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9 - The Expansion of the Qing Empire Before 1800

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 January 2021

Yuri Pines
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Michal Biran
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jörg Rüpke
Affiliation:
Universität Erfurt, Germany
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Summary

This chapter analyzes the expansion of the Qing Empire between 1583 and 1800, paying particular attention to the factors determining the ultimate boundaries of the realm. It argues that imperial expansion can most convincingly be explained as a Manchu effort to dominate both China and the territory of the Mongols and Oirats. While the conquest of China was completed relatively quickly, the absorption of Mongol territories was protracted, fitful, and ultimately involved expansion elsewhere in Inner Asia, notably Tibet and the Tarim Basin (southern Xinjiang). Qing rulers adopted distinct political strategies for different zones of their empire: China was ruled chiefly via bureaucratic practices adapted from the preceding Ming regime, while much of Inner Asia was ruled by indigenous leaders kept under close Manchu oversight. Efforts to divide the empire into segments governed by distinct political and ideological norms began to break down by 1800.

Type
Chapter
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The Limits of Universal Rule
Eurasian Empires Compared
, pp. 316 - 341
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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