Timeline Description: The Qing, or Manchu, dynasty, was the last Imperial dynasty of China. Once a very powerful and influential family, the Qing dynasty ruled for about 300 years. However, they failed because of internal corruption and the denial of changing times.
|1636 A.D.||The Qing dynasty begins.
In 1636 Huang Taiji of Manchuria in northeast China renames his region Qing. The word in Chinese means pure.
|1644 A.D.||A call for help creates an empire.
Li Zicheng attacks the capital of the Ming dynasty. Emperor Ssu Tsung kills himself. When the rebels lay siege to an outpost at the Great Wall, Prince Dorgon of the Manchus helps defeat the rebels and then places his nephew, Shunzhi, on the throne. The Qing dynasty is created.
|1722 A.D.||Kangxi becomes emperor (About 1661 - 1722 A.D.).
The first emperor dies in 1661. His son, Kangxi, takes over at the age of seven. He reigns for 61 years, encouraging painting, porcelain making, and literature. He often tours his empire to make sure things are working smoothly.
|1722 A.D.||Yongzheng rules (1722 - 1735 A.D.).
When Kangxi dies in 1722, his son Yongzheng takes the throne. He encourages learning, and even has a 10,000 chapter encyclopedia printed.
|1736 A.D.||Qianlong improves the empire (1736 - 1796 A.D.).
Yongzheng's son, Qianlong, starts to reign in 1736. He brings the empire to its highest, increasing wealth through foreign trade. Rice production also increases during his time. His reign starts to weaken in his latter years as he is influenced by the flattery of a corrupt official.
|1793 A.D.||Trade problems (Around 1793 - 1838 A.D.).
China wants their silks, tea, and ceramics to be paid for in silver, not in exchange for foreign goods. This works for some time until France and England are concerned about their supplies of silver. They come up with trading schemes, such as getting the Chinese addicted to opium.
|1839 A.D.||Opium War (1839 - 1842 A.D.).
The government doesn't do much about the opium problem until 1839 when a commissioner is sent to Canton. He burns some 20,000 chests of opium and bans all British trade. England declares war. The Qing cannot win against British battleships and their newer guns. The Qing surrenders in 1842.
|1842 A.D.||Treaties and war (1842 - 1854 A.D.).
The Treaty of Nanking ends the opium war. The Qing have to add more trading posts and they give up Hong Kong. But when the British want to add more things to the treaty, the Qing refuses and the Second Opium War is fought. China loses again.
|1850 A.D.||Taiping rebellion (1850 - 1864 A.D.).
With the increased problems in the land, rebellions arise. The Taiping rebellion starts in 1850 when Hong Xiuquan and his followers want to reform many Chinese traditions. The rebellion is crushed when British and French troops aid the Qings.
|1861 A.D.||Empress Dowager Cixi rules (1861 - 1908 A.D.).
When Emperor Xianfeng dies in 1861, the Empress Dowager Cixi greatly influences the new emperors, making it more her rule than theirs. In 1884 she fires the entire Grand Council, and in 1898 she crushes attempts for reform.
|1894 A.D.||War with Japan (1894 - 1895 A.D.).
Japan and China both want to control Korea. After some conflicts, they start fighting. The Japanese, who for the past 30 years have learned modern fighting techniques, easily defeat China. The Qing realize they need to make some improvements in how they defend themselves.
|1900 A.D.||The Boxer Rebellion
A group of rebels form the Society of Harmonious Fists. They are not happy with the amount of foreigners running through China. Known as the Boxers, they try to kick out the foreigners. Foreign missions are burned and Chinese Christians are killed.
|1900 A.D.||European powers prevail.
The Boxer Rebellion causes the leaders in Europe to send troops to help their interests. Because she supports the movement, Empress Dowager Cixi flees to Xian.
|1908 A.D.||Away with the old (1908 -1911 A.D.).
Sun Yat-sen wants to unify China with a democratic, representative government. He has tried to organize a secret revolutionary group years before, but with no success. In 1911 the government is overthrown and Sun is elected provisional president of the new republic of China.
|1912 A.D.||The last emperor.
Sun Yat-sen steps down and allows Yuan Shikai, a former general, to be president. After much negotiation, the last emperor, Puyi, is made to abdicate in 1912. He is six years old. Lasting less than 300 years, the Qing dynasty had made vast improvements to the economy of China, but failed to bring about needed changes to help the country enter into the modern world.