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The Manchu Military and Government

Here is an eye-opening essay on the Qing Dynasty military from the Cambridge Journal of Chinese History – Qing Military Institutions by Yingcong Dai. I have been gradually changing my mind about the Manchu government of China, at least up to the year the Qianlong Emperor resigned his office (in 1797). I used to be highly dismissive of the Manchu rule but the more recent scholarship I have read in over the last decade has changed my mind.

I now believe the Manchu ruled China wisely and well. They made a few but significant improvements over the Ming Dynasty, most in the area of military organization, and in other places as well. The Qing paid laborers, they kept taxes low, and they maintained the prestige of the army.

Even the Koreans, who hated the Qing, recognized, by 1750, that the Manchu were doing a good job ruling China.

See also The Cambridge History of China, Volume 9, Part Two (published in 2016), but that takes some time to read, and you really have to read Part One first. Only 700 pages each.

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