Imperial China and Chinese Revolution

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  • Created by: kim.a.r
  • Created on: 25-03-14 16:22

Imperial China

  • The last dynasty that ruled imperial China was the Manchu dynasty, they ruled China from mid 17th century until the revolution in 1911 
  • The emperors of this dynasty came from Manchuria, that originally layed outside of China. This made them allianited from the Chinese people who viewed their rulers as 'alien rulers'. This led to Chinese Nationalists forming in the 19th century. 
  • Chinese Nationalists would symbolically cut of their pigtails, which was the traditional Manchu hairstyle which had been forced onto them.
  • At the beginning of the 20th century there were 4 main ethnic groups in China: Han, Manchu, Mongol and Tibetan. Han were the most popular ethnic group in China making up 90% of the population


Imperial - The rule of the various dynasties and emperors over China.

Manchu - Also known as the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty of China (1644-1911)

Chinese nationalism - Strong committed belief in the need for China to re-establish its independance and sovereignty.

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  • Old China was viewed as unwillingly changing. The absence to change was at the heart of Chinese culture, this was a deliberat e choice.
  • Chinese view was the concept of harmony, this was developed by a teacher Confucius. He was not a religious thinker, he believed that Gods most likely did not exist, and if they did they were too unknowable to think about. It was the world and the people in it that mattered.
  • Confucius wanted to advance a code of conduct that would prove enable social harmony. He graded and classified behaviour, that menat when followed it wold allow people to live at ease and peace with eachother. 
  • The main factor in his tecahing was that human happiness could only be found by having a harmonious life. He taught that by fighting against the laws of nature was a hopeless activity.
  • He viewed that viewing distasters e.g. earthquake as tragic intrusions was a misunderstanding.
  • He believed that these 'disasters' were the workings of nature and that individuals and society had to embrace them. 
  • Confucianism can been seen as a form of quietism. Quietism is the acceptance of fate. 
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The mandate of heaven

  • Mandate of heaven is the force of history that justifies the holding of power by those in authority.
  • Heaven in the Chinese concept is a dynamic or force that can both cause and justifies change. In translation fate. 
  • Emperors or dynasties who replaced those before them saw it as their right to do so on the principle that they were doing so in keeping with the natural laws of harmony. 
  • People who questioned this system and were defeated were seen as rebels and punished whereas those who chanllenged the system and were victorious was no longer seen as a rebel and his success was seen as proof that he or she was a legitamate inheritor of the mandat eof heaven.
  • The emperor was the principal ruler and magistrate of China and was entitled to complete obediancer from his subjects and government officials. This viewed as divine right of kings which was the notion that a monarch has a god-given and therefore unchallengeable authority to govern. 
  • Obediance to proper authority, both by the family and in social, was a fundamental duty for Chinese citizens . 
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