the Manchus in 1644, who then established the Qing Dynasty. An estimated 25 million people died during the Manchu conquest of the Ming Dynasty (1616 1644).
The Qing Dynasty, which lasted until 1912, was the last dynasty in China. In the 19th century the Qing Dynasty adopted a defensive posture towards European imperialism, even though it engaged in imperialistic expansion into Central Asia itself. At this time China awoke to the significance of the rest of the world, in particular the West. As China opened up to foreign trade and missionary activity, opium produced by British India was forced onto Qing China. Two Opium Wars with Britain weakened the Emperor's control.
A corner tower of the Forbidden City at night; the palace served as the residence for the imperial family since the reign of the Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century, up until the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912.One result was the Taiping Civil War, which lasted from 1851 to 1862. It was led by Hong Xiuquan, who was partly influenced by an idiosyncratic interpretation of Christianity. Hong believed himself to be the son of God and the younger brother of Jesus. Although the Qing forces were eventually victorious, the civil war was one of the bloodiest in human history, costing at least twenty million lives (more than the total number of fatalities in the First World War), with some estimates of up to two hundred million. Other costly rebellions followed the Taiping Rebellion, such as the Punti-Hakka Clan Wars (1855 1867), Nien Rebellion (1851 1868), Muslim Rebellion (1862 1877), Panthay Rebellion (1856 1873) and the Miao Rebellion (1854 1873). These rebellions resulted in an estimated loss of several million lives each and led to disastrous results for the economy and the countryside. The flow of British opium hastened the empire's decline.
While China was wracked by continuous war, Meiji Japan succeeded in rapidly modernizing its military and...