Q I N G  D Y N A S T Y  
  (1644-1911, 267 years)  

More works of art

Right portion of this painting

By Yang Zuo, a painter in Qing Dynasty.  The painting depicts the city of Su Zhou under the reign of
Emperor Qian Long who oversaw a new era of prosperity in the early years of the dynasty.


Ming conquered by nomads from Manchuria, China once again under non-Chinese rule; culture flourished, but conservatism eventually led to the dynasty's demise; western powers, Russia and Japan defeated China to impose their requests for trade and other advantages; nationalistic revolutionaries led by Sun Yatsen overthrew Qing in 1911 and ended the last dynasty of China.

"Thus ended the world’s most remarkable span of imperial history. It was 2133 years since Shi Huangdi had first unified China. His hope of countless emperors from his own line had been soon frustrated, but the generations of rulers following him on that same imperial throne had been as near to countless as history is likely to come. One loses a normal sense of time in writing or reading of China. Comparison with two of the world’s other great empires can serve perhaps to put her dynasties into some sort of perspective. The Roman Empire was founded during the Han dynasty and came to an end in the gap between the Han and the Tang. The British Empire began early in the Qing dynasty and barely survived it."
Bamber Gascoigne


Li Hung-chang and Prince Chiang signed the protocol in Beijing after the Boxer Rebellion (1900-1901).

This is one of a series of defeats suffered by China in wars against western powers and later, Japan, in the last decades of the Qing Dynasty.

Editor's note: Li Hung-chang held the position of what we call "Secretary of State" today.  He is a very able and loyal public servant.  He carried out his job in a very difficult period of time when the court, unfortunately for the entire nation,  was ruled by the absurdity of the Empress Dowager.


- Description, Jonathan D. Spence

- The End of Imperial China,
Bamber Gascoigne

- MET, Metropolitan Museum of Art

- The Opium Wars, BBC History Series