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End of a dynasty

Puyi: China's last emperor.  

On February 12, 1912 China’s boy emperor, Hsuan T’ung, was forced to abdicate, ending the Manchu Ch’ing dynasty.

The last dynasty of China — Qing dynasty or Manchu dynasty, ruled the country from 1644 to 1912. Aisin Gioro is the name of the imperial clan of Manchu emperors of the Qing dynasty. The House of Aisin Gioro ruled China from 1644 until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911-12.

By 1790, the kingdom extended till Central Asia. However, over the years, imperial control gradually declined. The Opium Wars (1839 -1842), the Taiping rebellion (1850 and 1864) followed by the Dungan Revolt (1862 and 1877) further weakened the dynasty.

In 1860, there was an attempt to restore the traditional order, to arrest the dynastic decline of the Quig dynasty. Empress Dowager Cixi, was a regent and the Emperor's death in she ousted a group of regents appointed by the late emperor and assumed regency. She controlled the government for 47 years from 1861.There was an immediate need to strengthen China. However, this only delayed the inevitable occurrence of the collapse of the empire.

The Boxer Rebellion (1899 and 1901) or the Yihetuan Movement saw violent anti-foreign and anti-Christian uprisings, killing many foreign diplomats and civilians. Foreign powers formed an alliance to counter the killings. Japan, Russia, the British Empire, France, the U.S., Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary came together and the Qing dynasty lost. The imperial court fled to Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province in central China and the Boxer Protocol was signed.

The early 20 century saw a mass civil disorder. The Empress issued an imperial edict in 1901 which was known as the late Qing Reform. These reforms died an early death with the sudden passing away of the empress in 1908. Puyi, the oldest son of Zaifeng, Prince Chun (a Manchu prince and regent of the Qing dynasty) was appointed successor at the age of two.

General Yuan Shikai was removed from his positions of power as he was suspected to have killed the empress. A Royal Cabinet was formed.

With provinces separating from Qing control, Yuan Shikai was brought back to power by the dynasty. But with so much power ands control it was only a matter of time before the empire crashed and the Republic of China was formed under his leadership.

Puyi, the last emperor, had no choice but to abdicate and Yuan Shikai became President of the Republic of China.


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Printable version | Sep 13, 2021 10:06:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/kids/decline-of-the-qing-dynasty/article8222868.ece

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