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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #1
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Were the Yuan and Qing Dynasties Chinese?


I think this has been discussed before but I'm bringing it up again. So there has been a debate in another thread about whether or not the Yuan and Qing are Chinese dynasties. Any thoughts on this?

This is my original post:

Wrong. The term "China" was given to the country by Westerners. The Chinese referred to the land as 中国, 中土 or Middle Kingdom/Middle Earth. Each dynasty called the lands by the dynastic names. The Yuan called their empire 大元 (Great Yuan), the Ming 大明 (Great Ming), and the Qing 大清 (Great Qing).

Both the Yuan and the Qing were legitimate Chinese dynasties because their rulers claimed to be the "Son of Heaven" (天子), a claim used by Han Chinese emperors. The rulers of Yuan and Qing did not refer to themselves as Khan (可汗)but as Emperor (皇帝) and both rulers adopted Han bureaucracy to rule their empire. And the rulers of both relocated their capital into Chinese homeland. Kublai Khan abandoned the traditional Mongol capital of Karakorum for Khanbaliq, also known as Yuan Dadu or Beijing, and as a result Karakorum became the administrative capital of a province. Karakorum was wracked by civil wars and was not used again as the Mongol capital until the Yuan was pushed out of China.

In the case of the Manchus, they relocated because they felt it would legitimize their claim to the Chinese throne. It was the common practice for new dynasties to burn down the palaces of the old but the Qing choose to keep the palace of the Ming and continued to expand it. Obviously they felt that they picked up after the Ming as rulers of China or else they would've built a new palace. There was also intermarriage between the Manchus and the Hans and the late Manchu Emperors were not pure blood Manchus.

The Manchus did try to keep their culture distinct, but that has nothing to do with politics. Politically the Qing was just like the Ming, from the bureaucracy to the political divisions of provinces to the Mandarin Squares worn to denote ranks of officials. You were right thatLiaodong was off limits to Han Chinese but a significant amount of Han Chinese did live in Liaodong, they were the descendants of the Han officials and generals who defected long ago. And by the 1860s and 1870s, the Han began moving into the North in large numbers. It was also not uncommon for Manchus to marry Hans and father mix blooded children.

Another reason why both Yuan and Qing were China was the Imperial Jade Seal (传国玉玺). The most common theory was the Yuan Emperors used it and then fled with it. As a result, the Qing Emperors created numerous Imperial seals (the Emperor had 25 in the Forbidden City) to lessen the significance of the Imperial Jade Seal. They did so because they feared that if found it could lead to a rebellion against their rule as Chinese emperors. It was said that whoever controlled the seal had the Mandate of Heaven and so it was nicknamed "The Heirloom Seal". If they were part of a "Manchurian" empire, then they couldn't care less about a jade seal used by Han Chinese.

The Yuan and Qing rulers considered themselves the true rulers of China. They were just from another ethnic group. And as I said before both ethnic group are part of the "Chinese" ethnicity, which makes them and their dynasty Chinese. And this is not a common misconception. Only some Westerners and Tibetans believe the Yuan and Qing are not China because they use this to fight the notion that Tibet was part of China but the debate about Tibet is a whole different issue. The Yuan and Qing are in every way Chinese and there are significant amounts of evidence supporting it.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:29 PM   #2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mingming View Post
I think this has been discussed before but I'm bringing it up again. So there has been a debate in another thread about whether or not the Yuan and Qing are Chinese dynasties. Any thoughts on this?

This is my original post:

Wrong. The term "China" was given to the country by Westerners. The Chinese referred to the land as 中国, 中土 or Middle Kingdom/Middle Earth. Each dynasty called the lands by the dynastic names. The Yuan called their empire 大元 (Great Yuan), the Ming 大明 (Great Ming), and the Qing 大清 (Great Qing).

Both the Yuan and the Qing were legitimate Chinese dynasties because their rulers claimed to be the "Son of Heaven" (天子), a claim used by Han Chinese emperors. The rulers of Yuan and Qing did not refer to themselves as Khan (可汗)but as Emperor (皇帝) and both rulers adopted Han bureaucracy to rule their empire. And the rulers of both relocated their capital into Chinese homeland. Kublai Khan abandoned the traditional Mongol capital of Karakorum for Khanbaliq, also known as Yuan Dadu or Beijing, and as a result Karakorum became the administrative capital of a province. Karakorum was wracked by civil wars and was not used again as the Mongol capital until the Yuan was pushed out of China.

In the case of the Manchus, they relocated because they felt it would legitimize their claim to the Chinese throne. It was the common practice for new dynasties to burn down the palaces of the old but the Qing choose to keep the palace of the Ming and continued to expand it. Obviously they felt that they picked up after the Ming as rulers of China or else they would've built a new palace. There was also intermarriage between the Manchus and the Hans and the late Manchu Emperors were not pure blood Manchus.

The Manchus did try to keep their culture distinct, but that has nothing to do with politics. Politically the Qing was just like the Ming, from the bureaucracy to the political divisions of provinces to the Mandarin Squares worn to denote ranks of officials. You were right thatLiaodong was off limits to Han Chinese but a significant amount of Han Chinese did live in Liaodong, they were the descendants of the Han officials and generals who defected long ago. And by the 1860s and 1870s, the Han began moving into the North in large numbers. It was also not uncommon for Manchus to marry Hans and father mix blooded children.

Another reason why both Yuan and Qing were China was the Imperial Jade Seal (传国玉玺). The most common theory was the Yuan Emperors used it and then fled with it. As a result, the Qing Emperors created numerous Imperial seals (the Emperor had 25 in the Forbidden City) to lessen the significance of the Imperial Jade Seal. They did so because they feared that if found it could lead to a rebellion against their rule as Chinese emperors. It was said that whoever controlled the seal had the Mandate of Heaven and so it was nicknamed "The Heirloom Seal". If they were part of a "Manchurian" empire, then they couldn't care less about a jade seal used by Han Chinese.

The Yuan and Qing rulers considered themselves the true rulers of China. They were just from another ethnic group. And as I said before both ethnic group are part of the "Chinese" ethnicity, which makes them and their dynasty Chinese. And this is not a common misconception. Only some Westerners and Tibetans believe the Yuan and Qing are not China because they use this to fight the notion that Tibet was part of China but the debate about Tibet is a whole different issue. The Yuan and Qing are in every way Chinese and there are significant amounts of evidence supporting it.
As I said in the other thread, none of this proves anything. No matter how much evidence you are presented with you will not change. So, I wonder why you even bother to start this thread.

Do not abandon the other thread. I have another cavalcade misconception to throw at you later.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #3
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As I said in the other thread, none of this proves anything. No matter how much evidence you are presented with you will not change. So, I wonder why you even bother to start this thread.
I stated my points to prove how the two dynasties are Chinese. It was you who failed to challenge me, instead blaming it on the Chinese people.

So its a crime now to start a thread? I think its courtesy to move our debate to this thread so we don't ruin the other one. This topic seems too hot to be contained in that thread and I want to see what other people think.

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Do not abandon the other thread. I have another cavalcade misconception to throw at you later.
You might as well move it to this thread. And I really want to see what you have to offer to support your point.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:41 PM   #4

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Well neither were particularly Chinese at their inception, but I would hazzarda guess at saying that they became chinese as they were absorbed culturally and politically over the empires that they ruled.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:46 PM   #5

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Although they may have considered themselves legitimate rulers of China, what did the people of the time consider them as - a foreign invader or a genuine, legitimate ruling dynasty?

The situation with Tibet is a red herring. You might as well make the parallel that because the Mongols had once ruled China, Mongolia has a claim to China as its own territory.

Kublai Khan was not only Emperor of China, but also, prior to that and simultaneously, the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:47 PM   #6

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Quote:
Although they may have considered themselves legitimate rulers of China, what did the people of the time consider them as - a foreign invader or a genuine, legitimate ruling dynasty?

Also do those ideas change overtime? Something else to be considered.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
Although they may have considered themselves legitimate rulers of China, what did the people of the time consider them as - a foreign invader or a genuine, legitimate ruling dynasty?
During the beginning of their rule, people considered them foreign invaders. But once their rule was established and the nation prospered, people didn't care so much anymore. The Taiping rebels saw the Qing as foreigners but their view was not shared by every single Chinese. There was a lot of nationalism supporting the Qing and resisting the foreigners (Boxers being the prime example). But once it became obvious that the Qing was beyond help, people once again saw them are foreigners. It changes with the times.

Like I said, today the Manchus and the Mongols are Chinese. That makes their dynasties Chinese as well.

Quote:
The situation with Tibet is a red herring. You might as well make the parallel that because the Mongols had once ruled China, Mongolia has a claim to China as its own territory.
China ruled Tibet twice. And Mongolia technically can, its just that they don't want to. Its a perfectly legal claim.

Quote:
Kublai Khan was not only Emperor of China, but also, prior to that and simultaneously, the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire.
I thought he claimed to be Great Khan? The other Khans didn't care about his claim.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mingming View Post
During the beginning of their rule, people considered them foreign invaders. But once their rule was established and the nation prospered, people didn't care so much anymore. The Taiping rebels saw the Qing as foreigners but their view was not shared by every single Chinese. There was a lot of nationalism supporting the Qing and resisting the foreigners (Boxers being the prime example). But once it became obvious that the Qing was beyond help, people once again saw them are foreigners. It changes with the times.
Which would mean that it's just as legitimate to claim that they both are and aren't Chinese, depending on your point of view.

Quote:
Like I said, today the Manchus and the Mongols are Chinese. That makes their dynasties Chinese as well.
The Mongols might claim that they are Mongolian...

Quote:
China ruled Tibet twice. And Mongolia technically can, its just that they don't want to. Its a perfectly legal claim.
I seriously doubt the claim would be given any credence by the Chinese government.

Quote:
I thought he claimed to be Great Khan? The other Khans didn't care about his claim.
He did, but his claim to the title predates that of his title of Emperor of China. His younger brother was given the title of Khagan, but Kublai defeated him. The Mongol empire was already fracturing at the time, however.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
Which would mean that it's just as legitimate to claim that they both are and aren't Chinese, depending on your point of view.
Whats important is that the Mongols and the Manchus considered themselves to be legitimate Chinese dynasties. And by modern standards they would be since both of their ethnic groups are considered Chinese.


Quote:
The Mongols might claim that they are Mongolian...
Doubt it, the Mongols never pursued intermarriage. Sure they might have fathered a few bastards as a result of rape but they can only claim the land not the people.

Quote:
I seriously doubt the claim would be given any credence by the Chinese government.
The issue with Tibet is very complicated, best not be discussed here.

Quote:
He did, but his claim to the title predates that of his title of Emperor of China. His younger brother was given the title of Khagan, but Kublai defeated him. The Mongol empire was already fracturing at the time, however.
He had two titles then, Khan of Mongolia and the Emperor of China. Thats enough evidence to show you he considered his dynasties a successor to the Song. Or else why claim to be Emperor of a dynasty when you are the Khan of an empire?
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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:28 PM   #10

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Quote:
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Whats important is that the Mongols and the Manchus considered themselves to be legitimate Chinese dynasties. And by modern standards they would be since both of their ethnic groups are considered Chinese.
Legitimate rulers of China doesn't necessarily equate to legitimate Chinese dynasties, do you see the difference?

Quote:
Doubt it, the Mongols never pursued intermarriage. Sure they might have fathered a few bastards as a result of rape but they can only claim the land not the people.
I wasn't aware that Mongols were considered a Chinese ethnicity. Sources please? And as Mongolians have their own country, I fail to see why they would necessarily consider themselves Chinese. I'm sure the Mongolians in Mongolia don't.

Quote:
The issue with Tibet is very complicated, best not be discussed here.
You brought it up in your OP, and it is therefore legitimate to address this point. If you didn't want to discuss it, you shouldn't have mentioned it as part of your argument.

Quote:
He had two titles then, Khan of Mongolia and the Emperor of China. Thats enough evidence to show you he considered his dynasties a successor to the Song. Or else why claim to be Emperor of a dynasty when you are the Khan of an empire?
To increase your legitimacy in the eyes of the people you are ruling, of course, in the same way that other dynasties claimed legitimacy by claiming to have received the Mandate of Heaven. As an analogy, the British considered themselves the legitimate rulers of India - this is not the same as them claiming to be Indian.
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