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Comparing the Ming and Qing Dynasties

October 1, 2012

The Kangxi Emperor in 1699

Below please find a new web question contrasting Ming and Qing rule from your classmate, Fuad Hamid.


During the 1500s and 1600s, the Ming Dynasty began to decline due to oppression from pirates and an incompetent and corrupt government. How did the Manchus come into power and what were some of the major changes that the Qing Dynasty made that them more successful than the Ming Dynasty?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Jotty T. Francois Fils permalink
    October 4, 2012 10:58 pm

    During the decline of Ming Dynasty, relating to famine issues, multiple peasants organized revolts trough out china. However, the government couldn’t fight to protect the dynasty.So they asked for help from the Manchu forces who crushed the rebels and recovered Beijing, Capital of the Ming Dynasty which was captured by the rebels. Supported by many Chinese generals, Instead of restoring the Ming rule,the Manchus considered themselves as the savior of Beijing,they moved their own capital in it and created the Qing dynasty. In contrary to the Ming dynasty where the eunuchs dominated the imperial court, The Manchu ruling Elites were schooled in Chinese language and Confucian thought. Also,the Manchus,to preserve their pure cultural identity and own ethnic,they forbade intermarriage between the Manchus and Chinese. And they gained more respect from the scholar-bureaucrats that did the Ming Dynasty itself.

  2. Winine Fu permalink
    October 6, 2012 11:18 pm

    When the Ming Dynasty came to a decline due to peasant rebellions the Ming general left with control after the last emperor commits suicide seeks aid from the Manchus. After the Manchus had saved the capital they refused to hand it back to Ming rule. The Ming dynasty ceased to exist and the Qing dynasty came to be. The Manchus ruling were taught Chinese and Confucian thought, however in exceeding their knowledge for the people they were governing they retained their own cultural. Rules were set up, intermarriage between Chinese and Manchus was forbidden, learning the Manchurian language or travelling to Manchuria wasn’t allowed. The front of the Chinese men’s heads were also shaved to show a sign of submission. The Manchus were in the highest position and Chinese were in the lower positions of the Manchus. Kangxi a perfect example of how the Ming and Qing dynasties differ. During the Ming dynasty the emperor had no intentions of informing himself of the cities affairs instead that was left for the eunuchs but during Kangxi’s rule he put himself out to understand and cared for what he was ruling. Although both dynasties had similarities in terms of the emperor’s involvement in it was taken with a different approach and perspective towards ruling.

  3. Joseph DeAngelo permalink
    October 8, 2012 10:08 pm

    The Ming Dynasty’s downfall arose when pirates were becoming a more direct threat and their navy was unable to respond effectively. Alongside this debility was the internal conflict the government had with facing its own problems. For example: Emperor Wanli, in his last twenty years of rule, ignored the threats of the Manchu raids and left the imperial eunuchs in charge. Notably, the “forbidden city” in Beijing served as a place to which the emperors cowardly flocked in an attempt for protection and, consequently, ineffective rulership. Eventually famine uprooted in the dynasty, as well as peasant rebellions: the Manchu then overcame the Ming Dynasty, renaming it the Qing Dynasty–the “pure” dynasty. The Manchu forbid intermarriage with Han Chinese and the study of the Manchu language by any non-Manchu persons. Also, they forced Manchu hairstyles as a form of loyalty. In the Qing dynasty there was a better feel of living in one’s own country because it was the dynasty that overthrew the prior, corrupt one. Hence, when emperor Qianlong officially defeated the Ming dynasty, the dynasty peaked in prosperity, having tax collections cancelled, pacifying the western frontier (i.e., mongols, Uyghurs, Kazakhs), and making Vietnam, Burma and Nepal vassal states to the Qing Dynasty. The Qing dynasty sought out the corruptness of the Ming dynasty, altering it from the inside out, and with many other marked changes, the Qing Dynasty had more succession than the Ming Dynasty.

  4. Shira Binyamiiny permalink
    October 9, 2012 8:23 pm

    There were a couple of major factors that lead to the decline of the Ming empire that allowed the Manchus to overpower the dynasty. Usually when an outside force threatens the government the emperor attacks them with full force and crushes them, here however, when the pirates attacked part of their empire the government didn’t react and that allowed more revolts to take place. The peasants have had enough of the corrupt government and the famine and lead a series of revolts against them and conquer Beijing.
    The Qing dynasty is more successful then the Ming dynasty because they created a unified government with laws and a strong military force. When their were revolts they were crushed immediately! The greatest time period for the Qing dynasty was during Emperor Qianlong’s rule. The wealth increased to a point that at some times they cancelled the tax, and he created some vassal states.

  5. Xiarra-Diamond Nimrod permalink
    December 19, 2012 2:24 am

    The declination of the Ming Empire eventually opened doors for someone new to come to town and rule China. The Manchus took it upon themselves to conquer and take advantage due to the chaos and mishaps which brought about the creation of the Qing Dynasty. They formed an alliance with a Ming loyalist general and by 1673 they completed their conquest of China. The Qing Dynasty turned out more successful than the Ming Dynasty because Kangxi, the first Qing emperor , started off his dynasty by destroying and finishing off the rebellious ones of his domain. China was very powerful at the beginning of the Qing rule , and was not easily open to the thought of trade with any country which led to them enforcing trade restrictions. Eventually China’s strict policies led to war , but at the end it was proven that the Qing was more successful than the Ming dynasty due to the strict reinforcements that were made.

  6. Xing Hui Lu (Richard) permalink
    December 20, 2012 12:16 am

    To start the Chinese supported the Manchus because of many reasons. There was a lot of corruption. The emperor sometimes ignored government problems for long periods of time while the powerful eunuchs corrupted the Ming even more. The ming had elites that were educated in the Chinese Language and Confucian thought which was often times more respected than the high administrators of the Ming Dynasty.

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