China’s Economy

Today we will be exploring China’s economy during the Qing dynasty. We will also be looking over the negatives of the Qing Dynasty economically. 

China was mainly an agricultural society during the 19th century. More than 90% of the population lived and worked in the countryside. Income was boosted in households by weaving silk or cotton or making handicrafts which could be sold at the local market. Other industries included growing tea and creating porcelain. 

Since the start of the Qing Dynasty in 1644, the Chinese were reluctant to change anything to do with arts and sciences. In the court of the Qing emperor, a slogan had been made, ‘all change equals decay’. China had once led the world in arts and sciences until this time. New innovations which made China great in the past was replaced by an ignorance to try any new ideas. Due to this China did not have advanced industries such as the ones in Britain and the United Sates. Only some industrialisation occurred in the 19th century in China as basic iron foundries were used in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. A significant industrial working class did not develop in China because of the reluctance to change. The majority of the nation remained as peasant farmers.

Tea was a very important crop at this time as it was bought by merchants and was shipped to foreign countries. By 1800, Britain had bought enormous amounts of tea from China in exchange for large amounts of silver. Most of this profit went straight to the merchants leaving the farmers with very little of what was made. 


During the latter half of the 19th century, China’s population grew more than double which led to an economic struggle. Without the use of new innovations due to the Qing dynasty, food production was hardly holding up for the population. 

Keep an eye out for the next post as it will be about the Silk Road!


China’s Social Structure

Hello again readers, today I will be posting on China’s Social Structure in the 1750’s.

China valued social order and harmony in their society. A person’s social status was determined on their occupation, as well as your gender and other aspects. People usually accepted their place in society and their expectations on behaviour.

A strict social hierarchy was established in China. The emperor and the nobles of the current dynasty were at the top of it. The emperor had total authority above the people. He was able to overrule judgements made in court and he directed the army personally. Below the Emperor were the government officials. They achieved this position by performing highly in the government examination system. I had no idea that the officials had to undergo exams to get to their positions. The other social classes were ranked in relation to their wealth instead of respectability. These were the merchants, artisans, craftsmen, and the farmers and peasants. This social order was unchanged from 221 BC, to the late 1800’s.


Crash Course on China!

This crash course provides us with a lot of information about the dynasties and the Mandate of Heaven.


Filial Piety and the Mandate of Heaven

I had no idea what Filial Piety and the Mandate of Heaven was and you probably didn’t either. Here is what I have found out about it.

Filial piety refers to the virtue of respect for one’s parents and ancestors. Confucius said in the Classic of the Filial Piety that, “In serving his parents, a filial son reveres them in daily life’ he makes them happy while he nourishes them; he takes anxious care of them in sickness; he shows great sorrow over their death; and he sacrifices them with solemnity”. Filial piety was largely emphasised in Confucianism because one’s devotion to their parents was associated often with one’s devotion to China. 


The Mandate of Heaven created a justification system. The Mandate of Heaven implied three major points. Firstly, the right to rule was given by the Gods. This meant that the Emperor had religious power. Secondly, the right to rule was only granted if the ruler cared about his people than himself. This gave the Emperor secular power and the right to decide what was good for the people. This was because if the ruler did not care about his people, he would be removed by the gods as a ruler. Lastly, the right to rule was not limited to one family or dynasty. This meant that a dynasty could be replaced. A new leader who had led a successful rebellion, he had to have had the support from the gods or else he would not be allowed to rule as the gods were the ones who chose the rulers.  

What do you think about this system? In my opinion, I don’t think it was very good to allow a single person to rule over an entire nation.



Physical Features and Geographic extent of China

Hello readers, today I am going to expand on the physical and geographical extent of China in the 1750’s as it was only briefly touched upon in the last post. Enjoy!

China stretched over 9000 kilometres west to east. It was home to approximately one quarter of the world’s population. The Chinese Empire included many ethnic groups which included the Tibetans, Muslims, Mongols, Manchus and the Taiwanese. China was one the largest empires at this time as it covered almost 10% of the land area on Earth. The Chinese Empire between in the 18th and 19th centuries included territories now belonging to Russia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Mongolia sat within the empire. China’s territories contained a large variety of climates and environments. Some parts had fertile farmland and rich river systems. Farms in the Yangtze Valley provided more than one third of China’s crops. China’s territory also included harsh landscapes. Mongolia was made up of mostly vast grassland with poor soil and extreme climate. The Xinjiang Province was nearly all desert leaving less than 10% of the land habitable. Tibet sat on a plateau, a high, flat area of land rising to the Himalayas in the south. China’s coastline ran from the Eastern Sea to the Southern Sea. China also controlled many island territories off coast.

Which part of China would you choose to live in during this time?

ImageGrand Canal in China. Longest canal in the world at almost 1800km

These climates affected how and where people lived as the population had to learn to adjust to different climates and environments to survive. During this time period, the Chinese Empire was very secluded from foreign countries. Little contact between other nations was made at this time.

Overview of what China was like in 1750

During the 18th century, China had been separated from the rest of the world. China was under the rule of an emperor. During this time period, China was under the rule of the Qing Dynasty.The emperor and his officials saw China as the world’s superior nation and they didn’t have the need to contact foreign countries. In 1750, the Chinese Empire stretched over 9000 kilometres east and west. China was home to approximately one quarter of the entire world’s population! 


China was under a very strict social hierarchy. China’s dominant religion was Confucianism. Confucianism encouraged respect towards people’s ancestors and a sense of duty and loyalty towards the ruler. 


Feelings On Blogging

I think that this method of learning is fun! 

I am very interested in learning about what China was like during the 18th Century and I think that this way of learning will be great as there are so many features available to use at the tip of our fingers. 

I’m confident in using this blog as my background in computing is pretty good. I hope that you learn alongside me about Chinese history on this blog. 


Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog on Chinese history. 🙂