Why is China occupying Shanghai

China in the 19th and 20th centuries

Politics in China pp 27-60 | Cite as


Ancient China reached the height of its power in the 15th century. The then still ruling Ming dynasty had perfected the imperial structures of China. She had subjected the surrounding empires to her suzerainty (obligation to pay tribute), cultivated Confucian ethics into a state ideology and stabilized the rule of officials as an instrument of imperial rule. China even got far in shipping, and there were even beginnings of trade with Africa and Arabia. The shipbuilding was stopped in the 14th century and the exploration of the seas was canceled. This decision was preceded by natural disasters. The emperor's advisers attributed it to the wrath of heaven over the forays into strange worlds. In fact, they were an occasion for the Mandarinate, i.e. the Beijing officials, to keep foreign ideas away from China. Interest in the outside of China died out. The maintenance of the status quo became state doctrine (Huang 1986 conveyed a three-dimensional snapshot of the political situation in the Ming period). The consequences of the fossilization of the traditional order, which was now beginning, were evident in famines and peasant uprisings. In 1644 the Manchus conquered large parts of the country from the northeast. The Manchu ruler claimed the Chinese throne. Until the end of imperial rule, Manchus would rule China as the Qing dynasty.

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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2006