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In the 1600's, the Manchu people of northern China began to unite against the Ming Dynasty. Then, they crossed the great wall and invaded and conquered China in 1644. They soon took control of the Chinese capital of Beijing and declared the start of Qing Dynasty.
In 1683, the Qing Dynasty included all of China. At first, the manchu maintained order through harsh discipline. Anyone who was suspected of treason was executed. They later restored much of the Ming government including the civil service exams, but it was only for the Manchu to hold high offices. For around 150 years, China experienced growth and peace under Qing.
Under the Qing Dynasty, China remained isolated from the outside world. They traded items such as tea and silver. However, they had to do little else with foreign countries. For instance, foreign ambassadors were not allowed to head for the Chinese capital. In order for the Chinese to keep out European influences, Christianity was outlawed in the 1800's.
There were three main philosophies followed by the Chinese during Qing; Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. The leaders of Qing would strongly follow Buddhism. Art flourished under Qing including painting, sculpture, poetry, opera, and porcelain.
In the 1800's, the British began selling Opium in China, which became later illegal after many Chinese were addicted to the drug. Consequently, after the British kept selling the drug, the Chinese boarded British ships and dumped their opium into the ocean and war broke out. With the help of the British ships, Britain defeated China in both Opium Wars. The British later gained control of Hong Kong, Christianity was legalized, and China was opened to British merchants.
In the early 1900's, the Qing Dynasty began to breakup. Lots of natural disasters, war against Japan, and internal rebellions all led to famine and a poor economy. Finally, in 1911, a group of revolutionaries overthrew the Qing government, and in 1912, the last emperor, a six-year-old boy named Puyi, officially gave up his throne, and the Republic of China took over.
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