25 September 1711 – 7 February 1799) was the sixth emperor of theManchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. The fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796.1
Meet McCartneyappointed the first envoy of Britain to China (his visit followed more than a hundred years after the first visit to England by a Chinese man, Michael Shen Fu- Tsung in 1685). He led the Macartney Embassy to Beijing in 1792 with a large British delegation on board a 64-gun man-of-war,HMS Lion . The embassy was ultimately not successful. This was not due to Macartney's refusal to kowtow in the presence of the Qianlong Emperor, as is commonly believed. It was also not a result of the Chinese reliance on tradition in dictating foreign policy but rather a result of competing world views which were uncomprehending and incompatible.The Macartney Embassy is historically significant because it marked a missed opportunity by the Chinese to move toward some kind of accommodation with the West. This failure would continue to plague the Qing Dynasty as it encountered increasing foreign pressures and internal unrest during the 19th century.
The Trouble with China Learning Objective: To outline the courseof late 18 and 19 Century Chinese history th thto 1860 and identify some broad themes forthe start of the IB Higher Level courseproper
McCartney“ The Empire of China is an old, crazy, first-rate Manof War, which a fortunate succession of and vigilantofficers have contrived to keep afloat for these hundredand fifty years past, and to overawe their neighboursmerely by her bulk and appearance. But whenever aninsufficient man happens to have the command on deck,adieu to the discipline and safety of the ship. She may,perhaps, not sink outright; she may drift some time as awreck, and will then be dashed to pieces on the shore; butshe can never be rebuilt on the old bottom.
“The breaking-up of the power of China (no very improbable event) would occasion a complete subversion of the commerce, not only of Asia, but a very sensible change in the other quarters of the world. The industry and the ingenuity of the Chinese would be checked and enfeebled, but they would not be annihilated. Her ports would no longer be barricaded; they would be attempted by all the adventures of all trading nations, who would search every channel, creek, and cranny of China for a market, and for some time be the cause of much rivalry and disorder. Nevertheless, as Great Britain, from the weight of her riches and the genius and spirits of her people, is become the first political, marine, and commercial Power on the globe,it is reasonable to think that she would prove the greatest gainer by such a revolution as I have alluded to, and rise superior over every competitor.”
Results• Crushing victory for the British forces• Beginning of the end for the Qing?• Unequal Treaties• Trouble ahead
The Taiping Rebellion (or don’t take exams too seriously!)• Missionary Influence• Hong Xiuquan and the civil service exams• Younger brother of Jesus?• 20-30 million deaths• Same time as American civil war• Fall of Nanjing in 1864
Plenary: Key Incidents and themes• Problems in governing China: Geography and communications• Leadership and failure to engage the West: McCartney’s mission• Western aggression: the Opium Wars• Internal problems: The Taiping rebellions and others
TOK Link/Learner ProfileHow do historians choose to select their areas of study? Why is it that the American civil war has generated so much more research than the much larger Taiping revolt? Does this suggest any potential weaknesses in historical study?