The Qing dynasty (1916-1912) is the last imperial dynasty of China, it was consider as the most powerful country during the “golden age” ruled by Kang Xi and Qian Long, and it has over 400 million population and has the 1st ranked GDP in the world at the moment. The Qing has the supreme power at the time and has the significant influence in East Asian. However, the collapse of the Qing Dynasty made a humiliate history of China. The Qing dynasty doesn't fall suddenly, and the collapse of Qing is not just simply because domestic revolution and alien invasion.

The failure of the Qing government is worthy to study, we need to take a deep step and explore the root cause of the collapse of Qing. Before we discuss how Qing dynasty collapse, we need to know how it was founded. The dynasty was founded by the Jurchen Aisin Gioro in 1616. In the late sixteenth century, Aisin Gioro leader, Nurhachi, who was originally a vassal of the Ming emperors, began forming the Jurchen clans into "Banners" a military-social unit which also included various ethnic groups. In 1936 Huang Taiji Change the name to Qing.

In 1644, the Ming capital Beijing was sacked by a peasant revolt led by Li Zicheng, a former minor Ming official, who then proclaimed the Shun dynasty. After Li Zicheng take down the capital Beijing, Ming dynasty collapse, and then Li’s army unify China gradually(Kyle11). After that Qing started the “Golden Age”, the emperor Kang XI, Yong Zheng, Qian Long make the country well developing. Qing was extremely success during that time, the government was highly centralized, so there were no domestic conflict during the time.The meritocracy educational system help government to select their officers, this educational system was successful because it send the well-educated people to service the government.

And the “mandate heaven” ensure that the emperor respond for his people and country. Even though the Qing was strong during the “golden age”, however Qian Long has a strong influence by a traditional thought of “Pro-agricultural and Anti-commerce”, and he arrogantly thought that Qing is strong enough to developing by itself without other country’s support.So, Qian Long decide to seclude the Qing from the outside world, Qing stop trading with foreign countries and close the harbors. His policy has the tremendous influence in modern Chinese history, it was consider as the main cause that Qing being on the wane. This policy completely cut off the contact between China and the outside world. During the same time, the western countries were develop rapidly, because of the industrial revolution bring new technological innovation.

The disparity of national strength between China and Western countries has been enlarged. The development of China are far behind than western country.Even though China close its door tightly, however it cannot hold it forever, the Great Britain use cannon and opium opened door of China. “Treaty of Nanking” was the first unequal treaty that Qing government signed with foreign power.

This is the moment that all Chinese people should remember, because it is a symbol that Qing loss its sovereignty, and China became a semi-colonial country. The Opium War was inevitable, because the western country developing so fast, and they need the resource from other country to keep the high-rate development.China has all the benefit and resources that western country wanted, and its national strength is far behind than western countries. Unsurprisingly, a closing China became their primary target. The policy that Qing government made which seclude the country from the outside world is a failure.

The purpose of this policy is to defend Qing from outside invasion, however it does not accomplish its goal, and also hinder the Qing’s development , so Qing’s national strength were far behind than western countries.After losing the Opium War and Second Opium War, Chinese government realized they need to open the “window” and accept the new technology from western countries and modernize the Qing. So, in 1860s and 90s, the westernization movement to “self- strengthening” and “rich” for the purpose, set off a “long skill with barbarians” (Jiang122) reform movement. Founded their modern military industry, civil industry, set up new type schools, cultivating scientific and technological personnel and students.

The westernization movement promoted the modernization of Chinese education and traditional social ideas change.The westernization movement bring some positive effect to China, however, the old feudal system and bureaucracy makes the movement failed at the beginning. At the moment, they are two parities in the Qing’s government, one was supported the westernization and the other were anti-westernization. The two parties fight all the time and they cannot make an agreement. So, even though CiXi empress dowager was support the movement, the movement were still hindered by the people who were anti-westernization.

In the other hand, assume that the Qing government are fully support the westernization movement, the movement will still fail as the same.Because, the Chinese government just want to use the new technology from western to maintain its power, however, the Chinese society and institution are very different than western countries, Chinese government were feudalism, but the western countries were capitalism. The Chinese government didn't realized, that the successful of western countries is because their institution. The westernization will never success, if Chinese government only wants to learn the new technology and bought the equipment from western countries but not change themselves. (Li 337) In 1984 the Sino-Japanese war happened.This war has significant influence for Chinese government, because this is the first time China were defeated by a non-western power, and Japan was consider as a weak “tiny” neighbor of China.

China and the entire world was shocked by losing Sino-Japanese War. Losing Sino-Japanese War is a symbol that Qing Dynasty is going to perished, and the way that China lose is worth to study. Even though the westernization movement did not operated so well, but it still modernize and improve the Chinese military power. Especially Chinese marine has lots of modern warship and weapon, and China has more soldier than Japan.

It is fair to say that China has enough army to fight with Japan. But, why Japanese win the Sino-Japanese War? Firstly, Chinese government did not realized that Japan dare to fight with China, so they did not prepare well. Secondly, Chinese government try to stop the war by diplomacy, they trying ask western countries for help, but, at the moment the western countries were stand for Japan. Last and most importantly, the old feudalism and bureaucracy made Chinese army lose the war. The commander of Chinese marine Li Hongzhang, who is also the leader of “westernization” party in the government.Because he is the commander of the marine, so he has authority in Qing government.

He does not wants to fight with Japanese army, because if he lose his marine, he will also lose the power in the government. By command under Li Hongzhang, Chinese marine have suffered repeated defeats, Chinese marine always bungle the chance of winning battle. At the end, Li’s marine was completely wiped out, and by comparison, Japan just lose little part of marine. By losing Sino-Japanese war, China sign the “Treaty of Shimonseki”, it is a unequal treaty which humiliate the country and forfeit its sovereignty.

The treaty states Qing government agree that Japan take over the Korea. By losing control of Korea, China gives Japan a fortified point, it helps Japan to prepare the invasion of Manchuria. Secondly, gives Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands to Japan. This made China lost its sovereignty and made China looks bad on international stage.

Thirdly, China paid large amount indemnity to Japan. In order to pay the indemnity, Chinese government raise the tax of Chinese people, it slowing down the Chinese economic and also made Chinese government looks bad in domestic.Overall, by losing Sino-Japanese War, it accelerate the collapse of the Qing dynasty. “To expel the barbarians and to revive Zhonghua to establish a republic, and to distribute land equally among the people.

” (CCSHA 444) Sun Yat-set In 1911, the XinHai revolution (the revolution of 1911) was happened, because of the decline of the Qing state, which had proven ineffective in its efforts to modernize China and confront foreign aggression, and was exacerbated by ethnic resentment against the ruling Manchu minority.Many underground anti-Qing groups, with the support of Chinese revolutionaries in exile, tried to overthrow the Qing. The brief civil war that ensued was ended through a political compromise between Yuan Shikai, the late Qing military strongman, and Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Tongmenghui (United League). XinHai Revolution was a successful bourgeois democratic revolution against imperialism and feudalism, a revolution overthrew the Qing Dynasty rule over China two thousand years of feudal monarchy, the Democratic Republic of the concept of popularity.

However, due to the weakness of the national bourgeoisie and compromise, the fruits of the revolution are imperialism, support head of the Northern warlord Yuan Shikai, China’s semi-feudal nature of society has not changed. (Lee 4) By go thought the history from beginning and end of the Qing dynasty, we can make a conclusion of the reasons for the collapse of the Qing dynasty. The feudalism and traditional ideas made the Qing government decided to seclude the Qing state from the outside world, this policy made Qing state can only focus on itself.However, at the same time, the western countries were improve tremendously during the industrial revolution.

So, Qing state were far behind than western countries, and this is the main reason made Qing state from flourishing to collapse gradually. After Qing state realized that they were far behind than western countries, the government of Qing state decide to improve themselves by learn from the westerns. So, the “westernization movement” was started. Nevertheless, the “westernization movement” is also a failure of Qing state.Because the new technology and western ideas can not fit in the old institution and feudalism, also the strong influence by bureaucracy hinder the “westernization”.

The failure of the “westernization movement” caused the weak national strength of Qing state, and made Qing state weak in the international stage. The alien power invasion totally destroyed Qing state, it made Qing became a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. The domestic instability and alien power invasion made Qing state weaker and weaker.Finally, the Xinhai revolution overthrew the Qing Dynasty rule over China two thousand years of feudal monarchy. The modern history of China is a history of humiliation.

We can make a conclusion from the collapse of Qing dynasty, which we are living in a cruel world, only the strong country can survival. The strong country should have a good institution and a fair and well-operate government, and also should have a strong military able to defend themselves. I think the “Social Darwinism” is true, the weak countries will be replaced by the strong countries.