"Does what it sets out to do and serves as a Chinese history text teenagers might actually read." Asian Review of Books on Division to Unification in Imperial China
The fourth volume in the Understanding China Through Comics series covers the stunningly productive Ming dynasty and its fall to the Manchus under the Qing, the last Chinese dynasty. The book also addresses Wang Yangming's School of Mind and the painful process of modernization and conflict with the West and Japan, including the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion. Includes timeline.
Jing Liu is a Beijing- and Davis, CAbased designer and entrepreneur who uses his artistry to tell the story of China.
About the Author
Jing Liu is an artist and entrepreneur from Beijing, China. He is currently the Managing Director of Moli Design, a China-based design firm that counts the BBC, MasterCard, The Ford Foundation, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and UNICEF among its many clients. Liu graduated from Beijing University of Technology with undergraduate degrees in industrial design and engineering, and a masters in international economics and trade.
Table of Contents
Previously in Understanding China through Comics .
From penniless farm boy to emperor of China.
Turning inward: The Ming Dynasty, 1368 – 1644.
Protector of the poor .
- Low tax .
Labor duties .
Leave people alone .
Low pay and corruption .
Local officials .
Central government officials .
Warehouse administrators .
“What a difficult situation this is!” .
Short-term measures with long-term implications
Losing control of its own currency .
- Failure of copper coins .
Overspending destroys paper money .
Turning to silver .
Japanese pirates .
Tax monetization for war .
“Why are we fighting with our money supply?” .
Spanish Americas .
“We don’t control the trade or the source of silver.”
Conscientious individuals in a flawed system .
- Wang Yangming and the School of Mind .
Core teaching .
Hai Rui, the oddball .
Zhang Juzheng and a last attempt to save the empire
“It’s a bad time to run out of money” .
Final years of the Ming Dynasty .
- “Bandits can tear my body apart, but don’t hurt my people”
Manchus and the West: The Qing Dynasty, 1644 – 1912
“We’re here to protect Chinese tradition” .
- The last Ming resistance in Taiwan
Century of peace .
- Growing economy .
Territorial expansion .
Early contact with the West .
Re-establishing trade .
American crops .
Turning point .
- System failure .
Rise of industrial Britain .
Opium trade .
The first Opium War .
The invisible hand
Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace rebellion
- “Jesus is my brother!” .
Scholars against the rebels .
The second Opium War
- Empress Dowager Cixi to the rescue .
Sir Robert Hart, head of the Chinese customs service.
Burlingame, ambassador for America and China .
New hope - the Beiyang force
Philo McGiffin and the Chinese navy .
- Incompatible with tradition .
A new academy at Weihai Wei
When the dragon meets the rising sun .
Rise of industrial Japan .
- Line of advantage
The first Sino-Japanese war .
- The Korean crisis .
Declaration of war .
Getting ready .
The Battle of Yalu River .
Outnumbered battle .
Fire in the forecastle .
Battle results .
- Peace treaty .
Diaoyu Islands .
Japan’s path to imperial power .
Carving up China
Hundred Days’ Reform
Society on the eve of revolution .
- Modern city life .
Impoverished countryside .
“Now you must turn to God!” .
Tensions in the birthplace of Confucius .
Last straw from the Forbidden City
The storm of 1900 .
- Battle of Beijing .
Eight-nation alliance .
Boxer Protocol .
Final humiliation .
Sun Zhongshan, father of modern China .