Christainity in China,from Ming to Qing
Western missionaries paid visits to China started as early as 16 century.During Ming Dynasty , scholars such as Matteo Ricci, Johann Adam Schall von Bell  and Ferdinand Verbiest， plus many others not as well known missionaries.Beside bringing christianity into China,they were bringing western knowledge as well,such as mathematic,geography, astronomy, metallurgy, and modern weapons making. All the prominent missionaries were given high positions in the Ming royal court, and were highly respected by Ming emperors and the bureaucrat, especially Matteo Ricci , who was being granted a burial place in the Royal Capital by the Ming Emperor himself. Scientific books brought into China by the missionaries were being translated into Chinese language. Vice versa, many books on Confucius teaching were being translated and introduced into the West.
However, when the Manchu conquerers took over the Forbidden City, they not only suspended all the cultural exchanges between East and west, they went much further by shutting down all the sea ports, burning every seagoing ships, and turning the whole coastal line into no man's zone. When Manchu was turning back the clock, England and Europe were going through Industrial Revolution and renaissance. In early 1700s, Great Britain became a world power, an empire on which the sun never set.
When European powers were acquiring enormous riches through trading(including slaves trading)and conquests of various small countries, Manchu rulers had shut its door on the West for the next 200 plus years.
In 1743,British Commodore George Anson  was contemptuous of China's military power,and wrote: "in artifice, falsehood and an attachment to all kinds of lucre, many of the Chinese are difficult to be paralleled by any other people." which pretty much help shaped England's understanding of 16 century China.
In 1793,Lord Macartney,had made another observation on the weaknesses and the falling apart of the Manchu Dynasty:"tyranny of a handful of Tartars over more than 300 million of Chinese".
- After Napoleon was defeated,European powers then began the assault on Manchu Dynasty,whose military machine was still consisted of bow and arrow,knife and spear,when Europeans were already using machine guns and high explosive shells on battle fields. On 1840-1843,with the first Opium War , Manchu suffered one of the most humiliating defeat in the hands of the Western powers; and it was the beginning of many more defeats to come.
By the middle to late 1800's, the "foreign devil" opponents were quite different. The English and French regulars and marines were much better discplined than the Russian cossacks of the 1600's. Muskets and Rifles of much higher rate of fire also were available. More importantly, the initial combat were done along the coast. The 74-gun third-rate line-of-battle ships like HMS Wellesley  (built in India) simply laid waste to Chinese coastal guns and troops near the shore. The return fire from Chinese coastal artilleries did not have the muzzle velocity to penetrate the couple feet of oak that made up the sides of the British/Indian ships. During the 1st Opium War, British troops did not venture much beyond the protection of their naval guns; the naval guns probably claimed the bulk of Chinese combat casulties. By the time of the 2nd Opium War, rifles with percussion cap cartriges became available, with even higher firing rate than flint-locks. So the Manchu/Mongol bannermen really did not have much of a chance even in-land. The Qing cavalry simply got shot to pieces before their crossbows were even in range.
By the time of the Boxer Rebellion, when the Qing troops fought both the rebels and the foreigners from time to time, the Allied army had gattling guns in addition to repeating rifles (like Winchester) and artillery that fired shells (not just cannon balls). The fighting became even more lopsided. -
* Some eastern scholar suggest Opium played a major part in the down fall af Manchu Dynasty. Ellen N. La Motte wrote:Opium was now contraband, but the fact had no effect on the quantity introduced into the country, which rose to 5,000 chests in 1820; 16,000 chests in 1830; 20,000 chests in 1838, and 70,000 chests in 1858." Such a large quantity of importation of opium would have require equally large amount of silver ingots in exchange.
Nearly 100% of the opium came from British East India Company in India,and the profit from the opium trade end up in the Bank of England.
10 Wednesday 09
1. ^ "Matteo Ricci""catholic encyclopedia on Matteo Ricci's life"
2. ^ "Johann Adam Schall von Bell""Another great missionary that went to china to spread the words of gosbel"
3. ^ "Chinese version of the first six books of Euclid's Elements""From about 1600 until the suppression in 1773, Jesuits were practically the sole source of Chinese knowledge about Western astronomy, geometry and trigonometry"
4. ^ "Geoff Wade""Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu, Geoff Wade's translation of & commentary on texts from the Veritable Records of the history of Ming Dynasty"
5. ^ "Euclid's Elements""Euclid's Elements have been studied for centuries - in fact until the 20 th century it was the most common reprinted book after the Bible."
6. ^ "Great Britain"
7. ^ "Harry G. Gelber""a Professor of History and Political Science and Visiting Research Fellow, Asian Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Economy."
8. ^ [ http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1792macartney.html "Modern History Sourcebook"]"Lord Macartney told the Chinese legate that he would not perform the kowtow unless a high officer of state would kowtow before a picture of the King of England."
9. ^ [aer2.sbc.edu.hk/~wcc/China/DECLINE_1.DOC "Sweet Briar college history document"] "DECLINE OF THE QING DYNASTY,INFERIOR WEAPONS"
10. ^ "WOODEN WALLS""When she returned from this service, some 27 cannon balls were found embedded in her sides"
11. ^ "Winchester Repeating Rifle"
12. ^ "ELLEN N. LA MOTTE" "HISTORY OF THE OPIUM TRADE IN CHINA"