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Chapter 5

History 2601E Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Yan Ruoqu, Literary Inquisition, Qianlong Emperor


Department
History
Course Code
HIS 2601E
Professor
James Flath
Chapter
5

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Spence - Chapter 5
"Chinese Society and the Reign of Qianlong"
Like the sun at midday
- reign of Qianlong was the longest
- Qianlong is Yongzheng's son
- all Chinese had to adapt the Manchu hairstyle (shave heads, grow queue) except Muslim
population
- to prove new reach into Asia,, Qianlong took a wealthy Xinjiang Muslim to be his
concubines
- she was allowed on trips with him
- able to practice Muslim
- buried in special tomb with passages of the Koran craved in Arabic on tomb
- wanted to preserve greatness of Chinese culture
- ordered massive compilation of most famous literary and historical works
- known as the 'Four Treasuries'
- 4 main components: classics, history, philosophy, miscellaneous
- one of greatest achievements of Chinese bibliography
- served some functions of a literary inquisition b/c private libraries were searched and
those owning works considered to be slighting to Manchus were strictly punished
Eighteenth-century confucianism
- believed that extreme individualism and belief in innate moral knowledge that been so
popular in the late Ming that it was the reason for the fall of the dynasty
- the 'kaozheng' movement
- translation: practicing evidential research
- involved meticulous evaluation of data based on rigorous standards of precision
- 'hard facts' are roots of scholars' studies
- devoted energy in studies of linguistics, math, astronomy, geography
- 'kaozheng' hero - Qu Yanwu - Ming loyalists
- Western scholarship brought Jesuit missionaries - esp. in math and computational
astronomy - affected 'kaozheng' scholars' research methodologies and gave them
confidence that there was a realm of certainty
- 1740s - examination system was under fire
- Yan Ruoju proved that several sections of examination were a later forgery and did
not deserve the reverence that scholars ascribe to
- failed to select finest scholars for office
- those who passed did not always find jobs easily, bringing frustration and
disillusionment to many members of educated elite
- 'kaozheng' scholarship became so influential by mid-Qianlong reign
- supported by interlocking infrastructure (of book dealers, publishers, printer,
library owners, teachers)
- line between scholars and commercial world blurred
- 18th C - fascination with scholarship renewed interest in women's education
- some men ran schools for young women - accused of doing so for reasons of
laciviousness
- critics argue that late Ming had not been valuable period for women's consciousness
The dream of the red chamber
- China's greatest novel written by Cao Xueqin
- alternate title - The Story of the Stone
- love story
- story about Jia family who occupy series of mansions in a large unnamed city (that contains
elements of Nanjing and Peking)
- many aspects drawn from history of Kangxi's reign
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