In 1644, the Great Qing, which was ruled by the Manchu people, acquired control of Beijing. By 1760, the Great Qing had achieved its greatest extent in terms of land area. When the year 1820 rolled around, China had the greatest economy in the world, thanks to the imperial dynasty, but difficult times were still to come. A group of researchers has only recently looked into that period of time, and their findings have unearthed a great deal of information! In spite of the great sociopolitical success it enjoyed over a span of two centuries, the Qing dynasty in China was brought to its knees by the year 1912. Long and heated discussions have been had over the factors that led to the fall of the imperial empire. However, this could soon be rectified.
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Why Did the Qing Dynasty of China Fail to Be Successful?
Employing something known as structural-demographic theory (SDT) to chart the fall of the Qing dynasty, researchers from Shanghai Normal University in China, Osaka University in Japan, the Complexity Science Hub Vienna in Austria, and the Evolution Institute and the University of Washington in the US, succeeded in finding three key factors that triggered the collapse of China’s Qing Dynasty.
We argue that the four-fold population explosion peaking in the 19th century, the growing competition for a stagnant number of elite positions, and increasing state fiscal stress combined to produce an increasingly disgruntled populace and elite, leading to significant internal rebellions, explain the researchers.
It is most possible that the authorities of the Qing dynasty were well aware of all of these issues, yet they did not respond intelligently or soon enough. The dynasty’s eventual demise was ultimately brought on by a confluence of domestic revolutions and international geopolitical adversaries from the outside. These pressures often manifest themselves over a longer period of time, but governments normally change and develop over a shorter period of time; hence, the tragedy that befell the Qing dynasty may very likely be duplicated in other dynasties throughout the world.
The work may be read in its entirety in the journal PLOS ONE.