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Chinese history: from the late ming to qianlong - Essay Example

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Chinese History: From the Late Ming to Qianlong Ming and Qianlong governments applied administrative systems or agencies in regulating trade relations and preserving its cultural practices. Government systems employed included Canton and tribute systems. Central government agencies such as Zongli Yamen were imperative in maintaining China’s diplomatic relations.
Dynasty Systems and Assumptions
Canton System
The governments used Canton system for limiting international and regional trade using Hong merchants as agencies. Emperor ruled over canton system strategies that remained applicable between 1760 and 1770. Canton system only allowed use of silver a form of currency when trading on Chinese tea. Canton system remained restrictive in its design and always confined foreigners to smaller commercial districts in Canton. Canton system prohibited direct contact between Chinese citizens and foreigners. Canton system functioned between 1622 and 1911 after initiation by Qing dynasty (McCannon 223). Qing dynasty established the system at Canton port to assist in dealing with foreigners who arrived in China for trade. Ming courts made initial contacts with Portuguese, as the first Europeans to arrive in China by sea for trade at Canton between 1514 and 1517. Ming court expelled the foreigners and broke off relations. Ming dynasty accused Portuguese of crimes such as thievery and cannibalism.
Canton system significantly constrained activities off incoming merchants. It confined foreign merchants in factories near banks of Pearl River. Canton system prohibited the foreigners from learning Chinese language. The system also prevented foreign women from visiting Chinese factories. While in Canton, immigrants remained restricted from constructing permanent residence. Canton system only allowed foreigners to camp at Canton factories during shipping season after which the system forced immigrants to move to Macao in offseason.
Canton system assigned foreigners to Coons that served as a monopolistic guild of Hong merchants. Hong merchants acted as government’s agents and controlled behaviors of foreigners in Canton. Canton system, therefore, only granted foreigners direct contact with officially designated Chinese hong or firms.
European Trade Assumptions
European community considered Chinese as individuals who remained resistant to change. European community assumed that Chinese believed in their cultural practices and could not accommodate other cultures views. Europeans con the contrary, viewed themselves as open-minded and accommodative of other cultures. Europeans used their perceived knowledge in controlling international trade and free market contrary to canton systems.
The dynasties assumed that Canton systems would help in eliminating the influence of immigrating cultures. Canton system would ensure the survival of Chinese cultural practices around its ports. Qing and Qianlong Emperors also believed that the system would protect erosion of Chinese trade culture.
Tribute System
Chinese dynasties used the traditional tribute system as a basis of transacting trade with foreigners. Tribute system restricted access of foreign traders to Chinese markets by limiting the latter to specified ports subdued by the government. Chinese dynasties applied tribute system as an efficient mechanism for exacting compliance with neighboring states and individuals. The compliance had its basis on important issues such as diplomatic, economic, and political concerns. According to tribute system, foreigners would receive permission to establish contact with China and trade only after showing subservience to Chinese emperor. Subservience to Chinese Emperor required foreigners to bear tribute to the Emperor. In paying tribute, foreigners would present to the emperor token offerings consisting of rare precious products or native products. The foreigners would also perform ritual obeisance, which involved nine time’s procrastinations and three times kneeling. Emperors of Chinese dynasties assumed that by administering the tribute system, cultural practices such as respect to its leaders would remain protected.
Central Government Agencies and Assumptions
Central government agencies of Qing and partly Qianlong dynasties consisted of six notable ministries such as Board of Civil appointments, finance, rites, war, punishments, and works. Lifan Yuan and board of rites agencies formed the central institutions of human relations.
Lifan Yuan agency that also existed in Qing government had the role of supervising Mongolian dependencies. Lifan Yuan also supervised appointments of Ambans in Tibet. The agency also known as Court of territorial affairs also oversaw Qing Empire’s relationship with Russia.
Board of Rites agency had responsibilities for matters concerning court protocols. Board of rites organized periods of ancestral and other gods worship. The agency also managed nationwide civil examination systems and managed relations with tributary nations.
Office of Board Affairs
Border affairs office designed strategies of dealing with pertinent threats to the dynasty from either Russia or Mongols. The agency also laid down strategies for trading with west or central Asia. Office of the board of affairs also remained relevant monitoring intermarriages and formulating alliances with western Muslims and Mongols.
Imperial household
Another notable agency was the imperial family. The agency had its advisors chosen from royal families. Imperial household advices remained imperative in providing information relating to suitability-modernizing China’s economy or integrating European technology. Royal family company also maintained prestige within the dynasty.
Zongli Yamen agency
Yamen agency also known as premier’s office remained a significant foreign intervention of Qing dynasty. Qing dynasty established the organization as a replacement of Lifan Yuan to help deal with foreign affairs mainly from the west. The dynasties believed that the central agencies would revolutionize its diplomatic relations with foreign countries. Qing dynasty also assumed that formation of Zong Yamen agency would relieve diplomatic pressures from western countries. Moreover, the companies would promote intercultural communication between China and the international community.
Dynasties systems in both Qing and Qianlong reigns remained imperative in the maintenance of Chinese cultural heritage. Canton systems helped in protecting China trade policies and Canton port from external influence. Tribute systems assisted Qing and Qianlong governments in preserving Chinese cultural practices such as paying tribute to Emperors.
Work Cited
McCannon, John. Barron’s AP World History. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barrons Educational Series, 2014. Print. Read More
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