1636 is when it all started. The Manchus easily took control of China due to the weakening of the Ming Dynasty. By encouraging Chinese traditions and expanding their control slowly, the Qing were able to create the largest Chinese dynasty of all time under the leadership of Hong Taiji.
Emperors Kangxi and Qianlong strengthened the empire in many ways, such as expanding its borders, reducing taxes, etc. However, a factor that majorly affected the dynasty's wealth was the increase in farming and trade. Farmers grew cash crops such as cotton to spin into cloth and eventually sell as clothing. Qing leaders soon opened their ports to more European countries, allowing for a variety of goods.
The Spread of Christianity
Another factor that aided the economy was the trading of hand-painted artwork. Around the time of the Qing Dynasty, many artisans acquired the skill of painting on silks, which, in the long run, ended up producing enough money to support themselves and their families. Additionally, artisans were also responsible for documenting life in Qing China, creating pictures depicting the activities of everyday people.
The Fall of the Qing Dynasty
With such a large dynasty, how can one ensure that they do not lose control of it? Well, when it came to battle, the Qing dynasty was always prepared. From tactical strategies to outnumbering the opponent, the Manchu rulers had to ensure that they had a strong military. Also, the military was divided into eight groups, called banners, for maximum defense.
Although it may have seemed like a good idea to open Qing ports up to Europe, this was actually one of the reasons for the fall of the dynasty. Along with all the European goods and influences that came through the Qing ports were Jesuits with one goal; to spread Christianity. Having the spreading of a new religion in a dynasty where everything is organized can cause problems. Sure enough, the spreading of Christianity lead the Chinese to fall to British control later on.
After 300 years, it was time for the Qing Dynasty to say goodbye. Many factors caused the fall of the Qing Dynasty, such as corruption, peasant unrest, weak leadership, and food shortages. However, the dynasty did have some significance. In 1644, the Chinese capital in Beijing was captured by Li Zicheng. Also, when Ming dynasty officials were in need, the Manchus were there. Although it was a sad end, the Qing Dynasty was an extremely successful dynasty.