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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 - Chinese Society and the Reign of Qianlong

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History 2601E
James Flath

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 sch
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