Week 12: “Like the Sun at Mid-day”

Lecture 1: “Like the Sun at Mid-day”

I. Qing Rulerships

  1. The Kangxi  emperor (r. 1661–1722)—consolidation … war of the Three Feudatories (1673–1681) … Taiwan (1683) … foundation of government (bannermen  … grand secretaries … six ministries … governors) … sacred edicts (1670) … rites controversy (1692)
  2. The Yongzheng emperor (r. 1722–1735)—centralization … Grand Council … the Secret Memorial system … fiscal reforms … Lü Liuliang 呂留良 (1629–1683)
  3. The Qianlong emperor (r.1735–1796)—42,000 poems … “Manchu-ness” … sorcery scare (1768) … Si ku quan shu 四庫全書 (1771–80s; The complete library of the four treasuries; 3,461 titles) … patrons of literati culture
  4. Notable characteristics—longevity … dual identities

II. Expansion and Consolidation

  1. Taiwan (1683)—Zheng Chenggong 鄭成功 (Koxinga)
  2. Mongolia (1690s)—Eastern Mongols (1630s) … Western (Dzungar) Mongols (1696)
  3. Tibet (1720s)—protectorate
  4. Xinjiang (Chinese Central Asia) (1750s)—Uighurs
  5. Russia—treaties (1689; 1728)
  6. “Multi-ethnic” empire—Illustrations of Tributaries

III. Social and Economic Trends

  1. Population expansion
  2. Migration
  3. Social mobility

IV. Cultural Reorientation

  1. “Evidential learning” (kao zheng)—Huang Zongxi 黃宗羲 (1610–95) … Gu Yanwu 顧炎武 (1613–82) … reactions against Wang Yangming (1472–1529)
  2. Conservative turn—faithful widows . . . women’s writings
  3. Dream of the Red Chamber 紅樓夢 (Hong lou meng) (1791)—Cao Xueqin (1715–64)

V. Legacies of the Eighteenth Century

  1. Demographic and territorial expansion
  2. Involutionary trap?


  1. What do you think about Shen Fu as a husband, a son, and a person?
  2. What were the sources of Shen Fu's happiness and sorrow?



External links to Maps:

Qing Expansion | World Trade

Physical Map

Map of Modern China: Physical Geography

Source: National Museum of Chinese History, ed., A Journey into China's Antiquity, vol. 1 (Beijing: Morning Glory Publishers, 1997), pp. 8–9.


Physical Map by Satellite

Map of Modern China: Physical Geography

Administrative Map

Map of Modern China: Administrative Divisions

Source: SACU



External Links to Images:

Four Treasuries | Aborigines | Illustrations 1 | Illustrations 2



  • Kuhn, Philip A. Soulstealers: the Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990.
  • Mann, Susan. Precious Records: Women in China's Long Eighteenth Century. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997.
  • Naquin, Susan, and Evelyn Sakakida Rawski. Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987.
  • Rowe, William T. Saving the World: Chen Hongmou and Elite Consciousness in Eighteenth-Century China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.
  • Spence, Jonathan D. Treason by the Book. New York: Viking, 2001.


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