Mantchooria, Or Mantcharia, the land of the Mantchoos, a country of Asia, a dependency of the Chinese empire, bounded N. by the Amoor river, which separates it from the Russian province of the Amoor, E. by the Usuri river, which separates it from the Russian district of the Amoor, S. by Corea and tho Yellow sea, and W. by Mongolia, between bit. 40 and 53° 30' N., and Ion. 118° and 135° E.; urea about 400,000 sq. m.; pop. estimated at 3,1100,000. Formerly the territory extended to lat. 58 N and Ion. 142° E.; but in 1858 China ceded to Russia all of Mantchooria N. of the Amoor and E. of the Usuri river. (See Amoor Country.) A large part of this country is an uninhabited wilderness, and but little of it has been visited by Europeans. Nearly the whole of it is drained by the Amoor river and if. branches. There are few lakes; the most important of them is Lake Khan-ka, which is 40 m. long and 25 m. broad. The province is traversed by several mountain chains. The Sih-hih-tih mountains extend from the boundary of Corea in a N. E. direction. The S. W. portion of this range bears the Mantchoo name of Shan Alin, and the Chinese name of Shangpe-shan or Long White mountains.
The Ilykhoori Alin, in the north, forms three sides of the extensive valley of the upper Nonni, its eastern branch extending between the Amoor and the Songari to near their junction. The Khingan mountains, running N. and S., and rising to a height of 15,000 ft., form part of the W. boundary. The greatest part of Mantchooria is covered by forests, the abode of wild animals, many of which afford valuable furs. Among them are bears, wolves, deer, the argali, and the dziggetai. The rivers and coasts abound in fish, among which carp, sturgeon, salmon, pike, and shell fish are especially plentiful. Among the birds of prey is a vulture which in size and fierceness rivals its congener the condor of the Andes. The southern part of Mantchooria is cultivated, and produces wheat, barley, pulse, millet, buckwheat, and silk. It also supports large herds of horses, cattle, and sheep. Ginseng and rhubarb are a government monopoly. The country is rich in iron and coal. The climate of the greater part of Mantchooria resembles that of Canada in the contrasts of temperature in different seasons; in summer varying from 70° to 80°, while in winter in the northern parts snow is abundant, the ground is frozen to a considerable depth, and the mercury ranges from 45° above to 10° below zero. - Mantchooria is divided into three provinces, Liaotung or Shinking, Girin, and Saghalin-ulu. Liaotung contains a population, according to the Chinese census of 1812, of 2,187,286; the others together about 1,000,000. Liaotung is, however, sometimes included in China proper.
The three capital cities are Mukden or Shin-yang, Girin, and Tzitzikhar. Mukden is 380 m. N. E. of Peking, and is a large city surrounded by a wall 10 m. in circuit. Hing-king, 00 m. E. of Mukden, is also a considerable city; it was formerly the family residence and the family burial place of the Mantchoo emperors of China. Kingchow, on the gulf of Liaotung, S. W. of Mukden, of which it is the port, carries on a considerable trade in cattle, provisions, and drugs. Its harbor is shallow and unsafe. Kaichow, on the E. side of the gulf, has a better harbor. Girin is a very extensive province, but thinly inhabited. - The Mantchoos belong to the Tungusic branch of the Mongolian division of mankind. They are of lighter complexion and heavier build than the Chinese, and some of them have florid complexions, blue eyes, aquiline noses, brown hair, and heavy beards. They have the same peculiar conformation of the eyelids as the Chinese, and resemble them closely in other respects; but their countenances are generally of a higher intellectual cast, and their character haughtier and more determined.
They are the dominant race in the Chinese empire, being dispersed over the whole of it as officers and soldiers, and the skill and energy with which they have governed their vast dominions since 1644, when they took possession of the throne, show them to be possessed of high qualities. During the same period they have greatly improved the condition of their own original country. When the Mantchoos conquered China, they imposed upon the subject people a portion of their dress and many of their usages. The mode of arranging the hair in a tail now in use by the Chinese was forced upon them by the Mantchoos, to whom it had long been familiar. On the other hand, they have adopted many of the customs of the Chinese; They began to be conspicuous in eastern Asia about the beginning of the 17th century, when after a long series of internal wars their tribes were united into one nation under a chieftain named Tien-ming, who in 1618 declared war against China, then ruled by the Ming dynasty, lie overran and devastated the N. E. provinces, but died about 1627, leaving the prosecution of his design of conquest to his son Tien-tsung, who made alliances with rebels whose leaders pretended to be rightful heirs to the throne.
With their aid he made himself master of Peking, and the last of the Chinese emperors, Hwai-tsung, having committed suicide in 1643, the Mantchoo chief took possession of the government. He died in 1644, and his son and successor Shun-chi is regarded as the first emperor of the Mantchoo dynasty which still holds the throne. (See China.) - An account of the country, by the archimandrite Palladius of Peking, was communicated to the British royal geographical society in 1872. (See Turanian Races and Languages).