Dragon Over Asia; A Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Michael_I, Oct 9, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Part 1-Humble Origins

    Michael_I Well-Known Member

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    “When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honour are things to be ashamed of.”
    -Confucius
    “Why are the Western nations small and yet strong? Why are we large and yet weak? We must search for the means to become their equal, and that depends solely on human effort… In the matching of words with deeds, we are inferior to the barbarians. The remedy is to seek the causes in ourselves. This can be changed at once if only the emperor would set us in the right direction.”
    -Feng Guifen, 1861


    [​IMG]
    Jiaqing Emperor, 6th Emperor of China

    1735; The New Emperor
    Following the sudden death of the Yongzheng Emperor in 1735, the will was taken out and read before the entire Qing imperial court, after which Hongli became the new emperor. Hongli adopted the era name "Qianlong", which means "Lasting Eminence".

    First on the list of duties for the Emperor was to reign in the rebels of the Miao rebellion. Failed reforms and efforts to integrate the Miao people into the Qing empire had lead to armed revolt, with many killing their wives and children, and fighting to the last drop of blood against their overlords. The Qianlong Emperor was not dissuaded, despite the cries of peace and compromise. Over 18,000 Miao rebels were slaughtered by the Qing army, and order was inevitably brought to the region. Many more were killed in the resulting re-occupation and integration into the Qing dynasty's control.
    Despite this, efforts were brought to open new mines, schools, trading ports and military outposts. The Qianlong Emperor was not a heartless ruler, and worked tirelessly to have the Miao as a people of the empire, not a conquered state left to the side to the Empire to draw taxes from.

    The joy of the rebellion's quelling was not long lasted, as the conquest of the Dzungar Khanate was next on the agenda of the new Emperor, wishing to see these last of these Inner Asian peoples brought to heel under Qing rule, in the new province of Xinjiang. What mercy the Qianlong Emperor had for the Miao was not brought for the Dzungar, who were then decimated by the Qing's military, part of his planned expansion of his glorious Empire. Many Han chinese and Manchu people were encouraged to colonize the Miao and Xinjiag territories with the hopes of modernization and spread of Qing ideals.

    Internal conflicts could now, at last, take a backburner priority, as the Emperor soon came to a new realization; The realization that the empire would not last if it could not stand alongside the others, like the British, French, the Russians and more. When he looked at his army, he saw an army great in size but lacking in it's ability. When he looked at his government, he saw a government rich in history but lacking in efficiency. Something had to give, or something had to break.

    (Updates; I've added Threadmarks for those who wanna go to each bit of lore rather than scrolling. Cheers!)
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019 at 4:31 PM
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  2. The Tai-Pan The Pagemaster/Plogmonger

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    Curious what you have in store.
     
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  3. Michael_I Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I know I started at a rather early period (Since the most interesting bits are yet to come, like early 19th century).
     
  4. Michael_I Well-Known Member

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    Also, please post any sort of suggestions, ideas, criticisms, etc, as this is my first attempt at something like this, and I'm obviously going to need to learn a style and such. Thanks!
     
  5. Windows95 Well-Known Member

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    Ooooh a Meiji China. Watched for interest!
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Part 2-The Canton System

    Michael_I Well-Known Member

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    1740s-1760s
    Peace had come to China, with the fruits of the Emperor's conquests firmly in their palm, and the advancement of the Han, Manchu and Mongolian people, at the expense of the Tibetans, Miao and people of Xinjiang. Prosperity once again flourished across the nation, but along with it, a new bursting population, which sprung to 300 million in years. The farms were at their limit, but more and more were born, and more and more food was required.
    The Emperor, of course, was not blind to such needs, and recognized the reliance of new efficient crops from Europe, and the lack of usable farmland efficiently. Thus, the Era of Reforms began, with two main focuses; A Chinese Trade, and A Chinese Agriculture, with both ideas being wrapped into the proud brainchild of the Emperor; the Canton System. The new system sought to reassert the dominance of Chinese merchants over foreign ones, and to better delegate what usable land there was for farming. [​IMG]



    These efforts were meet with mixed results; The attempts at securing a "Chinese trade" were heavily looked down upon by the European powers, the agricultural reforms greatly improved the ability of the Qing to feed and garrison it's new population. Many began moving into the new lands in search of arable earth, mineral wealth and opportunity. 1755 would bring about the first test of Qing's new reforms in the global scale, with the clash of a Russian smuggler with Qing troops at an outpost in Zhejiang. After the 'acquisition' of the vessel by Qing authorities, it became known that the Tsar had authorized funded smugglers to sell in China, in order to bypass the Canton System's "Single-Port" system. Arms began to be raised, but luckily, the Emperors were able to reach a settlement, with Russian ships once again flowing into Canton, much to the approval of Qing authorities.

    The success of the Qing against a European power galvanized support of the Emperor and his efforts to bring China "into the modern era". The first fruit of victory had fallen into his lap; Economic and Agricultural reform to free up resources. Next; the Military, the Navy, the Government. The Emperor, however, could feel the slow effect of age. Time, however, would be of the essence, and he could not alone hope on an heir to carry his legacy.. or could he?
     
  7. Southern pride Well-Known Member

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    Will follow with interest
     
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  8. King of the Uzbeks Charles Curtis is my Baby Daddy

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    Intriguing.
     
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  9. TimTurner Cartoon Phanatic

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    DFW area, Texas (no, Tibecuador)
    and Watched.
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Part 3-The Sino-Burmese Wars

    Michael_I Well-Known Member

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    The Sino-Burmese Wars; 1760s-1770s
    The Emperor of China had little time after his close victory with the Russian Empire, for the Burmese Kingdom had attracted the attention of China and her army. During a fierce internal conflict within Burma, in which a new dynasty had risen to power, Qing officials (the Emperor included) had authorized the invasion of north and east Burma, acquiring the states of Kachin and Shah, much to the disapproval of the Burmese.

    In preparation for this invasion, the Emperor had made a fateful choice; to continue the long standing tradition of an army of archers, or to dedicate to the new firearms the army had used, but did not rely on. Guns, he decided after much internal debate, were to be the future of warfare, and thus, the Green Standard Banners marched into the new Burmese-Qing states with rifles in hand. The decision was met with great controversy within the Imperial courts and with military officials, but the Emperor was firm, and put great faith in the armies.

    Resistance against Qing’s armies was stronger than that of the Miao and Dzungar, but nonetheless, advancements in warfare had allowed the much larger and well trained Qing troops to eventually route the battle-hardened Burmese from the border states. The Emperor, however, was not satisfied. ‘The Burmese must submit to Qing rule. By force, if need be.’ During the invasions, the people of Siam rose as well, only furthering the damnation of Burmese power and resistance with their own invasion, ripping Burma asunder. The war would earn Siam it's independence, and warm relations with the Qing.

    Many invasions occurred over the years, from 1765-1771, with the final, bloody result showing the consolidation of Qing rule over Northern Burma, and the confirmation of a Burmese-Qing tributary state. The Emperor knew such a state was fragile, and now must be protected.
    upload_2019-10-10_8-31-33.png

    Paranoia began to set in, and the shadows whispered of conspiracy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  11. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    Imma watch this.

    Though why does China not own the land it used to own in OTL Kazakhstan? It did used to have a larger Xinjiang, check any map.

    Other than that, excellent work!
     
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  12. Michael_I Well-Known Member

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    Map was a bit thrown together tbf, so of course you can expect small errors. Will update the map so I go. Sorry!
     
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  13. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    No worries! Though I do hope China annexes Northern Vietnam.
     
  14. Threadmarks: Part 4-The Aging Emperor

    Michael_I Well-Known Member

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    The Aging Emperor; 1770s-1790s
    The Qing Dynasty had never been in such wealth, power, and prestige than now, with it's greatest borders, military strength, and wealth abound. The Emperor slowly became spoiled with the sheer wealth, power and praise his works had brought him, welcoming it with glee. Now in his elder years, he contemplated the future of his Empire once more. He had galvanized support, asserted the Qing's place as the Heavenly Empire, defied the barbarians and brought wealth and prosperity to his realm. Corruption, he thought, could be the only knife in the back of his golden era.

    upload_2019-10-10_13-15-41.png

    As the Qing entered an almost lull period of it's expansion and growth, another European event unfolded in 1783, when the British Diplomat of George Maccartney arrived to the court of the Emperor. The Emperor was not pleased with the refusal to kowtow, and the poor quality of the 'tribute' the English barbarians brought, and refused any offers made by him. How could he come before the throne, speaking of trading privileges for a barbarian nation? Preposterous! The Dutch, however, knew how to respect the Heavenly Emperor. Chinese tea, the massive commodity the British seemed to desire so much, continued to flow into their hands, however, much to the advantage of the Qing merchants, who were showered in silver because of it. Such funds could, thus, be funneled into the military.

    The military continued various efforts to modernize, studying the techniques, designs and ideas of European nations, including their vessels. The Qing's naval force was, at best, incapable, and while the army was certainly more prepared, it still needed new equipment, new training, and new techniques. This, the Emperor reasoned, could come from the Europeans themselves. The Russians seemed too much of a threat to the north, and the British certainly did not desire to give the Empire aid, so Qing turned to their French ambassador. Guns, cannons, even ship designs. However, despite these efforts, the aging Jiaqing Emperor knew that, at last, he should step down, and appointed Prince Jia, who would become the "Jiaqing Emperor".

    [​IMG]

    "China is a crossroads, and we shall either rise against the barbarians, or fall to them."
    -The Qianlong Emperor, shortly before his abdication.​
     
  15. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    Amazing map! I hope China repels the British scumsacks, and I hope Northern Vietnam becomes part of the Chinese Empire.
     
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  16. Crusader0926 The Crusader Waifu

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    Kinda hoping Vietnam resists tbh. I always liked their David v. Goliath relationship with China.
     
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  17. ThatRomanFanatic Super Saiyan Roman

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    Holy shit, a Qing timeline?!?

    upload_2019-10-10_21-23-56.jpeg
     
  18. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    The Qing cottoning on to ideas in order to preserve their power? Consider me interested.
     
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  19. A Most Sovereign Lady Princess of the Kingdom of Maryland

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    Hm... Don't see much in the way of successful Qings. Consider me interested.
     
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  20. Threadmarks: Part 5-Carrying the Mantle

    Michael_I Well-Known Member

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    Carrying the Mantle; 1790s-1820s

    The abdication of the Emperor was, at the least, a rather controversial move in the opinions of many Qing upper class. However, his abdication was not a full surrendering of power, as his voice still held great sway during the early years of the Jiaqing Emperor. Worries began to slowly rise about the Emperor; No matter how capable, how could anyone live up to the legacy of the Qianlong Emperor? The Conqueror, the Lawbringer, the Golden Emperor?

    [​IMG]
    The Jiaqing Emperor, 7th Emperor of China​

    China had remained a massive, rich empire for centuries, a shining example of efficient bureaucracy and military conquest and integration. Firearms and modernizing ships were boasted in defense of the Heavenly Empire, with it's reach extending to Burma, Turkestan, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sakhalin, Nepal, Bhutan, and Korea, with ambition ever growing. Japan remained in blissful isolation, regarding the Qing Emperors as nothing more than a neighbor, whilst British India remained a pesky thorn in the side of China. Opium, the deadly poison of addiction bleed through the border territories of Burma, Tibet and even Yunnan. Countless soldiers, workers and even Qing officials were hooked, and the treasury seemed to leak as a result.

    Opium, however, was not the only new dagger in the side of the Qing's Imperial rule, as a new Christian faith, brought by barbarian missionaries, took off in some Han chinese territories, challenging the ideas of Heavenly rule, and the Mandate altogether. The Emperor stood outraged and to some extent, embarrassed. How could he let such travesties come to the Empire?

    In similar fashion to his predecessor's Era of Reforms, the Jiaqing Emperor began a new front of reforms to challenge the coming threats. First and foremost was the ban on Christian teachings, with death not an unspeakable punishment. The Xinjiang warlords would have to gain from Christian missionaries as slaves, who had been given the mercy of keeping their heads intact. Second, a reinforcement of the Qing's opium ban, with many afflicted being pressed into mandatory rehab and even military service, where they could be separated from the flow of Indian Opium. The reforms of the previous Emperor proved to be worthwhile, with the secured treasuries being used to extend military capabilities to the Indian border, actively pursuing opium smugglers.

    Despite the local aid of the Opium trade in Burma, the Qing increased their presence there, drawing on not only their own military, but those of Siam and Burma from their tributary status. The opium crisis, while cushioned, continued to spread through Southern China, whilst managing to stop before Beijing and the northern territories. The Emperor had enough of this barbarians smuggling in this poison to his people, and ordered the Canton port to check any and all barbarian ships, and to seize the warehouses used by British, Dutch and French traders. To no surprise, large quantities of Opium were seized, and promptly destroyed. Outraged, the British trade commissioner in Canton, Captain Charles Elliot, decided to ask permission from London to use force against the Chinese, but waited patiently for their reply.

    The fragile peace teetered on the edge, and neither the Qing nor the British seemed willing to let go of their stakes.

    Something had to give, or something had to break.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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