DECLINE OF THE QING (CH’ING)DYNASTYFROM POWERFUL NATION-STATE TO SPHERES OF INFLUENCE
Causes of Decline•In 1800 the Qing dynasty of the Manchus was at the height of its power. •Yet, the Qing dynasty collapsed in 1912. •Causes of the fall…•Isolationism•Imperialism•Rebellions•Corruption•Failure to Modernize
Causes of Decline (cont.)•It began to suffer from corruption, peasant unrest, and incompetence. •Rapid population growth–400 million by 1900•food shortages and regular famine •The ships, guns, and ideas of foreigners hastened the end of the Qing Era.Flag of Qing China
The Opium Wars•In 1800 European merchants in China were restricted to Guangzhou, or Canton. •The British were not happy with the arrangement. •Britain also imported more from China than it exported to China.
The Opium Wars (cont.)•Negotiations to address the trade imbalance failed.•Britain turned to trading opium.•The British East India Company grew the opium in India and shipped it to China•Soon silver was flowing out of China to Britain.
The Opium Wars (cont.)•The Chinese made the opium trade illegal. •At first they appealed to the British government on moral grounds.•Britain refused to stop. •The Chinese government blockaded Guangzhou.•Britain responded by starting the Opium War (1839–1842).
The Opium Wars (cont.)•After the British fleet sailed unopposed up the Chang Jiang (Yangtze),China made peace. •The Treaty of Nanjing (1842) opened five coastal ports in China to British trade, limited taxes on imported British goods, and gave the British the island of Hong Kong.•The Chinese also agreed to pay for the war. •The treaty did not mention opium.
The Opium Wars (cont.)•Europeans lived in the five ports in their own sections and were not subject to Chinese laws, a practice known as extraterritoriality. •The end of the Opium Wars marked the beginning of strong Western influence in China. •China offered the same concessions to other Western nations it had to Britain.
Hong Kong Today•More than 100 years later, in 1984, Great Britain and China signed a joint declaration in which Britain agreed to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.