Qing Dynasty Timeline
China’s final imperial dynasty, the Qīng (“大清”), ruled over 268 years, taking in an incredible period of change in society, technology, and culture… as well as non-stop conquest, internal conflict, and latterly clash of civilizations as various other colonial powers arrived at the doorstep. I’ve drafted two timelines to try to get an overview of this sweep of history, firstly with an emperors’ ruling span timeline, which begins with Nurhaci and his son Hong Taiji before this dynasty of Jurchens achieved victory over the Ming Dynasty and domination of the greater part of China… and ends with the tragic, if not bathetic, story of “Henry” Pǔyí, the “Last Emperor” (formally, the Xuāntǒng Emperor).
If nothing else, you can really see the significance of the length of rule of Kangxi and Qianlong.
Events During the Qing Dynasty
In the second timeline, using the same (y-axis) separation by periods of emperors’ rule, I have plotted a variety of significant historical events.
To look out for:
- The first time China became commonly referred to by the simple name ‘zhong guo’, i.e. “Central Kingdom” (or “Middle Kingdom)
- The most important surviving visual record of the Yuanmingyuan (“Old Summer Palace”), destroyed by the British in 1860 and so lost to history, was the series of paintings commissioned by Qianlong over 100 years previously…
- Heshen: epic level of corruption (or so says the conventional narrative…)
- Qing reaction against foreign missionaries begins at least 30 years before foreign resistance to the actions of Lin Zexu spark the First Opium War
- The career of Cixi spanning four emperors
- Two other important empresses in the non-career of Puyi: Longyu and Yehenara
- The treaty that was the origin of the 1997 hand-back date for Hong Kong
Clearly, there’s too much for just one A4 PDF… for the next historical scatter I will try switching the axes with the more recent events lower down, allowing the text alignment to be less messy…