The Fall of the Qing Dynasty.

TheFall of the Qing Dynasty.

TheQing dynasty was a ruling dynasty that existed in China until 1912when it collapsed paving way for the modern day China. The principlesbehind the founding of China may not have changed much since thecommunist nature of pre-modern China is still present today. Theethnic Manchu rulers held the reins of power over the middle kingdomof china until the early days of the 20thcentury. The Qing family lost its place among China’s ruling elitesdue to a number of reasons. The reasons were both external as well asinternal.

Focusingon the internal factors gives critical insight on the way of life inthe pre-modern China and the forces at play within the society. TheQing dynasty lost its moral authority over its subjects hence it wasunable to rule effectively and that eventually culminated in thecollapse of the ancient Chinese empire. The local Han Chinese feltthat the Qing family was not the right family to rule the empirehence they were disloyal to the throne (Ebrey 1996). They felt thatthe Manchu rulers were not native rulers since they were from thenorth.

Accordingto Ebrey (1996), opium wars also contributed significantly to theinternal woes of the Qing dynasty. The fact that the ruling class waslosing the war to the Europeans gave the locals the notion that therulers had lost their divine mandate and needed to be removed frompower. They were considered to have lost their heavenly grace.Reformers started mushrooming all over the empire since they feltthat the region needed fresh leadership. The Qing empress Cixi wasnot pleased with the calls for reforms and was hard on reformers(Ebrey 1996). The events of reform took place in 1900 and during thesame year the peasants came together to form an anti-foreignermovement. The movement was against the Qing rulers as well as theinvasion by the European countries.

TheQing rulers also had their own fair share of problems. In 1911, aWuchang revolt was witnessed in the empire. The revolt led to theformation of a new government “Republicof China” (Ebrey1996).The government was formed in Nanjing and that led to other provincesbreaking away from the Qing rule to join the newly formed republic.The republic did not last long since Yuan Shikai helped to end therevolt.

Pooreducation was another internal factor since the people were notlearned and it was easy to corrupt them with education. The empirealso underwent economic problems since it constantly refused to tradewith other countries such as Europe. It was for this reason that theopium wars erupted.

Interm of external factors, the empire also suffered greatly and lostits influence. The expanding control of the European countries led tothe fall of the empire. The European countries wanted to expand andthat meant taking over some parts held by the empire (Ebrey 1996).They tried negotiating with the empire but that always ended badly.The empire always lost to the whites hence the empire collapsed.

Theopium wars dealt a great blow to the state since they two warscrippled the ruling class. The first war was due to the fact thatEuropean countries wanted to occupy the empire mainly for trade. In1842 they took possession of Hong Kong under the treaty of Nanking.The second war had a causative agent in the form of increasedappetite by the whites in terms of influence. They wanted to beallowed more access into the empire and that resulted in the secondopium war which the Qing dynasty lost. The dynasty collapsed due to acombination of internal as well as external factors and it gave riseto modern China.


Ebrey, P. (1996). The QingDynasty. In TheCambridge illustrated history of China(2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.