in control during Yongzheng's reign because of Yongzheng's tight control over his officials. Yongzheng granted 'anti-corruption funds' and severely punished those who charged surtax or practiced irregularities. However, in senile Qianlong's empire, corruption in forms of graft, extortion and irregular levies was to be expected and even systematic. Heshen, for example, was very openly corrupt, his property confiscated by Jiaqing after Qianlong's death was worth 800,000,000 taels, and yet he was not properly punished by Qianlong_. According to Hsu, "[Heshen's] satellites in the government followed the suit and his associates in the military service unnecessarily prolonged campaigns as to have the benefits of additional funds." This shows that Heshen was only one of the many other officials all over China that were corrupt and even granting 'anti-corruption fees' could not stop them. Corruption took a large toll on the poorer citizens of China because they were the ones being exploited. General discontent at the unfairness of the society fueled rebellions such as the White Lotus. The White Lotus rebellion that started in the 1796, a year after Qianlong had abdicated and was ruling behind the scenes, was a protest against the extortion of tax collectors _. Another consequence of the Qianlong's lack of asserted authority was the decline of the Bannermen and the Chinese Green Standard Army. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Manchu government tried to mitigate the discontent by keeping the system of rule of the Ming government, promoting Neo Confucianism which was the popular religion in China at the time and allowing Han Chinese into its bureaucracy. However, the Qing also did much to show that the Manchus were separate and superior, for example, they established the Imperial Clan Court to supervise births, education and marriages for the Manchus and Manchu and Chinese intermarriages were prohibited as well as Chinese immigration to Manchuria. As Hsu puts it, in the end, "the very fact that the Qing was an alien dynasty continuously evoked Chinese protest in the form of secret society activites and nationalistic racial revolt and revolution." _ In this sense, because the Han Chinese would never have been content with being ruled by foreigners, internal discontent and rebellion was guaranteed and the Qing dynasty was 'doomed from the very beginning'. In conclusion, Qianlong's reign did mark the beginning of the decline of the Qing dynasty because many of the problems that arose was due to Qianlong and Qianlong's senility was a principle reason because it caused him to become incompetent as a leader, allowing corruption to increase and the Bannermen to decline. However, there were other factors such as the sudden and rapid population increase of China and rebellions because the long term resentment of the Han Chinese at being ruled by foreigners, both unfortunately also happened during Qianlong's reign, that contributed to the perhaps inevitable decline and downfall of the Qing dynasty. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Mao - his social and economic policies and his decline and re-establishment of power

    * There Mao typically turned to mass mobilisation and rectification in the shape of the Socialist Education Movement. * This movement was an attempt to re-educate the masses politically and bring about a fundamental change in the way the Chinese masses saw the world so that they took on new socialist attitudes.

  2. Impact of Castro's Rule

    Today, Cuba stands independent - free from intervention and influence by other countries. The current foreign investors of Mexico, Canada, Spain and Italy each play a role of support for Cuba, but are simply the markets in which Cuba is a part of - like any other country.

  1. History Internal Assesment

    The League of Nations did not physically intervene. In September 1931 the Japanese held control of the South Manchurian Railway. The Japanese then claimed that the Chinese sabotaged the railway and occupies Manchuria, renaming it Manchukuo. The League of Nations found Japan to be guilty and demanded it give Manchuria back to China.

  2. The North, The South, and Slavery

    Lucrative and expanding activity (fertile lands)- contrast to NE (agriculture in decline) ii. Typical NW citizen was owner of reasonably prosperous farm (200 acres) iii. NW farmers motivated by sound agricultural reasons 1. NE became more industrial and enlarged markets for farm goods 2.

  1. Mao and China Revision Guide

    The messages of these plays and movies were always the same: that the old ways were crude and barbaric while the new Maoism would change all that and bring the peasantry out of its misery. And usually, the plays would portray the old ways as evil landlords that heavily embezzled their peasants.

  2. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    Introduced local self government on the basis of general, direct, equal, and secret ballot 6. Prepared for a meeting of a Constituent Assembly to draw up a constitution and introduce general, direct, equal, and secret voting. Petrograd Soviet?s Policies 1.

  1. Notes on the history of Communist China

    about 40% of the cultivated land was seized from landlords and rdb - about 60% benefited in some way 2. the reforms effectively wrecked the power base of the old landlord elite 3. CCP leaders encouraged vilent confrontations between landlords and their tenants 4.

  2. Crisis and Collapse in Spain between 1793 and 1808

    In contrast, New Spain, and to a lesser degree, Peru, could store bullion until the return of peace and withstand two or three years of disrupted commerce by reducing the consumption and promoting local manufactures and agriculture. The most immediate and persistent pressure for neutral trade thus came from the empire?s emerging peripheral regions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work