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Life During the Qing Dynasty

Life During Qing Dynasty

Qing emperors ruled an empire that was largely Chinese. As Manchurians, they were outnumbered thirty to one. In order to keep their control over the empire, they reserved important government posts for Manchurians. They also maintained an army that was almost entirely Manchurian.

In order to keep peace, these Manchurian leaders adopted the beliefs and traditions of the Chinese, integrating themselves into their culture. Qing emperors lowered taxes, and promoted a number of public works projects to improve the lives of the people they ruled.

In 1645, the emperor ordered all men in China to shave their heads, leaving only a single braid in the back, or face being executed.

An early 1900s example of the mandatory Manchu hairstyle

The public works projects and improved farming techniques under the Qing Dynasty allowed the population to explode, reaching more than 300 million, making China the most populous nation on Earth.