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Kidder 1Grace KidderDr. Amy DunaginWorld History10 Feb. 2015Exploring Territorial and Hegemonic EmpiresPerhaps two of the greatest Asian world powers to ever exist, China and India had very successful empires throughout the early modern and modern periods of world history – the Qing Dynasty and the Mughal Empire, respectively. The leaders of these empires ruled over vast territories and hundreds of thousands of subjects during the early modern period, which spanned the sixteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century – anything after the year 1800 is considered to fall into the modern period of history (“History of Early Modern Europe”). An empire is a “dominant nation” and the “ethnically and religiously diverse groups of people” under its rule (Cleary), and there are typically two main forms of imperial rule: territorial and hegemonic. There are pros and cons to both methods of running an empire, but the territorial empire proceeded to become the standard imperial form in the early modern and modern periods.After understanding how each type of empire works and the benefits and downfalls of each, illustrated by examples from history, it is easy to see that the territorial empire surpassed the hegemonic empire to become the norm because it is more efficient. A territorial empire is one of an immensely controlling nature that demonstrates power over its conquered peoples by replacing native leaders with its own rulers or people that the emperor knows he can control. One such territorial empire was the Qing Dynasty (c. 1644 – 1911) in China. The Manchus, the peoples who ushered in the Qing Dynasty following the fall ofthe Ming Dynasty, implemented a territorial rule over the conquered Chinese by appointing Ming
Kidder 2officials and generals to powerful political positions (Wu). The Manchus also inserted their own rulers into China’s government, effectively taking over their administrative structure and providing more political control by eliminating indigenous leaders and therefore the threat of rebellion. In addition to this practice of taking over the governmental systems of conquered nations, another trait of territorial empires is demonstrating supreme control by imposing harsh regulations with brutal consequences for disobedience. Territorial emperors enact such decrees in