Foochow arsenal
Foochow arsenal
Feng Guifen, coiner of the phrase
Commissioner Lin Zexu
Photo of a 27-year-old Prince Gong.
Front gate of the Zongli Yamen, the de facto foreign affairs ministry.
Nanjing Jinling Arsenal (金陵造局), built by Li Hongzhang in 1865.
The Fuzhou Arsenal in Mawei District, Fuzhou, Fujian.
Chinese warship Yangwu, built at the Fuzhou Arsenal in 1872.
Builder of the Fuzhou Arsenal, Prosper Giquel
"Chinese Gordon"
Chinese Qing officers with a Montigny mitrailleuse.
Premier Li Hongzhang with former President Ulysses S. Grant, 1879
Chinese fortifications, Sino-Vietnamese border
Gun transportation at Shanghai Jiangnan Arsenal (上海江南製造兵工廠).
Zuo Zongtang, 1875
Minister of Transport Sheng Xuanhuai

China embarked on an effort to modernize, the Self-Strengthening Movement, following its defeat in the First (1839–1842) and Second (1856–1860) Opium Wars.

- Hundred Days' Reform

Albert Feuerwerker argues that this shift ultimately was connected to the reform proposals of the 1890s, i.e. the Hundred Days Reform, and thence the New Policies.

- Self-Strengthening Movement
Foochow arsenal

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Qing dynasty

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Manchu-led conquest dynasty and the last imperial dynasty of China.

Manchu-led conquest dynasty and the last imperial dynasty of China.

The Qing dynasty in 1890. Territory under its control shown in dark green; territory claimed but uncontrolled shown in light green.
The Qing dynasty in 1890. Territory under its control shown in dark green; territory claimed but uncontrolled shown in light green.
Italian 1682 map showing the "Kingdom of the Nüzhen" or the "Jin Tartars"
Manchu cavalry charging Ming infantry battle of Sarhu in 1619
Sura han ni chiha (Coins of Tiancong Khan) in Manchu alphabet
Dorgon (1612–1650)
Qing Empire in 1636
The Qing conquest of the Ming and expansion of the empire
The Kangxi Emperor (r. 1662–1722)
Emperor with Manchu army in Khalkha 1688
Putuo Zongcheng Temple, Chengde, Qianlong reign; built on the model of Potala Palace, Lhasa
Campaign against the Dzungars in the Qing conquest of Xinjiang 1755–1758
Lord Macartney saluting the Qianlong Emperor
Commerce on the water, Prosperous Suzhou by Xu Yang, 1759
British Steamship destroying Chinese war junks (E. Duncan) (1843)
View of the Canton River, showing the Thirteen Factories in the background, 1850–1855
Government forces defeating Taiping armies
Yixin, Prince Gong
Empress Dowager Cixi (Oil painting by Hubert Vos c. 1905))
Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and Japan dividing China
Foreign armies in the Forbidden City 1900
Yuan Shikai
Qing China in 1911
Zaifeng, Prince Chun
A pitched battle between the imperial and revolutionary armies in 1911
A postage stamp from Yantai (Chefoo) in the Qing dynasty
A Qing dynasty mandarin
The emperor of China from The Universal Traveller
2000–cash Da-Qing Baochao banknote from 1859
The Eighteen Provinces of China proper in 1875
Qing China in 1832
The Qing dynasty in ca. 1820, with provinces in yellow, military governorates and protectorates in light yellow, tributary states in orange
Brush container symbol of elegant gentry culture
Chen Clan Ancestral Hall (陈家祠) built in 1894
Patriarchal family
Placard (right to left) in Manchu, Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian Yonghe Lamasery, Beijing
Silver coin: 1 yuan/dollar Xuantong 3rd year - 1911 Chopmark
Xián Fēng Tōng Bǎo (咸豐通寶) 1850–1861 Qing dynasty copper (brass) cash coin
Puankhequa (1714–1788). Chinese merchant and member of a Cohong family.
Pine, Plum and Cranes, 1759, by Shen Quan (1682–1760).
A Daoguang period Peking glass vase. Colored in "Imperial Yellow", due to its association with the Qing.
Jade book of the Qianlong period on display at the British Museum
Landscape by Wang Gai, 1694
The Eighteen Provinces of China proper in 1875

The Tongzhi Restoration of the 1860s brought vigorous reforms and the introduction of foreign military technology in the Self-Strengthening Movement.

The ambitious Hundred Days' Reform of 1898 proposed fundamental change, but the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908), who had been the dominant voice in the national government for more than three decades, turned it back in a coup.

Oil painting by Hubert Vos (1905)

Empress Dowager Cixi

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Chinese noblewoman, concubine and later regent who effectively controlled the Chinese government in the late Qing dynasty for 47 years, from 1861 until her death in 1908.

Chinese noblewoman, concubine and later regent who effectively controlled the Chinese government in the late Qing dynasty for 47 years, from 1861 until her death in 1908.

Oil painting by Hubert Vos (1905)
An early portrait of the Consort Dowager Kangci, foster mother of the Xianfeng Emperor. She hosted the selection of the Xianfeng Emperor's consorts in 1851, in which Cixi participated as a potential candidate.
The Pavilion of Beautiful Scenery, where Cixi gave birth to the Tongzhi Emperor
Portrait of Empress Dowager Ci'an (co-regent with Cixi), with whom Cixi staged the Xinyou Coup.
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Photograph of Princess Rongshou (center seated), Prince Gong's daughter. As a way to show gratitude to the prince, Cixi adopted his daughter and elevated her to a first rank princess (the highest rank for imperial princesses).
Ceremonial headdress likely worn by Cixi. The small phoenixes emerging from the surface represent the empress. The Walters Art Museum
Portrait of Empress Xiaozheyi, also known as the Jiashun Empress and "Lady Arute", who had the approval of Empress Dowager Ci'an but never Cixi's. It is widely speculated that the Empress was pregnant with the Tongzhi Emperor's child and that Cixi orchestrated the empress's demise.
Portrait of the Tongzhi Emperor doing his coursework. Cixi's high expectations of him may have contributed to his strong distaste for learning.
Empress Dowager Cixi (front middle) poses with her court attendants and the Guangxu Emperor's empress (second from left), who was also her niece
Empress Dowager Cixi holds hands with the fourth daughter of Prince Qing (to her left) and chief palace eunuch Li Lianying (to her right). The lady standing in the background is Consort Jin (later Dowager Consort Duankang).
Consort Zhen, the Guangxu Emperor's most beloved consort, was initially liked, but eventually hated by Cixi.
Empress Dowager Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor holding court, drawing by Katharine Carl
Empress Dowager Cixi and women of the American legation. Holding her hand is Sarah Conger, the wife of U.S. Ambassador Edwin H. Conger.
Empress Dowager Cixi, by Katharine Carl, 1904, commissioned by the Empress Dowager Cixi for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World's Fair) and later given to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, transferred to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art collections and later the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution.
Entrance to the burial chamber in Cixi's tomb
Memorial tower of the tomb of Empress Dowager Cixi
Photograph of Cixi
Katharine Carl oil portrait painted for exhibit at St. Louis World's Fair of 1904
The plaque hanging above Cixi is inscribed with her title in full
The Empress Dowager was a devoted Buddhist and seized every opportunity to dress up as Avalokiteśvara (Guanyin), the goddess of mercy. This photograph shows her sitting on a barge on Zhonghai. The white smoke forms the character for longevity, and on top of the smoke was her Buddhist name "Guangrenzi" (literally Universal Benevolence).

Although Cixi refused to adopt Western models of government, she supported technological and military reforms and the Self-Strengthening Movement.

She supported the principles of the Hundred Days' Reforms of 1898, but feared that sudden implementation, without bureaucratic support, would be disruptive and that the Japanese and other foreign powers would take advantage of any weakness.