This week, we’re going to start our exploration of the Sino-Japanese relationship with a quick recap of the history of China’s last imperial dynasty. How did China find itself in such desperate straits by the turn of the twentieth century that they were being surpassed by a chain of islands that had been irrelevant for centuries? Tune in to find out!
Listen to the episode
Perdue, Peter C.
China Marches West.
The Cambridge History of China, Vol 9-10.
The Search for Modern China.
Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)
Nurhaci, the Manchu warlord who instigated the conquest of the Ming Dynasty, and whose descendants would go on to found the last imperial dynasty of China.
The Ming-Qing Wars took decades to play out before the Ming were finally defeated. In this battle — the battle of Ningyuan — Nurhaci, the man who instigated the conquest of China, was fatally wounded. His grandson would be the one to finally take Beijing.
This map shows the various mongol principalities from the 14th to 18th centuries. The Dzunghar Khanate is in the center.
A map of “Chinese Tartary,” China, and Tibet by a French cartographer, dated 1734.
The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu, the final battle in toe conquest of the Dzunghar Khanate to the northwest of China (modern Xinjiang). After the battle, a huge massacre of civilians took place, and even then the region remained a hotbed of anti-Chinese separatism (a reputation it retains to this day).
The HMS Nemesis destroying Chinese war junks during the First Opium War (1839-42). The utter superiority of Western weaponry and military training undermined the authority of the Qing Dynasty, starting it on a slow death spiral.
The recapture of Nanjing from the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. The Taiping Rebellion is the largest civil war in human history, and it lasted almost two decades.