The Fall of Qing Dynasty

The Fall of Qing Dynasty

            Popularly called the Great Qing, the Qing Dynasty referred to imperial China’s last dynasty was established in 1963. It ruled China from 1644 –1917. The Qing Dynasty’s rule, in the beginning, was very prosperous. For instance, it was the rule that further extended China’s present borders and perfected the imperial system rule in China. After flourishing in the eighteenth century, it became tumultuous towards the end during the nineteenth century.  The fall was attributed to numerous factors, such as warfare,  overpopulation, rebellion, and economic disasters. As such, this paper explores the reasons for Qing Dynasty’s fall.

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The factors for the decline, fall, and Collapse of China’s Qing Dynasty involved both internal and external changes outside and within the dynasty, overall western influence, the Sun Yat-Sen’s rise, and the peasant revolts.  One factor was the trade imbalance between the Qing Dynasty and Great Britain. The trade imbalance between these two trading partners made Great Britain, the leading tea importer to lower the demand for tea from China (Leese 45). The decision was mainly due to China’s low importation demand of Britain’s goods, despite being the largest importer of Chinese tea. This trade imbalance marked the beginning of the Qing Dynasty’s fall due to reduced income generation sources.

Second, the people of China began peasant revolts, mainly due to famine, droughts, bandits, and floods. Due to their fallout with their major trading partners like Great Britain, China began to experience economic hardships. Life became problematic and hard for the citizens, and in return, they resorted to peasant revolts against the Qing Dynasty’s rule to bring their country back to its flourishing state. For instance, in 1850, China, under the leadership of the Qing Dynasty, experienced the bloodiest civil war that had never broken out in other parts of the world (Mao). These civil wars mainly originated from the peasant revolts by the Chinese because of unfavorable or dissatisfaction with their living standards.

Another factor leading to the Qing dynasty’s fall was the Qun Yat-Sen’s rise. Yat-Sen was a Chinese physician, political philosopher, and statesman who later overthrew the Qing Dynasty in December 1911. As a nationalist having some socialist tendencies, Yat-Sen formed groups that jointly formed the Tongmenghui or the Revolutionary Alliance. This Alliance’s main motive was to replace the Quing rule with a republican form of governance (Yat-Sen 2). Their aim came to pass in 1911, when Yat-Sen’s newly formed Revolutionary Alliance overthrew the Qing Dynasty, bringing to an end Qing’s two millennial imperial rule and transitioning China to an anew sociopolitical development rule under a republican government system.

Lastly, an upsurge in the Western nation’s influence resulted in the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. The last one hundred years of Qing’s rule were only problems caused by pressure from foreign western nations. The foreign immigrants spread their cultures and ideas throughout China. As a result, they took advantage of the deteriorating Qing rule and made it weaker as time progressed, leading to its fall in 1911 (Mao).

In conclusion, knowing the fall and collapse of the Qing Dynasty’s two millennial rules make historians and the Chinese people gain an in-depth knowledge of how the China Republic was formally established. They realize that China became a republic as a result of the Xinhai Revolution, which started with an uprising of Wuchang on October 10, 1911.



Works Cited

Leese, Daniel. “Revolution: Conceptualizing Political And Social Change In The Late Qing Dynasty.” Oriens Extremus, vol. 8, March 2012, pp.  25-61.

Mao, Dun (Shen Yanbing), 1896-1981. “Spring Silkworms” [PDF].

Yat-Sen, Sun. “Selection from A Program of National Reconstruction: The Three Stages Of Revolution (1918).” Asia for educators, Columbia Univerity Press, 2000,

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