The Qing Dynasty was the last imperial dynasty in China, which it ruled for 268 years. After rising to power in 1644, it managed to cling to power for the better part of three centuries until it was overthrown first in 1911 and finally in 1912 after a brief reprieve. Within the timeline of Chinese history, it follows the Ming Dynasty, which ruled China from 1368 to 1644, and precedes the formation of the Republic of China, which was formed in 1912 and lasted until Mao Zedong seized power in 1949.
The Qing Dynasty is a period of Chinese history that is known for having had powerful rulers who each had long reigns. The period was one of prosperity for the country and its people, but it was also plagued with natural disasters, invasions by foreign armies, entanglements with foreign commercial interests, and rebellions from within its own borders that eventually brought the dynasty down, marking the end of imperial rule in China. Given all the turmoil surrounding it, it is nothing short of astounding that the dynasty managed to keep power over such a vast, multicultural domain for as long as it did.
The History of China’s Qing Dynasty tells the story of how the last imperial rulers wielded power and kept various forces at bay for more than 250 years.