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AN OUTLINE HISTORY

OF

CHINA



PART II




HERBERT- H GOWEN




TIEN MING



AN OUTLINE HISTORY

OF

CHINA



PART II

FROM THE MANCHU CONQUEST TO THE

RECOGNITION OF THE REPUBLIC

A. D. 1913



BY

HERBERT H. GOWEN, D.D., F.R.G.S.

Lecturer on Oriental History at the University
of Washington




BOSTON

SHERMAN, FRENCH # COMPANY
1913



COPYRIGHT, 1913
SHERMAN, FRENCH & COMPANY



PREFACE

In view of the kindly reception the first volume
of this "Outline History" has had at the hands
of the press and public, the author is hopeful that
the completion of the work will be as generously
judged. It still, however, seems necessary to
emphasize the fact that the book is neither a com-
plete history of China nor a selection of episodes
chosen according to the writer's taste. The word
"Outline" is intended to be taken literally. The
bulk of the book might all too easily have been
increased, but in that event the idea of writing a
brief, fairly-proportioned sketch would have re-
mained unfulfilled. One or two critics have com-
plained of the prominence of military episodes.
The only excuse that need be made is that (as the
Vicomte D'Ollone has so often repeated) Chinese
history is unfortunately very full of campaigns
which cannot be left unchronicled if a true pic-
ture is to be presented. At the same time the
Kulturgeschichte has by no means been neglected.
The philosophers and literati undoubtedly con-
tributed much to Chinese history. Nevertheless,
the framework of the story must necessarily be
political and the effect of such a work as the
present would have been invertebrate had not the



PREFACE

dynastic changes been carefully observed. The
author believes that those who take the trouble to
make this general outline their own will appreci-
ate as they have not done before the ample ma-
terials provided elsewhere for filling up the gaps
which have been deliberately left.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I INTRODUCTORY 1

II THE REIGN OF SHUN CHIH .... 10

III THE REIGN OF KANG HSI 27

IV THE REIGN OF YUNG CHENG ... 45
V THE REIGN OF KIEN LUNG .... 55

VI THE REIGN OF KIA KING 74

VII THE REIGN OF TAO KWANG .... 90

VIII THE TAI PING REBELLION 110

IX THE REIGN OF HIEN FENG .... 121

X THE REIGN OF TUNG CHIH .... 130

XI THE REIGN OF KWANG HSU . . . .145

XII THE EMPRESS DOWAGER'S THIRD RE-
GENCY 165

XIII THE REVOLUTION 180

XIV THE CHINESE REPUBLIC 191

ADDENDUM 205

APPENDIX 207

INDEX . 211



ILLUSTRATIONS

TIEN MING Frontis.

Facing Page
THE ELEUTHS PAY HOMAGE TO KIEN LUNG . 58

PEKING (FROM AN OLD PRINT) .... 130
YUAN SHIH KAI 185



CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTORY

A celebrated Japanese gardener, the story goes,
set out to make a garden in which he should use
but one of the manifold products of a bounteous
earth. He chose, of all things in the world,
rocks! and we are told that his rock-garden was
one of the wonders of the neighborhood. There
are many who suppose that Chinese history must
necessarily be, if a garden at all with any ordered
plan, a garden of rocks, mere facts petrified with
age, arranged according to the preciosite of some
antiquarian or archaeological schematism, but out
of all relation with the things that live.

It is hoped that those who have hitherto followed
this little history will have discovered that such
an estimate is untrue. The forces which rule in
modern China are not for the most part forces
which have been imported from foreign lands.
They are forces which come potent and alive out
of the historic past.

A Chinese legend tells how in the fifth century
B. C. a certain prince offended his sovereign and
was ordered to commit suicide. The culprit

obeyed and his body was cast into the great river

1



2 OUTLINE HISTORY OF CHINA

Yangtsze as he had requested. But he predicted
that he would come again to behold the ruin of his
ruthless master and the legend tells us that the
great bore of Hangchow rolling seaward with "a
wrathful sound, and the swift rush of thunder" is
nothing else but the spirit of the unappeased Tsz-
sii. In like manner the spirits of the past ages
make to-day's tides. The spirit of the Revolution
of 1912 was the same as that which swept away
the Shang Dynasty eleven centuries before Christ,
or that which drove back the Mongol into Central
Asia in 1368 A. D. The democratic forces which
have prevailed to-day are essentially the same as
those which called Shun from his plowing twenty-
five centuries before Christ, or made it possible
for an obscure Buddhist priest to found the dy-
nasty of the Mings.

All history, however modern, must take ac-
count of origins. The Knickerbocker history,
which must needs go back to the patriarchs to com-
mence the history of New York, is not wrong in
principle. Not only is it true, as Shelley sings,
that

"All things, by a law divine,
With one another's being mingle/'

but it is also true that the particular must always
take hold of the universal. The drinking cup of
every man, as well as that of Thor, is connected
with the infinite ocean. He who would drain to
the bottom his own draught must exhaust the sea.



INTRODUCTORY 3

All this is true of the history of China as well as
that of any other country. The facts of China's
past contain not only the interpretation of China's
present: they contain also the interpretation of
the history of Europe and America. As in
Darwin's famous illustration the white clover
disappeared from a certain district in Australia
because the boys had killed off the cats
which had hitherto destroyed the mice, now en-
abled to multiply and so destroy the nests
of the bumble bees which had fertilized the clover,
in history there is no scientific frontier be-
tween nations. Modern Europe rose on the
ruins of the Roman Empire, which fell largely
before the inroads of the barbarian tribes which
the great Han generals of China had succeeded in
turning westward ; and modern America is the re-
sult of the dreams which Marco Polo inspired in
the navigators of the fifteenth century of a Cathay
rich and splendid beyond the imagination of mor-
tal men.

All this needs to be emphasized because it would
be a pity to attempt the understanding of China
out of a study restricted to modern times. We
need some far-flung vision of the past, with all its
mist and all its glamor, if we would appreciate the
present, which seems more prosaic because seen
at closer range. To know a river in such a way
as to account for its size, its currents, its swift-
ness, its color, the character of the soil brought
down as a deposit for the fields on either hand,



4 OUTLINE HISTORY OF CHINA

you must do more than stand upon its bank at a
given point: you must search, if you can, "the
roots of the fountain" and track it onwards to the
ocean. Happy indeed if, while in other historic
studies we see

"In outline dim and vast

Their fearful shadows cast
The giant forms of Empires, on their way
To ruin/'

we find in the case of China a commonwealth of
unknown antiquity continually resisting the forces
of disintegration, and a contemporary of the
youngest as it was a contemporary of the most
ancient nationalities the world has known. A
French writer has recently said: "II n'est point
si facile de faire table rase du vieux monde celeste."
The phrase is an apt one and applies with as much
force to the revolution brought about by the Man-
chus in 1644 as to that which took place before
our astonished eyes a year or two ago. There is
no table rase at the commencement of the period
with which this volume deals, and we must, there-
fore, bring to the study of the time some concep-
tion of the various epochs which gave it birth.

Let us bring with us to the study of the
China of the past three centuries the following
vision :

In the youth of the world, beyond the beginnings
of authentic history, we see a shepherd folk in the
northwest provinces of what we now call China,
of whose provenance we can only speak by way



INTRODUCTORY 5

of speculation. These folk have learned to rule
and guard and feed their sheep, and they bring
to the ruling and guarding of the future Empire
the self-same qualities which have made them shep-
herds. Presently, the great family under its
"Pastores" is seen to be outgrowing the old patri-
archal despotism. The machinery of a more com-
plex government is being evolved, not only to se-
cure the people from attacks from the fierce abo-
riginal tribes within their borders and to repel the
hordes of invaders from without, but also to avert
or heal the great devastations of flood and
drought to which China has been subject for un-
counted ages.

So we come to the dynastic history which, as
given us in the later compilations of the Confucian
literati, represents the monarchs of China in the
strongest conceivable light and shade. Like the
little girl in the rhyme,

"When they were good they were very, very good,
And when they were bad they were horrid."

There is some sameness in the story of these dy-
nasties, for as Byron writes,

"There is the moral of all human tales;
"Pis but the same rehearsal of the past;

First Freedom, and then Glory when that fails,

Wealth, Vice, Corruption Barbarism at last.

And History with all her volumes vast,

Hath but one page."



6 OUTLINE HISTORY OF CHINA

With some such reflection we pass by the story
of the vicissitudes of the dynasties of Hia and
Shang to the nine centuries during which ruled
the house of Chow. This we think of as the feu-
dal period, when the centrifugal tendencies of
the several states were stronger than the forces
which were centripetal. It is during this period
that we perceive philosophers and professional re-
formers of every type endeavoring to repair by
ethical teaching the moral declension of the rulers.
It is the era of Laotsz and Confucius, of Chwang-
tsz and of Mencius, of Micius and Licius. Never-
theless, all the philosophers with their demo-
cratic theories were not able to arrest a brief
experiment in Imperialism, and for one genera-
tion, from about B. C. 250, we see the mighty
fashioner of the Great Wall, Tsin Shih Hwang-ti,
bending himself to the double task of rooting out
from China the very memory of Confucian ideals
and of welding together the contending princi-
palities into an indissoluble unity. Tsin Shih
Hwang-ti's dynasty perished with him, but that
which followed, while reacting from the iconoclasm
of the anti-Confucianists, carried out the great
First Emperor's dream of extended rule and
pushed on the frontiers of China to regions no
ruler had hitherto known. The story of the Han
dynasty and of those great Wardens of the
Marches who reared the dragon flag front to front
with the eagles of Rome on the one frontier which
divided the Empire of the Pacific from that of the



Atlantic, is one of thrilling historical and polit-
ical interest. No one will ever quite understand
the significance, e. g., of the Russian Convention
with Mongolia in 1912 who has not appreciated
what the great Han generals accomplished two
thousand years before.

Then there rises before us four centuries of
anarchy, which have become for us centuries of
romance, and we scarcely need the "Story of the
Three Kingdoms" by China's Sir Walter Scott
to make us feel the fascination of this rude yet
chivalrous time. At the beginning of the 7th
Century A. D., when from Japan to the Atlantic
Coast new nations were rising into manhood,
when on the ruins of the Roman Empire in the
west a modern Europe was slowly taking shape,
and on the ruins of the Byzantine Empire and of
Sassanian Persia the Khalifate was establishing
itself; when the Nihongl and Kojikl in Japan
were telling of a new power rising from the mists
of the eastern archipelago rises into view the
glorious period of the T'angs, memorable alike for
its literature and its art, and above all, for the
great religious movements which turned the China
of the 7th Century into the hospitable nursing-
mother of foreign religions, Magian, Muhamadan,
Christian and Manichasan.

Once again we have a period of anarchy and
misrule, and this in A. D. 960 gives place to the
Sungs with their philosophers and political econ-
omists striving to hold back from ruin a land



8 OUTLINE HISTORY OF CHINA

already to a large extent under the grip of the
Tatar.

A mist of blood passes before the eyes through
which sweeps westward with flashing sword the
terrible form of Jenghiz Khan. When the storm
had passed we see rising out of the ruins the
throne of the Mongol. The fair city of Cambaluc
gleams from afar like Camelot and through the
magic spectacles of Marco Polo we catch a
glimpse of Kublai Khan. We see him "with ten
thousand falconers and some five hundred gerfal-
cons, besides peregrines, sakers and other hawks
in great numbers ; and goshawks also to fly at the
waterfowl. The Emperor himself is carried upon
four elephants in a fine chamber made of timber,
lined inside with plates of beaten gold, and out-
side with lions' skins."

A century more and the Mongol rule has passed
to the limbo to which it had itself consigned the
Sungs. Out of the factions of the mid-four-
teenth century rises the figure of the "Beggar
King," achieving Empire almost without knowing
whither his stars were leading him, and so found-
ing the famous dynasty of the Mings.

Now at last our vision is almost finished. The
Ming dynasty has, like its predecessors, sunk into
the mire of contempt. The Manchus are thunder-
ing at the northern portals, but it is to rebellion
and intrigue that the China of the Mings suc-
cumbs. The last Ming Emperor stands in the
San Kwan temple close to the city gates to learn



INTRODUCTORY 9

his fate. The fortune-telling sticks are in the
vessel in his hand. If a long stick is shaken out
he will go forth to meet the rebels ; if a medium-
sized stick falls he will await him in his palace ; if a
short stick falls he will know the worst. Then
the lots were cast and the short stick fell to the
ground. The Emperor "with a mingled cry of
rage and despair, dashed the slip on the ground,
exclaiming 'May this temple built by my ances-
tors evermore be accursed! Henceforward may
every suppliant be denied what he entreats as I
have been ! Those that came in sorrow, may their
sorrow be doubled ; in happiness, may that happi-
ness be changed to misery ; in hope, may they meet
despair ; in health, sickness ; in the pride of life
and strength, death! I, Chung-ch'en, the last of
the Mings, curse it.' '

So he went back to the palace and arranged for
the death of himself and family. Next day,
strangled with his own girdle, the last of the
Mings lay dead on the Meishan in the Palace gar-
dens at Peking.

When the news reached the commander-in-chief
of the Chinese army, he gave the word which let
in the Manchus into the heritage of the sons of
Han.



CHAPTER II

THE REIGN OF SHUN CHIH
1644-1661.

The Manchu period the Manchus Nurha-
cliu the Conquest Wu San Jcwei Accession of
Shun chih Ama Wang Progress of the Conquest
Shang K'o hi Cheng Che lung and Coxinga
Adam Schaal Foreign relations Death of
Shun chih.

THE MANCHU PERIOD. Much more is popu-
larly known of this period in Europe and America
than of the dynasties which preceded it. This is
natural both on account of its nearness to our own
time and because of the necessarily closer rela-
tions established during this period with the west-
ern nations. Nevertheless, the history of the
Manchu dynasty, like the history of China gener-
ally, has been written for the most part from the
foreign standpoint and might perhaps be more
justly entitled, as we have so far appreciated it a
History of the foreign relations of China during
the Manchu period. This result has followed
from two obvious considerations. First, those
who have written have been for the most part

interested mainly in questions which concern

10



THE REIGN OF SHUN CHIH 11

the outer world. Secondly, the Chinese have
followed the custom of deferring the publica-
tion of the memoirs of a dynasty until the
dynasty itself has run its course. Hence on
many points in the story of the epoch we have
considerably less light from native sources than
on the stories of the dynasties of Han or Sung.
In our description of the events coming within
this period we shall endeavor to preserve the same
sense of proportion observed in the earlier vol-
ume. Many important questions must, of course,
be treated less than adequately, but in these cases
it will be easy to supply the deficiency from de-
tailed and authoritative sources.

THE MANCHUS. The Kim Tatars, or Man-
chus, have already been described as a branch of
the great Tatar family. They had their original
home on the banks of the Sungari River. They
make their first appearance upon the field of his-
tory in the 10th and llth Centuries, when they
followed the Khitan Tatars into the northern part
of China. The Khitans had adopted the name of
Liao, or Iron, as the title of their dynasty, and
transmitted it to the peninsula which they wrested
from the Chinese and which has ever since borne
the name of Liao-tung. On their heels came the
ancestors of the Manchus, then called Nilfhihs,
and, with a fling at their rivals, took the name
Kim, or gold, for, said they, "Iron rusts, gold
keeps its color." A century later, however, the
Kim Tatars were driven out of China by Jenghiz



12 OUTLINE HISTORY OF CHINA

Khan. The name Manchu, or Pure, was given to
the tribe by Aisin Gioro, who was miraculously
born to a heavenly maiden in the Chang Pai
mountains. Aisin Gioro consolidated the Manchu
power and established his capital at Otoli, but
after his reign, which was violently ended, the Man-
chus pass out of sight until the middle of the six-
teenth century.

NUEHACHIT. We may perhaps usefully sum-
marize what has already been said on the subject
of the Manchu conquest and retrace the steps
which led to the downfall of the Mings. The
most potent instrument in the early stages of the
conquest was the famous chief Nurhachu, who
aspired to become a second Jenghiz Khan. Born
in A. D. 1559, he succeeded in conquering the
Liao-tung peninsula in A. D. 1582. From that
moment onwards he cast covetous eyes upon the
Ming dominions to the south. Contact with the
Chinese seemed inevitably to create an atmosphere
of conflict. The conflict became more and more
embittered as the years passed, and Nurhachu,
in issuing the famous declaration, known as the
"Seven Hates," showed that he was anxious to seek
some justification for the projected campaign. At
the same time, in taking the throne name of Tien
Ming, he showed unmistakably that his intention
was nothing less than conquest. This achieve-
ment was, in all probability, only averted by his
death in A. D. 1627. The foresight which led
him to send his son in early childhood into China



THE REIGN OF SHUN CHIH 13

that he might be instructed in the language, man-
ners and customs of the Chinese, is only one more
indication amongst many of the purpose which
lay nearest to his heart.

THE CONQUEST. Hostile, however, as were the
intentions of the Manchus, it is important to re-
member that, as on the earlier occasion under the
Sungs, the actual occupation of China came to
them as the result of an invitation from the Chi-
nese themselves. Many years after, the Emperor
Kang-hsi was able to say in his last Will and
Testament: "Of all the dynasties which have
succeeded up to the present, there is none which
has acquired the Empire with so much right and
justice as mine." The facts which give some
color to this claim have already been recited.
They may be briefly restated. On the death of
Nurhachu the campaign against China was at
once followed up by his son. The north was rav-
aged and Peking, where the Ming Emperor was
living amid a horde of eunuchs and effeminate
literati, was threatened. The expedition had al-
ready caused the "Son of Heaven" to lose face,
and the people were ready to believe that the
Mings were abandoned by Providence. But, as
we have seen, the downfall came without the actual
intervention of the Manchu. The rebellion of Li
Tsze-cheng and his capture of Peking were the
immediate causes of the suicide of the last of the
Mings and the Empire lay apparently, at this
juncture, at the mercy of the rebels.



14 OUTLINE HISTORY OF CHINA

WTJ SAN-KWEI. Now appears on the scene
the great general who by some has been esteemed
as the chief of patriots, while by others he has
been regarded as the worst of traitors. In later
years he was possibly not without his pangs of
self-reproach, but it is only fair to give him credit
throughout his career for the highest of motives.
It was not tolerable to him to see the capital in
the hands of rebels. There was at least a chance
of securing peace for the Empire by calling in
the Tatars. Wu San-kwei was near the frontier
when, in A. D. 1643, he heard of the capture of
Peking. He hurried to meet the victor, but, on
attacking a certain stronghold, he was dismayed
to find that Li held possession of his aged father,
whom he threatened to slay under his son's eyes
unless submission was made. No more touching
story of loyalty has ever been written than that
which tells how Wu San Kwei fell down on his
knees and, bursting into tears, besought his fa-
ther's pardon for sacrificing the tenderness of a
son to loyalty towards his sovereign. The fa-
ther was not behind the son in courage, and gave
himself cheerfully to death while, as we have al-
ready told, vengeance was not long delayed. Of
the subsequent history of Wu San kwei there will
be something to say in the following chapters.

ACCESSION OF SHUN CHIH. The Tatar con-
queror, Tsung teh, under these circumstances in-
vited to occupy the vacant throne, lived just long
enough to enter Peking. He died in A. D. 1644,



15

after proclaiming as his successor the young
prince who at the age of six assumed the title of
Shun chih and is generally regarded as the first of
the Manchu sovereigns of China. The dynastic
title chosen was that of Ta' Ts'ing, or Great Pure
Dynasty. According to the accounts given by
the Jesuit fathers, China at this time contained
a population of eleven and a half million fami-
lies. At the end of the reign another estimate
was made of nearly fifteen million families, or
eighty-nine million individuals. The whole Em-
pire was well mapped out by the Jesuits and
Father Martini published in A. D. 1654 his Atlas
Sinensis. Descriptions of the time show a re-
markable degree of organization for the accom-
modation of officials on the public roads. An
itinerary was printed, lodging places everywhere
provided and runners went a day ahead to make
all necessary preparations. The reign of Shun-
chih is marked by the re-division of the land into
eighteen provinces, instead of the fifteen which
had existed under the Mings.

AMA WANG. For the greater part of the suc-
cessful achievements of the early part of the reign
of Shun chih the credit should be given to the
Emperor's uncle, the Regent Ama Wang. His
was the comprehensive intelligence and the strong
arm which grasped and suppressed most of the
dangerous outbreaks of rebellion and when he
died, whilst on a hunting expedition, in A. D.
1651 the conquest had been to a large extent se-



16 OUTLINE HISTORY OF CHINA

cured. Shun chih showed less than gratitude. A
royal funeral was, indeed, celebrated and posthu-
mous honors awarded, but a few months after-
wards the tongue of slander reached the ears of
Shun chih and, under the impression that Ama
Wang had before his death been seeking his own
aggrandizement the Emperor degraded his mem-
ory, destroyed his tomb, and even mutilated the
dead body.

PROGRESS OF THE CONQUEST. The security of
the Ta Ts'ing Dynasty was far from complete
with the conquest of the north. The situation
was not unlike that in England after the death
of Harold at the Battle of Hastings. New pre-
tenders to the Ming succession were constantly
put forward and leaders were found to head the.
obstinate rebellions which broke out in various
provinces. There were, too, many Portuguese
from Macao ready to serve as mercenaries. Some
of these were enlisted and promised to provide ar-
tillery, but jealousy of the foreigners proved a
stronger passion than even hatred of the Manchu.
The chief resistance to the invader was naturally
in the south. At Nanking a great rally was made
around the person of the prince Fu Wang, but the
Chinese were defeated and the claimant drowned
in the waters of the Yang tze River. Fu Wang


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