History of China from 1600 to 1987 - Page 4
A College Paper By Paul Noll

C. Qing Dynasty

The main architect of the Qing consolidation, Emperor Kangxi, reigned from 1661 to 1722. He fortified the southern, eastern, northern, and northeastern borders. Kangxi started an effective national examination system, improving the flow of state information through reliable and secret communication channels. He attracted the support of potential dissident scholars through state sponsored projects and eased the latent tensions between the Manchus and ethnic Chinese in both government and society at large. Commerce and agriculture flourished during his reign. However, he did not tax them adequately, a failure that became a permanent flaw of the dynasty.

Kangxi's son struggled with these problems but as China's population rose dramatically in the later eighteenth century and new pressures on the land brought serious social disturbances, morale at the center began to crack. Inefficiency and corruption impaired the response of the state. The state evaded rather than met these domestic issues. China faced new problems as Western merchants sailed their vessels to China's shores and tested the restrictions China placed on them. The West, who had admired China, began to doubt if China's weakness would allow it to survive. The chance that China might be destroyed becomes a possibility.