Western Influences on China during Qing Dynasty

China has been the platform of a number of dynasties and empires, which enriches its history with ancient traditions and cultures. The Qing Dynasty was one of the ancient dynasties of the China constituency. It was founded by the Manchu clan Aisin Gioro, in the northeastern region of China, and reign from 1644-1912 A. D. Gradually, it started expanding from the northeastern states to the surrounding territories, which established the Great Qing Empire in the Chinese history.

According to the Chinese account and traditions, the last Imperial dynasty of China was the Qing Dynasty. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty, and was succeeded by the present democracy that runs the Republic of China. In the year 1616, the ‘Later Jin Dynasty’ was given to this empire. However, the name was changed to ‘Qing’ in the year 1636. From the year 1644, the whole China was ruled by this Qing Dynasty, which completed the Manchu conquest of this region.

During its reign, the grip on China was consolidated by it. The Chinese culture was integrated, and we can see the height of the Imperial Chinese that influenced the whole region at that time. However, during the 1800s, international pressures, especially from the west, weakened its military power and influence in the China, which resulted in the various war defeats, and massive rebellions. Therefore, the Qing Dynasty or the Late Qing Dynasty was towards its declination after the mid of 19th century.

One of the other reasons of its decline and rejection was the Xinhai Revolution that followed the resignation of Empress Dowager Longyu on February 12, 1912, due to the massive opposition from the foreigners and domestic states. In order to understand and investigate the reasons and causes that weakened the Qing Dynasty, we will try to discuss some historical factors of this Qing Dynasty. It is a common view of 19th century that the Late Qing Dynasty was the era of declination and diminishing of its prosperity and control over the Chinese region.

Social strife, explosive population growth, and economic stagnation was suffered by the China, due to which, an increasing strain was placed on the supply of the food to the people. According to the various historians and writers, various explanations have been given regarding these events. It was mostly considered that it was due to the foreign pressure from especially, the West. While the Western countries pressurized this dynasty, the rulers were unable to cope up against the international force and demands, with their antiquated Chinese government, economy, and bureaucracy.

In the mid 19th century, the Qing Dynasty was already weakened by the internal problems, whereas, the Western world was busy in their trials of deteriorating and weakening the uncertain Qing Dynasties, through its contemporary ideas, technologies, and various sources of ultimate revolution. The main question that was not answered by the rulers of that time, was the way of dealing with these Western and international counterparts. Prior to the 19th century, the Chinese dynasties were taken as the rulers of heaven that can rule territories directly or indirectly through the neighbors.

In Asia, the Chinese empires were considered as the hegemonic power, that is, an empire having no boundaries of its own. During the Late Qing Dynasty, the expansion of European empires started gradually across the world. The maritime trade was used to develop stronger economies of the European states. However, the attempts were made to falsify an association with the China, and fleets consisting of gifts, such as, European technologies, art, etc, were sent to the China. Nevertheless, due to the unimpressive behavior of the Chinese rulers, the further forge attempts were aborted by the Western governments.