China (Chinese,. Tsin, or Tai-tsing). I. An immense empire of eastern Asia, comprising the eighteen provinces or China proper, Man-tchooria, Inner and Outer Mongolia, Ili or Chinese Turkistan, Koko-nor, and Thibet. Corea and the Loochoo islands are nominal dependencies. It is bounded N. and N. E. by Asiatic Russia, whose territory on the Pacific recently acquired from China touches the Corean frontier, E. and S. E. by Corea and the Yellow and China seas, S. by the gulf of Tonquin, Anam, Siam, and Burmah, and S. W. and W. by India and the states of Independent Tartary. Since the cession to Russia in 1858 of a region comprising about 300,000 sq. m., the most northern point of the empire is the northern bend of the Amoor river, lat. 53° N., and the eastern limit is the junction of the Usuri and Amoor rivers in lon. 130° E. The bay of Galong in Hainan, the southernmost point, is in about lat. 18° N., and Kara-tag, the westernmost, is in lon. 72° E. The area, deducting the territory ceded to Russia and estimated above, is 5,000,000 sq. m. according to McCulloch, 5,126,000 according to Balbi, or 5,559,564 according to Berghaus, about a third part of the continent, and a tenth of the habitable globe. Next to Russia it is the largest state which has ever existed.
The integrity of the empire has however been greatly threatened during recent years. Mohammedan insurgents are in possession of portions of the provinces of Yunnan, Shensi, and Kansuh, and an independent government appears to exist in Chinese Turkistan, holding sway as far as Barkul. China is carrying on military operations in these several districts, and her former territory is likely to be reoc-cupied; but Russia may forestall her in some portion of it. (See Mantchooria, Mongolia, etc.) II. China Proper is by its inhabitants called Chungkwoh (middle kingdom), or Chung-hwa (central flowery land); by the Russians and the inhabitants of northern Asia, Kitai, Ketan, or Katai (whence the ancient name Cathay); by the Anamese, Sina; by the Persians, Chin; by the Thibetans, Yulbu. It extends from lon. 98° to 123° E., and from lat. 18° to 43° N., and is bounded N. E. and N. by Mantchoo-ria and Mongolia, from which it is separated by the great wall; E. by the ocean; S. by the gulf of Tonquin, Anam, Siam, and Burmah; W. by Thibet and Chinese Tartary. Its area is estimated by Sir George Staunton at 1,500,000 sq. m., inclusive of the province of Liautung, which lies beyond the great wall, and 1,297,-999 sq. m. exclusive of it; by McCulloch at 1,348,870 sq. m.; by Malte-Brun at 1,482,091; and by Williams at 2,000,000, if the full area of the provinces of Kansuh and Chihli is included.
Thus China proper is about seven times the size of France, or nearly half as large as all Europe. - The coast line from Hainan to Corea is about 1,750 m. long. From Hainan to the mouth of the Yangtse, especially in the south, it is bold and rocky, and abounds with islands, headlands, and inlets. From the Yangtse N. to the Shantung promontory it is low, and after passing the promontory again low until the highlands E. of the gulf of Liautung are met. The southern coast has a barren uninviting appearance, but the islands of the Chusan archipelago are covered with verdure and exceedingly beautiful. The Shantung promontory again is uninviting. Near the Corean boundary great forests line the shores. The waters of the Yang-tse and Yellow rivers are charged with earth and give a distinct muddy color to the sea for many miles from the land, for the whole distance from the Chusan archipelago to the Shantung promontory, and to a considerable part of the gulf of Pechili. The numerous headlands, islands, and inlets of the S. E. coast afford many places of refuge for shipping, and the harbors of Hong Kong and Amoy are especially commodious and safe. Swatow, Foochow, Ningpo, and Shanghai cannot be considered first-class harbors.
Each is situated upon a navigable stream, but the approaches are difficult and the depth of water is insufficient. There are several fine harbors on the coast of Shantung, of which Che-foo is the best known. Tientsin, the port of Peking, is 50 m. from the sea, and can be reached by vessels of not more than 1,000 tons burden. The harbor of Newchwang is similarly defective, but Ta-lienwan bay offers an excellent harbor for Mantchooria. The access to this port from the land side is difficult, but it could be easily reached by a railway. The shores of Formosa and Hainan arc rugged, and the ports are very inferior. Tientsin and Newchwang are closed by ice three months in the vear. - The extent of China is so great and its topography so varied that it would be difficult to describe its surface as a whole. The following divisions are natural ones, and will assist to give a clearer view of the physical features of the empire than would be readily obtained by a study of its several arbitrary political divisions. 1. The mountainous region of the southeast is a district 1,000 m. long and 400 m. broad.
It includes the southern and eastern portions of Kwangsi and Hunan, the whole of Kwang-tung, Fokien, Chekiang, and Kiangsi, and the southernmost parts of Nganhwui. The high-hinds touch the coast everywhere south of llangchow bay, and in the north occasionally reach the line of the Yangtse between the Tungting lake and Chinkiang. Throughout this area of more than 300,000 sq. m. there is no table land, no extensive plain, and no mountain chain conspicuous by reason of altitude or continuity. The mountains have a trend which corresponds with the general direction of the coast. The ranges are short and irregular, and permit the streams which drain successive depressions to break through and to reach the coast without spreading into lakes. These hundreds of streams are the highways of this part of China. No one of them, excepting the West river, which debouches near Canton, is fit for steam navigation for any great distance. In nearly all, even near the coast, exist dangerous rocks and shallows which render necessary the transshipment of produce and merchandise in transit. But the Chinese, with characteristic patience and a lack of public spirit apparently equally characteristic, continue to use these streams, making no efforts to improve them.
They are the only traffic courses, excepting a few portages, such as those through the Chiting pass between Kwangtung and Hunan; the Mei-ling, between Kwangtung and Kiangsi; and the foot paths along which coolies carry burdens. 2. In striking contrast to this broken region is the level district which stretches away from the Hangchow bay to the mountains of Liautung. This district, knowm as the great plain, has for its northern boundary, beginning at the gulf of Liautung in lat. 40°, the great wall, the inner course of which it follows in a curving line to about lon. 114°. Its western boundary strikes thence due S. to the Yellow river, thence S. E. to the Yangtse near Nganking and thence E. to Hangchow, which it reaches in lat. 30° 30'. The mountainous part of the Shantung province cuts down into the centre of the plain, and detached mountains near Nanking and Cliinkiang break in upon it to a limited extent. 3. West of the great plain is a second broken region, which may be styled the mineral region of China. It lies south of Inner Mongolia, and comprises the provinces of Shansi and Shensi, the N. part of Hunan, and the E. of Kansuh. 4. South of the mineral region is the lake district or central China. It embraces the whole of the province of Hupeh, the S. W. part of llonan, and the N. of Hunan. It is crossed by the Yangtse, and its northern part is drained by the Han and its affluents.
Lakes form so prominent a feature of this region that the name Hu-kwang, meaning broad lakes, is applied by the Chinese to the provinces of Hunan and Hupeh. 5. Szechuen is a province of such extent, population, and wealth that it may be considered a fifth natural division of the empire. It is a great inland district, bounded by mountains, but in the main made up of plains and gently undulating lands. Its population was set down in 1812 at 27,000,000, and as it has escaped the devastations of civil war it is probably much greater now. It is supplied by its own productions with the necessaries and even the luxuries demanded by the population. Its articles of export are of a nature to admit of easy transportation. Few regions of the earth are so favored as this. 6. The southwestern provinces are Yunnan and Kweichow. They are generally rough and mountainous, but in Yunnan there are some extensive table lands and some low-lying plains marked by lakes. This region is far more tropical in the nature of its climate and productions than the district east of it. The Chinese consider it unhealthy.
They have done less here than elsewhere in China proper to subject the soil to tillage, and in consequence of this fact, and of the disturbed condition of the region owing to the Mohammedan and other troubles, it is now in great part an abandoned jungle. - The mountains of China hem in her territory on the north. In the east they separate the great plain from the elevated lands of Mantchooria and Mongolia. Further west taking the direction from N. E. to S. W. which characterizes the mountains of the southern region, they hear down to the southern bend of the Yellow river. Two great ranges, the continuations of the Kuenlun and Himalaya mountains, extend from W. to E. nearly across the empire in the middle and south. The northern range enters China in about hit. 34°, and is generally termed the Pe-ling. The southern crosses the empire in about hit. 25°, and is styled the Nan-ling. It is however the S. W. and N. E. ranges which chiefly determine the conformation of the surface of China, just as the Appalachians determine that of the eastern part of North America. These ranges are diversely named in different localities. - The most notable plain in China is the one already mentioned, which partly surrounds the mountains of Shantung, and is generally termed the great plain.
It extends 600 m. from Peking in the north to Hangchow in the south, and has a breadth varying from 150 to 300 m: Its southern portion is the common delta plain of the Yang-tse and Yellow rivers, the northeastern that of the Pei-ho. It is crossed by these three rivers, and suffers from the floods which they bring down, notably those of the Yellow river. That portion of the plain which lies south of the Yangtse has innumerable canals, and is protected along the Yangtse and other streams and the seashore by strong dikes and sea walls. In many places the surface has been raised so as to become fit for cultivation, by the excavation of canals and ponds. The Ta lake on its southern border appears not to have received the deposits of alluvial matter from the Yangtse which have rescued the neighboring plain from the waters of the ocean. That part of it which lies near the several courses which the Yellow river has pursued in different eras has been so frequently devastated by its floods that the great stream has been called China's sorrow. In the northern portion the climate is dry, and the soil does not produce more than a fraction of the yield procured further south.
The years 1871-'2 were signalized in this region by very destructive floods, which covered a vast tract of territory between Peking and the gulf and further south. The people, having suffered for several generations in consequence of a too great diminution in the rainfall, are now driven from their homes by an excess of water. The next region of level country worthy of remark is that of central China. The general features of this district are the same as those of the great plain south of the Yangtse, and it is in these two districts that the system of canals is most extensive and perfect. The plains of Sze-chuen are higher, and may be compared with the rolling prairies of Iowa. The level portions of Kweichow and Yunnan are like the table lands of Mexico, but far less extensive, excepting the few alluvial districts which lie along the Yangtse and the Songtai or river of Tonquin. The country near the West, North, and East rivers and the seacoast, in Kwang-tung, is one of the most fertile portions of the empire. A great deal of level alluvial land is found here, and as the population is dense and industrious, the natural resources of the soil are improved to the utmost. In the northern part of Kiangsi lies the Poyang lake, which is surrounded by an extensive valley.
Upon the streams running into the lake are found several large cities and innumerable towns and villages. The basin of the Wei-ho in Shensi comprises an area of about 60,000 sq. m. It is one of the most populous and fertile in the empire. The valley of the Fan in Shensi is less extensive, but equally rich and populous. - The rivers of China are worthy of the extent of the empire. Of these the Yangtse and the Hoang or Yellow are the chief, and rank among the leading ones of the globe. "These two great streams, similar both in rise and destination, descend with rapidity from the great table lands of central Asia, and each of them meets a branch of mountains which forces it to describe an immense circuit, the Hoang to the north and the Yangtse to the south. Separated by an interval of 1,100 m., the one seems inclined to direct itself to the tropical seas, while the other wanders off among the icy deserts of Mongolia. Suddenly recalled, as if by a recollection of their early brotherhood, they approach one another like the Euphrates and Tigris in ancient Mesopotamia; where, being almost conjoined by lakes and canals, they terminate within a mutual distance of 110 m. their majestic and immense courses." (Malte-Brun.) The Yangtse where it traverses the great plain is a broad, evenly flowing stream, admirably fit for navigation either by large or small steam or sail vessels.
Beyond the plain it enters a broken country, then the low region of central China, beyond which steamers have penetrated to the foot of the gorges near Ichang in lon. 111° 30', 1,300 m. from the sea. The rapids and shallows of these gorges offer a bar to steam navigation, which Blakiston and the French exploring expedition of 1808 say might be overcome by the use of towing appliances from the shore. The rapids occupy a distance of about 40 m. Above them the river is continuously navigable for junks of 100 tons as far as Soo-chow in the province of Szechuen, a distance of 300 m. This great river does not compare in the extent of its navigable course with the Mississippi or the Missouri. The Yellow river is usually represented upon our maps as debouching south of the promontory of Shantung. It now pours its waters into the gulf of Pe-chili, having lately changed its course and taken a channel which is marked on the maps as that of the Tatsing river. Taking its rise at a point due west from its recent mouth upon the Yellow sea, and not more than 1,250 m. distant, it flows in alternating courses N., E., S., then E. again, traversing a distance of 2,000 ra. before it finally breaks out of the elevated and broken lands which make its waters everywhere in its upper course turbulent and unsafe for navigation.
Down through the alternating table lands and gorges of this tract it pours floods which are charged with a peculiar brownish yellow loam called by Mr. Pumpelly terrace deposit, and by Baron Richthofen loess. In its original state it is of such constitution that when a stream of water cuts down into it vertical banks are left. Throughout the districts where it is found the inhabitants make houses in the cliffs, whole villages being constructed in this way completely out of sight of the traveller upon the plains above. When a river washes the foot of a wall of loess, the earth softens at the water's edge, and after a time a cleanly cut section of the superincumbent mass drops into the flood, to be carried along until first the sandy and then the finer particles are deposited upon the plains below. A more slowly moving stream would be less charged with the loess, and would deposit it more rapidly. But the Yellow river can only carry the mass to the level country and then struggle with the shallows and banks which it forms. The result is that the river is almost useless for navigation, and its floods, which are numerous, become peculiarly dangerous to the lower country.
At low tide there is about four feet of water on the bar at the mouth of the river, and there is no part of its course where steam vessels, excepting those of very light draft and small burden, could be used. It is believed that the floods of 1871-'2, which were disastrous to an immense region in eastern Chihli, came from the Yellow river. The area of its basin is estimated at 200,000 sq. m.; that of the Yangtse at 750,000. The Chu-kiang or Pearl river with its branches, the chief of which are called the North, East, and West rivers, drains the eastern part of the basin south of the Nanling. The West river is the largest of these branches, and will prove an important artery for steam navigation. The Chu-kiang and branches drain a region of not much less than 200,000 sq. m. The navigable course of the Pei-ho lies entirely within the great plain. Tientsin is the head of steam navigation. By a northern affluent large junks go nearly to the walls of Peking. Another affluent affords communication with the country south of Peking, and still another trends away nearly to the southern bend of the Yellow river. The flood of the Pei-ho is small in comparison with that of the Chu-kiang, but it drains a region of at least equal magnitude.
The river Tonquin affords ready access to the southern part of the province of Yunnan, and was considered by De Carne to be a natural outlet for the produce of that region. The Min river, which flows by Foochow-foo, the Tsih, upon which Ningpo lies, and the Tsientang, leading up to Hangchow, are the most considerable among the lesser outlets. The Liau-ho and Yahyuen-kiang are the only ones deserving mention in Shingking or southern Mantchooria. The Irrawaddy, Salwen, Menam, and Mekong draw a portion of their waters from the S. W. of China. The Songari has its source in Shingking. - The principal lake in China is the Tungting in Hunan, which is about 220 m. in circumference. It receives the waters 'of several small rivers, and discharges into the Yangtse by a short outlet at the north. There are many smaller lakes connecting with it. This is the system of lakes which has been noticed as a salient feature of central China. Their immediate basin is 200 m. long and 80 broad. The Poyang, 90 m. long and 20 broad, lies midway between the Tungting and the sea, and also discharges into the Yangtse. It is very shallow excepting in seasons of high water. The scenery of the country around the lakes is very beautiful.
The Tahu, near the mouth of the Yangtse, on the southern side, is about 40 m. long and 30 broad. It is very shallow, with many picturesque islands. A peculiar feature of this lake is that, although shallow, mountains rise abruptly from its shore on the western side. The Tsauhu, on the northern side of the Yangtse, west of Nanking, is smaller. The Hungtsih, in Kiang-su, connects with the Yellow river, and lies between it and the Yangtse, 150 m. from the sea. The country between the mouths of the two rivers is so marshy and full of lakes as to suggest the idea that the whole was once an enormous estuary where their waters joined, or else that their deposits have filled up a large lake which once occupied this tract, leaving only a number of lesser sheets. The lakes of Yunnan are described by De Came as particularly beautiful. That near which the capital city is built is the largest. Other small lakes are found in Chihli and Shantung. - The extent and excellence of the canals of China have been greatly vaunted, and it is in the construction of them that the Chinese have shown public spirit more than in any other direction.
But considering the vast population of the empire, its internal commerce, and the character of the country, it is wonderful that they should have left the canal system so imperfect as it is. There are many districts of an alluvial character where canals are numerous. Some of them may be natural channels, lagoons, or bayous; others have been excavated for irrigation. The writer has seen a district where a field of 20 acres could not be found, the canals being so numerous. These of course could not have been formed for purposes of traffic. In these alluvial districts many of the canals, like the bayous of Louisiana, are broad streams which excite the admiration of the traveller. It is not uncommon to find canals near Shanghai from 50 to 150 yards wide and 6 to 10 ft. deep; and one may travel there 100 miles without meeting a lock. Those canals that may be considered artificial follow generally natural channels, and are subject to fluctuations of the depth of water like other streams. They are as a rule imperfectly suited to the wants of commerce. The water in them is seldom quiet, and frequently, even when there is no special flood, boats can stem the current only with difficulty. In many cases, when floods occur, they become useless.
They are sometimes broad streams, where the wind creates a sea. Sometimes the course of navigation lies across a lake. The tow-paths are seldom perfect, and very often the banks are not available for towing purposes. Transverse streams are not bridged by artificial waterways. Locks as constructed in the West are unknown in China. Sluices which confine the current, and inclined planes up which boats are pulled with the assistance of rude windlasses, are used instead. The Grand canal traverses the great plain from near Peking to its S. E. point. From near Peking to Tientsin it is formed by the northern affluent of the Pei-ho. From Tientsin to Lintsing, 300 m., it follows the southern affluent. From Lintsing to Tsining it is an artificial waterwav; and thence to the Yangtse it follows the lake system. From the Yangtse to Soochow and Hangchow it is everywhere broad and generally of good depth. The artificial portion between Lintsing and Tsining is now out of repair and disused. In some places the canal is carried over valleys and marshy places by means of engineering works of considerable magnitude. Boats used on the canals of China are generally of small size, from 25 to 50 tons burden, and fitted with sails, which are used when the wind will serve.
When it does not serve, the crew tow the craft by lines fastened to the mast head, or propel it with oars or poles. Despatch boats frequently traverse considerable distances at the rate of five or six miles an hour. The oarsman uses his feet to work a sweep, steering his boat with a small one operated by his hands. The junks used by officials of high grade are often very large and fitted with all the appliances of a comfortable home. - From what has been said of the rivers, lakes, and canals of China, it will be seen that they do not offer perfect communication with all parts of the empire. Beyond a doubt the transportation of passengers and merchandise was 50 years ago attended with fewer difficulties in China than in any other extensive region. Nature had contributed chiefly to this condition of things, and the government in a much less measure than western people have been led to believe. At the present moment the canals are so much out of order that there is a crying need for their improvement. At the best, however, the canals of China afford so imperfect a means of communication and transportation that they would not greatly forestall the usefulness of a system of railways.
The vast, unwieldy, and disjointed empire can never realize a perfect harmony throughout her various and widely differing sections until railways have been introduced. A movement, supported it is believed by prominent men in the Chinese government, is now (1873) on foot for their introduction. The government is so far afraid of foreign influence that it will endeavor to keep those which may be constructed in its own hands. - There are few roads in China worthy to be mentioned. In the southern mountainous district no vehicles drawn by dumb animals are ever used. The same may be said of the districts where canals are common. In the provinces of Chihli, Shantung, Shansi, and Shensi carts are used for the transportation of produce and merchandise. Leading S. W. from Peking across the two provinces last named is a road which has been constructed over rugged mountains at no inconsiderable expense. De Carne mentions broad paved roads in Yunnan. It may be said of the roads of China, however, as of the canals, that they have not been constructed upon a comprehensive system, and that they serve their purposes in an indifferent manner. - The climate in so vast a country as China is of course various.
At Peking, lat. 41°, there is no rain from November to April; the summers are long and hot, and the mercury ranges as high as 105° F., and as low as 6° below zero. At Shanghai, lat. 31°, rains occur throughout the year; the summer opens late, and lasts longer than in the same latitude on the coast of the United States; the atmosphere is charged with moisture, and the climate presents many of the features of that of New Orleans. At Canton the prevailing rains are in the colder months; the range of the thermometer is very great, and, although about the latitude of Havana, snow occasionally falls. The mean temperature of the whole coast is lower than in corresponding latitudes elsewhere. The climate is in the main excellent. The N. W. and S. W. districts of the empire are much affected by the cold diffused from the neighboring mountains and table lands. The central region is warmer than the coast in the same latitude. In eastern Szechuen Cooper saw peas in blossom in the early part of March, and the vegetation generally was a month or six weeks in advance of that at Shanghai. The fall of rain for China cannot be stated, as it varies in different localities. At Peking it does not exceed in average years 18 inches. At Canton it is about 70 inches.
A monsoon sets down the coast from October to June, and up the coast from June to October. Sand storms are not infrequent at Peking; their effect is sometimes observed on the W. coast of Japan. Earthquakes have been experienced in different periods, but for the last 40 years have been as infrequent as on the Atlantic coast of the United States. The typhoons of the coast of China occur chiefly in the months of July, August, and September. Prof. T. B. Maury considers the monsoon of the coast of China "a part of a grand cyclone whose centre is stationary over the heated plains of central Asia, whose intro-moving winds, bearing the evaporations of the Asiatic seas and oceans, feed it with meteoric fuel for six months in the year, and whose periphery may he regarded as embracing nearly one third of the entire eastern hemisphere;" and the active typhoon as incidental to the atmospheric disturbances so created. These storms are most frequent and severe in the neighborhood of Canton, and diminish in strength toward the north. None of the greatest severity have ever been experienced near Shanghai, but on the S. coast of Japan they sometimes rage fiercely. There is reason to believe that the climate of the northern part of the great plain has undergone change in the last 200 years.
Many great bridges are found there, and marks of great erosion, where now water is seldom seen. The fertility of the country has doubtless decreased with the diminution of the rainfall, and this will explain the fact that the population of Peking and the surrounding country appears to be much less than it was formerly. - Considering the extent of territory, there is probably no region of the earth possessing soils of equal fertility to those of China. There is no desert land, and no district where the rainfall is not sufficient for the more or less abundant growth of vegetation. In respect of heat and moisture China is well favored for agricultural operations. Some of the alluvial districts have been in constant cultivation for many centuries and still produce excellent crops. The range of vegetable production is very great. Sugar cane is cultivated everywhere south of lat. 30°. The centre of its production is in Kwang-tung. Rice is raised from one extreme of the empire to the other, but chiefly south of lat. 33°; the variety produced further north is cultivated without irrigation. Tobacco is also raised throughout the empire, and as far north in Mantehooria as the southern bend of the Amoor. Millet is the chief crop of the northern part of the great plain.
Wheat, barley, maize, and sorghum are also raised. In Shing-king pulse and wheat are the leading crops. In northwestern China rice, wheat, oats, maize, sorghum, and millet are raised. In central China rice is the leading product. In Sze-chuen there appears to be a wide range of production. Sugar is produced to such an extent that it competes at Hankow with that of the southern coast. Of late years the culture of the poppy has been introduced into this and the southwestern provinces, and has increased so largely that, in face of a growing consumption, the importation of Indian opium is not augmenting. The Szechuen drug sells at Shanghai at about 70 per cent. of the value of the Indian. Rice is the leading staple of the southwestern provinces. The article of produce in which foreigners are chiefly interested is tea. Green teas are produced in Chekiang, southern Nganhwui, and eastern Kiangsi; black in western Kiangsi, northern Hunan, Fokien, and southern Hupeh. Kwangtung produces both varieties, but chiefly the black. Next in order of importance to foreigners is silk.
That from the mulberry is produced in the southern and central parts of China and Szechuen, and as far north as lat. 33°. The centre of production is in the southern part of the great plain, near the mountains of the southeast. The silk-yielding varieties of the oak and ailantus are found further north, extending into southern Mantchooria and Lower Mongolia. The zone of production includes Shantung in the east and Szechuen on the west. Cotton is raised in the valley of the Yangtse and throughout the country north of that river. The orange, lemon, pumeloe, mango, pineapple, cashew, betel, loquot (eriobotrya), casambola, persimmon, and cocoanut are native fruits. Apples, pears, peaches, plums, and apricots are inferior in flavor and size to those produced in the West. Grapes are extensively cultivated in the north, and compare favorably with those of Europe or America. The leguminosce afford many excellent vegetables and valuable products (indigo, soya, &c). Peculiar to China are dimocar-jnis litclii, dimocarpus longan, Cookia punctata, and pe-tsai, a kind of white cabbage. The sacred bean of the Egyptians (nelum-hium speciosum) is extensively cultivated as an article of food; so are several species of aroideae, also the sagittaria Sinensis, a kind of arrowroot.
The plantain fruit is less important in China than in South America. Ginger is extensively cultivated. The chulan plant (chloranthus inconspicuus), the tuberose, jasmine, and olea fragrans furnish the flowers which are used to scent some sorts of tea. A kind of grass (phragmetas) cultivated in the south is woven into floor matting. A species of andropogon and one of arundo are used by the poor for fuel. The bamboo is cultivated about villages for its shade and beauty, and is applied to such a vast variety of purposes that it may well be called the national plant of China. The tender shoots are used for food; the roots as a material for carved work; the culms as poles, rods, sticks, canes, joists, ribs of sails, shafts of spears, and tubes of aqueducts; the leaves as covering for persons and dwellings, and for manure; the shavings for mattress stuffings. India ink is manufoc-tured from the soot of pines, fir, and other substances, mixed with glue or isinglass and scented. Seaweed is collected on the coast and used for industrial purposes (glues and varnishes) and for food. Large trees and timber are scarce. Oak, walnut, camphor, cedar, cypress, and varnish trees grow in the mountainous districts. Rosewood and ebony are not infrequent.
The willow is a favorite plant in all parts of China. The chestnut, walnut, and hazelnut are all natives of China. The palm tree is cultivated for its leaves for fans, and the huan-lan for its pith, which supplies an edible flour. The tallow tree resembles the birch, but the bark is white and the branches are slender; the fruit grows in bunches, each capsule enclosing three kernels, which are coated with tallow and contain an oil much used for the lamp, while the tallow is made into candles. The varnish tree resembles the ash; it exudes an essential oil which is poisonous to the touch. From a species of sycamore, paper is manufactured. Ginseng is found in the northwest, and is extravagantly esteemed, being administered as a universal panacea. Berries (currants, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries) are seldom found. - Wild animals generally have long since disappeared from the more densely settled provinces. There are elephants, rhinoceroses, tapirs, wild boars, bears, tigers, leopards, and panthers, in the south; monkeys of a very large species (the gibbon) in the southwest; musk deer, wolves, lynxes, boars, gazelles, antelopes, in the west; squirrels, ant-eaters, sables, badgers, the jerboa, martens, porcupines, hedgehogs, marmots, weasels, in various parts of the country.
Domestic animals are not kept so generally as in Europe or America, the Chinese disliking meat and dairy products for food, except pork. The hog and dog are the most common domestic animals. Horned cattle are kept only for draught; some of these are of a small black breed. The gray buffalo is also used. The horses are also small; jackasses and mules are preferred to them. Large-tailed sheep are imported from Mongolia, and are reared everywhere, but not to a great extent in the south. The goat is common in the northern provinces. The camel is used as a pack animal in the northernmost portion of the empire, but is rarely seen south of Peking. It is employed in war, and trained to carry small swivels on its back. The gold, the silver, Reeves's, and the medallion pheasants are indigenous to China. There are found, besides, the peacock, pelican, albatross, parrot, spoonbill, crane, heron, stork, curlew, cormorant, thrush, red-billed magpie, swan, grebe, geese, ducks, quails, and snipe. Crocodiles are not known in China, but small lizards and serpents abound. The common frog is caught in great numbers for food, as are tortoises and turtles.
Besides all kinds of fish known in northern America, such as sturgeon, mullet, carp, trout, perch, pike, and eel, there are a great many peculiar to China, as the bynni carp (pohjne-mus tetradactylus), the tsang-yu or pomfret (stromateus argenteus), and the sho-kia-yeu (tetrodon). The goldfish (brought to Europe in 1011) is also a native of China. The fins of sharks and rays are eaten by the Chinese; they, in fact, eat nearly every living thing found in the water. The artificial rearing of fish, as also the artificial hatching of eggs, has been practised among the Chinese from time immemorial. Oysters of a good quality are common on the coast. Of insects, the silkworm, the wax insect, and the honey bee are the most important and useful. The white ant is found at Canton. The white wax insect furnishes the whole nation with that article, which it deposits upon a tree called the peh-lah shu. - This great empire, so abundantly favored in the character of its soil, its temperate climate, and its physical configuration, is fortunate also in the extent and value of its mineral resources.
The apathetic Chinaman has not even dreamed of the wealth which lies hidden under the hills and mountains of his native land, and the people of western states are only beginning to learn how desirable it is that this vast country shall open her fields of subterranean treasures to the enterprise of the world. So far as is now known, the northwest of China, as has been mentioned, is the leading mineral region of the empire. Of one of the provinces of this district Baron Richt-hofen says: "Shansi is one of the most remarkable coal and iron regions in the world. Some of the details which I shall give will make it patent that the world at the present rate of consumption of coal could be supplied for thousands of years from Shansi alone. Prof. Dana, in comparing the proportions of coal lands to the whole area in different countries, says that the state of Pennsylvania leads the world, its area of 46,000 sq. m. embracing 20,000 of coal land. It is very probable that on closer examination the province of Shansi in China, with an area of about 85,000 sq. m., will take the palm from Pennsylvania by a considerably more favorable proportion.
But this is not all the advantage on the side of the China coal field; another is found in the ease and cheapness with which coal can be extracted on a large scale." It appears from his statements that iron ores are found near the coal in this province, and that the deposits are very extensive and the quality excellent. Williams and Pumpelly mention other valuable deposits in Shansi. Those of salt are remarkable, while copper, quicksilver, and silver are also noticed. It is probable that the mineral region extends across Shansi into the eastern part of Kansuh and southerly into Hunan. The abbe Huc speaks of coal in eastern Kansuh. The Chinese works consulted by Pumpelly confirm the abbe's statements, and show that coal is found so far west as lon. 104° E., and south to lat. 34°. The northern part of Hunan appears to possess extensive deposits of iron, and that metal is mentioned in the Chinese accounts as occurring in Shensi. A variety of precious stones are found in Shansi. The S. W. region of China is probably only less well favored with mineral deposits. Gold is found in the bed of the Yangtse. Copper, lead, silver, zinc, and tin have been extensively worked.
De Carne says that before the present troubles Yunnan annually forwarded to the imperial treasury crude copper to the value of 1,000,000 francs, and that in peaceful times 1,200 men are employed in drawing off water from the argentiferous lead mines at Sinkaitseu. He considers Yunnan more richly endowed with mineral wealth than any other province. Coal is found in different parts of the southeast, but is mined largely only in southern Hunan and east of the Po-yang lake in Kiangsi. The conditions under which these deposits took place would appear to have been similar, but the first deposit is much greater than the other. There is reason to believe that iron ores are widely distributed in this region. There are two belts where the Chinese now smelt them. One lies S. E. of Ningpo, stretching away into Fokien; the other is situated in southern Hunan. The latter is likely to prove important. It is to be said of the deposits of coal and iron in S. E. China, that the failure of the Chinese to work them indicates that they do not occur under favorable conditions. Extensive coal fields are found in Shantung, and the gold-bearing quartz of this region may hereafter be a source of wealth.
Coal abounds in the mountains which range away from the promontory of Liautung to the northeast; it is mined in Shingking. Iron ores are abundant, and until the advent of foreigners at Newchwang Mantchooria was self-supplied with this useful metal. The presence of gold is asserted in Chinese works. The existence of coal in Szechuen has been spoken of, but it is doubtful whether it is widely distributed; Chinese accounts indicate that it is only found in the S. E. part of the province. Iron is mined in different parts of the province, and is cheap and abundant. Silver, copper, tin, and quicksilver are reported by the Chinese. Salt wells exist, which yield largely; the province is self-supplied, and was able to supply the markets of the adjoining provinces, E. and S., during the rebellion. Cooper relates that a gas sometimes escapes from these wells which will burn, and he infers that petroleum might be procured from the wells. Marble, porphyry, jasper, granite, and quartz are produced from the quarries of S. China. Lapis lazuli is found in the west. The crystal, ruby, amethyst, sapphire, topaz, turquoise, jade, garnet, opal, agate, jasper, and malachite are found.
Sulphur exists in large deposits in Formosa. Notwithstanding the extensive supply of coal possessed by China, but little comparatively is mined. Difficulties of transportation and the heavy taxation combine to discourage mining operations. Until within a few years 90 per cent, of the coal used in foreign steamers on the coast was brought from foreign countries, notably from England. The people who live on the banks of the Yangtse cut reeds for fuel, while these rich deposits of coal exist not 200 m. away. - Of the aborigines of China only a few remnants are found (Miau-tze, or Lo-lo) in the mountains of the southern provinces. The present inhabitants migrated into the country from the northwest. The Chinese, or sons of Han, as they call themselves, are entirely different from the Caucasian race, and stand in near relation to the Mongolian. Their stature varies in different districts. At Canton the average height of adult males is estimated by Mr. Williams at 5 ft. 4. in. In the northern provinces it is probably somewhat greater. They are symmetrically built.
The face is round, and the eyes are small, having an oblique appearance, with bare lids, but thick brows; cheek bones high; nose small, and nearly even with the face at the root; forehead low; lips thicker than among Europeans, but not at all approaching those of the negro; hair straight and black; complexion yellowish brown. In the south they are swarthy, but not as much so as the Portuguese. Altogether their physiognomy is void of expression, and their general appearance not imposing. Stoutness, or rather obesity, is much admired; so are small feet and long finger nails. The Mantchoos are of a lighter complexion and slightly heavier build than the Chinese, have more beard, and their countenances indicate greater intellectual activity. As to the moral and intellectual characteristics of the Chinese, great injustice has been done to them. It is obvious that the trading populations of the large seaports cannot be considered fair specimens of the national character in general; and it is from these that travellers have taken their impressions of the people at large. The Chinese, so far as they have come in contact with Europeans and Americans, are industrious, skilful, polite, and provident. They have less personal courage than Europeans, and also a lower standard of morality.
When aroused they are exceedingly cruel, yet they are not quick-tempered or revengeful. In the use of food and drink they are remarkably temperate. Their commercial enterprise is very great, and under more favorable conditions is likely to play a prominent part throughout the world. The Chinese are proud of their country and of their civilization, which was already flourishing at a time when the Christian nations had no existence. This national pride comes at least as natural to them as to those nations whom we are wont to call civilized. Considering that China contains about one third of the population of the globe: that, with the exception of steam engines and electric telegraphs, there is scarcely any great invention of modern times which lias not been in use among the Chinese for many centuries; that popular education is more general and the social structure more firmly settled in China than in any other country, their over-bearing demeanor and narrow-mindedness in regard to foreigners may at least appear natural.
It is probable that a more intimate intercourse with them will be apt to modify in some respects the unfavorable opinion which has prevailed among Christian nations of the character of the Chinese. " Their civilization," says Williams, "has been developed under peculiar forms and influences, and must be compared to, rather than judged of by that of Europeans; the dissimilarity is as wide, perhaps, as can possibly exist between two races of beings having the same common nature and wants. A people by whom some of the most important inventions of modern Europe were anticipated (such as the compass, porcelain, gunpowder, paper, printing), and were known and practised many centuries earlier; who probably amount to more than 300,000,000, united in one system of manners, letters, and policy; whose cities and capitals rival in numbers the greatest metropolises of any age; who have not only covered the earth but the waters with towns and streets - such a nation must occupy a conspicuous place in the history of mankind, and the study of their character and condition commends itself to every well-wisher of his race." The difficulties with which this study is beset are shown by the great diversity of opinion among those travellers who have ventured beyond the immediate vicinity of the large seaports, and improved every opportunity to get an insight into the peculiarities of their social system and national character.
The tendency of recent observers, however, is to judge of them in a more appreciative way, and to explain their peculiarities by a consideration of the circumstances of their history and training. If they are vain, they have been isolated; if they are cowardly, they have had a great measure of peace; if they lack boldness in enterprise and the disposition to organize for great purposes, the government has not favored the accumulation of money or power in the hands of the common people; if they are immobile, the mass is great, and the structure of the written language is so difficult that it is mastered only by a small percentage of the population, and as a consequence the diffusion of intelligence is difficult; if they are atheistical, their religions have not been such as to commend them entirely either to their judgment or their affection. - The domestic and social life of the Chinese has perhaps more features in common with western nations than that of other oriental peoples. Although polygamy exists among the wealthier classes, and their women generally live in seclusion, family life is much esteemed and cultivated among them. The first wife has the full control of the household, while the concubines are little more than servants and housemaids.
The Chinese illustrate the relation by comparing the wife to the moon and the concubines to the stars, both of which in their appropriate spheres revolve around the sun. The utmost respect and obedience to the behests of their parents are enjoined to children. The betrothment of the children is entirely in the hands of the parents, and the obligation of the former to fulfil the contract made by the latter is enforced by law, even to the annulling of an agreement made by a son himself in ignorance of the arrangements of his parents. Cleanliness is not among the virtues of the Chinese, either in regard to their habitations or their persons. The poorest people do not change their garments until they are worn out. Their bouses are generally low, the roofs hipped, and the catenary curve of their edges shows that the tent is the type of the dwelling. But in size, style of building, and the arrangements of the interior, there is every variety, from the squalid hovel to the pretentious palace. Even the best houses are poorly ventilated and lighted; the appearance of the rooms would be cheerless and uncomfortable without the gay and costly furniture and variety of ornaments. The little parks connected with the mansions of the wealthier classes are laid out in tasteful style.
The streets in Chinese cities are extremely crooked and narrow; few of them exceed 10 or 12 ft. in width, and most of those in Canton are less than 8 ft. No public squares relieve the closeness of these lanes. Ventilation is, of course, very imperfect; drainage is only partially attended to, and the sewers frequently exude their contents over the pathway. Add to this the fact that offal and manure are carried through the streets by the scavengers, and we can understand the bad odor in which Chinese cities are held, and also the prevalence of ophthalmic diseases among the people. These narrow streets present a singularly animated spectacle to strangers. Itinerant workmen abound; blacksmiths, tinkers, glass menders, barbers, druggists, shoemakers and cobblers, fortune tellers, herb sellers, book sellers, money changers, and many other tradesmen, keep their movable establishments in the streets. Still, great as the bustle and crowds sometimes are, altercations or collisions are rare, and at night a remarkable quiet prevails. Ordinarily, conflagrations are soon got under. Fire engines of an imperfect construction are used, and buildings are pulled down and the inflammable materials withdrawn. The dress of the Chinese is neither so uniform nor so unchanging as is generally supposed.
Fashions alter there as well as elsewhere, but not so rapidly as among European nations. If it were not for the shaven crown and braided tail of the men, and the crippled feet of the women, little fault could be found with their costume, combining as it does warmth and ease. The fabrics most worn are silk, cotton, and linen for summer, with the addition of furs and skins in the winter. The winter garments of the poor are made chiefly of padded and quilted cotton materials. The garments of the sexes differ more by their colors than by their shape and cut. Inner and outer tunics made of cotton or silk, a pair of loose trousers over which tight leggings are pulled in winter, and shoes with thick felt soles, are the principal articles of dress. The diet of the Chinese is sufficient in variety, wholesome, and well cooked, though many of their dishes would appear insipid to the taste of Europeans and Americans. The proportion of animal food consumed is probably smaller among them than among any other race in the same latitudes.
Cookery is almost esteemed as a science in China. Mr. Wingrove Cooke assigns to the Chinese in cookery a middle position, below the French and above the English. The Chinaman considers the Englishman's mode of feeding the nearest approach to that of the savages of Formosa; for, says he, "the Englishman does the chief work of the slaughterhouse upon his dinner table, and he remits the principal work of the kitchen to his stomach." The Chinese cook is anxious to disguise the original shape and appearance of the food as much as possible, He discards spices, and uses oils and fats. Many strange articles of food are eaten, but they are generally prepared in such a manner as to appear palatable to unprejudiced foreigners. Coffee, chocolate, beer, cider, porter, and brandy are unknown; their common beverages are tea and a spirit distilled from rice. Wines are almost unknown. The native tobacco is of an inferior quality; it is not chewed, but smoked or used as snuff. The pernicious habit of opium smoking prevails among all classes, and is spreading year by year, in spite of the earnest efforts of the government to prevent it.
The social life of the Chinese is generally described as a mass of ceremonials and cold formalities, devoid of all real kindness of heart; but this opinion is based upon incomplete observations. In their common intercourse the Chinese are not more formal than is elsewhere considered to be well-bred; it is on extraordinary or official occasions that they observe the precise etiquette for which they are famous. Whether in the crowded and narrow thoroughfares, the village green, the bustling market, the jostling ferry, or the thronged procession, wherever the people are assembled promiscuously, good humor and courtesy are observable. Street fights, assaults, and murders are not common excepting in disturbed districts. The people are fond of processions and public shows, and celebrate several imposing popular festivals. The new-year's time, the festival of the dragon boats, the feast of lanterns, the fishermen's festival, etc, are occasions of general rejoicing and merrymaking. Gambling is universal. The violent and gladiatorial sports of other countries are held in contempt.
Duels are unknown among them, and they consider a resort to force as proof of an inferior kind of civilization. - The subjoined table of the population of China is taken from the "Middle Kingdom" of Dr. Williams, who esteems the several estimates the result of regular censuses, and the only ones which may be relied upon as such. The reader is referred to that book for an elaborate and able discussion of those estimates. Taking the census of 1812 as a basis, and estimating an increase of only 20 per cent, in 00 years, the present population of China would be about 450,000,000. For the last 20 years the empire has been ravaged by internal war, and it is probable that there has been an actual decrease in its numbers. An increase of 20 per cent, would not be a large one for the preceding 40 years, and allowing a decrease amounting to 50,000,000, the present population would reach 400,000,000. The observations of recent travellers would indicate that this number is far above the true one. Baron Richt-hofen, for instance, is disposed to believe that Chekiang, set down in the table as having 26,000,000 in 1812, does not now contain more than 8,000,000. But it is dangerous to take an arbitrary calculation in such matters.
The traveller sees the country for a little distance on either side of his track. He makes no count. To declare a census wrong upon such evidence would be very bold. It is to be remembered that the censuses of China have been taken for governmental purposes, and were not intended for the information of foreigners. In other statistics the Chinese records have been found quite accurate, and why should they not be in this direction? The question whether China is overpopulated does not turn upon an enumeration of the people. It is certainly known that there is no considerable district where, having regard either to the extent of land brought under cultivation, or to the methods adopted, tillage is carried to the furthest point. As but few animals are reared or used, the soil will support a larger number of people than in Europe or America, where no inconsiderable proportion of the produce is consumed by stock, and where owing to the wasteful habits of the people the best use is not made of that reserved for food. In Mantchooria and Mongolia, and in the more unpromising regions of Koko-nor and Thibet, the population is a mere fraction of what it might be.
Extensive districts near the Yellow river are subject to floods and practically abandoned, which under an efficient government would be quite safe for the operations of husbandry. In western Chihli, the use of coal would admit of the growth of trees, and perhaps bring back the rainfall of former centuries; and elsewhere the presence of trees might save the land from destructive erosion. In a country where the methods and means of transportation are imperfect, any given district is practically isolated, and the disaster of a drought or flood becomes more serious. The drought of 1871 destroyed a large portion of the crops of the S. E. provinces, while the rain precipitated a flood in the N. E. Foreign vessels were able to supply the country of the former region, but the other was inaccessible during the succeeding winter months by reason of the presence of ice, and many people died from starvation. This could not however be taken as an indication of over population. The climates and soils of China are so diverse that a famine in any district can only be disastrous as a result of a failure of transportation. - The Chinese speak but one language, but of course the aborigines still found in southern China, and those of Formosa and Hainan, have their own tongues.
The spoken language has many dialects. It is not uncommon to find marked differences of pronunciation on the different sides of a mountain range or of a stream. These differences are so great that difficulty is experienced by the Chinese of one section in understanding the speech of those from another district. The written language is the same everywhere. A special article is devoted to the Chinese language and literature, but it may be said here that the language presents a great bar to the progress of the empire. More time is consumed by Chinese students in mastering the written language than is given in the countries of the West to the acquirement of a liberal education. The celebrated literary examinations of China are directed to the inquiry whether the candidates can read and write with readiness and grace. The acquisition of general or special knowledge is not thought of, and the masses are kept in a state of degraded ignorance. - The principal occupation of the Chinese is agriculture, which next to letters they consider the most honorable of all.' In order to remind the people that agriculture is the basis of society, the emperor himself and the viceroys of the provinces once in every year perform the ceremony of ploughing some furrows and sowing one of the grains.
Nowhere is the soil cultivated more carefully and diligently. The implements used in their agriculture are very rude. The system of irrigation is perfect, and the great importance of manuring is fully appreciated. As the scarcity of domestic animals prevents the application of stable manures on a large scale, all refuse applicable to the purpose is carefully collected. Human ordure, ashes, muck, gypsum, offal, hair (even the barbers gathering the product of their tonsorial performances, and selling it to the farmers), and whatever other matters can invigorate the soil, are freely used. The density of the population rendering it impracticable to let the fields lie fallow, and the rotation of crops not being well understood, the Chinese sustain the productiveness of the soil chiefly by constant manuring. In the fertile country between the Yellow and Yang-tse rivers and south of the latter, two crops are obtained from the same field in one year. The threshing of the grain is performed either by treading or by rollers and flails. The sedge in the marshes and grass on the hills are collected for fodder and fuel, but it is believed not a single acre of land is sown with grass seed. Cattle raising is, therefore, the most unimportant part of the farming business.
The flesh of domestic animals is rarely used for food, the hog, and in the north mutton, excepted. Butter and cheese are not made at all. Poultry furnishes the favorite meat for all classes of the population. The fields of different owners are not, as in America and England, separated by fences, walls, or hedgerows; and hence the cultivated plain appears like a vast garden, in which the plats seem to be mere beds. Hunting is profitable only in the mountainous districts of the west and southwest; there are no game laws in China. The skill exhibited by the Chinese in their various modes of catching and rearing fish is admirable. One tenth of the population derive their food from the water. Great numbers of cormorants are trained to catch fish. - The progress of the Chinese in the mechanical arts is slow; their imitative faculty having in the course of time become stronger than the inventive, they cling to their ancient implements and designs, and are slow to adopt improvements in either. But their obstinacy in this respect has been very much exaggerated. They do not greatly feel the want of improved machinery, since labor is so cheap that it would even appear cruel to replace it by mechanical forces.
In the arts of metallurgy they have attained only to mediocrity, except in the alloying of metals, and in chased or carved work in gold and silver, in both of which they excel. In the manufacture of glass, though it has been but recently introduced, they are making good progress. Their porcelain was a century ago unequalled; but the quality, styles, and finish are far below the standard of that now produced in Europe, and their patterns never have compared with those of the classic ages of Europe. The manufacture of silk is original among the Chinese, and in some directions foreigners have not yet succeeded in fully equalling their products. A durable cotton cloth (nankeen) is made in the central provinces. The consumption of leather is small, and it is porous and tender in consequence of the rapid manner in which the tanning process is completed. The only woollen fabrics of the Chinese are felt for soles and hats and a sort of rug. Their carved work in ivory, wood, and horn is exquisitely delicate. The Chinese mechanics of different trades are accustomed to form associations with certain rules and regulations, but these are submitted to voluntarily, no restraint being imposed by the state on the liberty of trade.
Handicraftsmen of every trade wander through the streets of cities and villages, carrying their implements with them, ready to do every job on the spot. - The Chinese are eminently a trading people; their merchants are acute, methodical, sagacious, and enterprising, not overscrupulous as to their mercantile honesty in small transactions, but in large dealings exhibiting that regard for character in the fulfilment of their obligations which extensive commercial engagements usually produce. The inland commerce of China is undoubtedly of stupendous dimensions. It has been asserted that there is a greater amount of tonnage belonging to the Chinese than to all other nations combined. Myriads of freight boats are constantly plying upon the gigantic network of natural and artificial water communications. To obtain accurate statistical tables on the value of the inland commerce is impossible. The principal articles of export are tea, raw silk and silk goods, straw-goods, mats, porcelain and lacquered ware, fire crackers, fans, sweetmeats, rattan, grass cloth, vegetable tallow, pictures, and others which singly form only trilling items in the trade, while their aggregate value is considerable.
The principal articles of import are opium, longcloths, domestics and sheetings, ginseng, tin, lead, iron in the form of bars, rods, and hoops, woollen goods, and petroleum. Tripang, birds' nests, sharks' fins, and fish maws are imported as articles of food from the Indian archipelago; precious stones and pearls from India or central Asia. Rhinoceros horns are brought from Burmah and Sumatra. Gold and silver thread is largely imported for embroidery. The importation of metals has steadily increased with the enlargement of the trade. Fine furs are chiefly brought from Mantchooria and Siberia. Among the most salable articles of foreign manufacture are umbrellas, needles, clocks and watches, cheap jewelry, telescopes, cutlery, snuff, corks, glass ware, lamps, and chandeliers. Up to 18-12 Canton was the only port open to Europeans, and the intercourse was carried on through mercantile companies who had a monopoly of the trade. Since then four other ports, Amoy, Foochow, Ningpo, and Shanghai, have been made available to Europeans and Americans, and nine additional ports were added to the list by the treaties negotiated at Tientsin in June, 1858. Steamers and sailing vessels belonging to foreigners are admitted to the coasting trade and upon the Yangtse river, but they are allowed to visit only the ports named in the treaties.
Foreigners can acquire land and houses at the ports, and may travel in the interior for purposes of pleasure or for trade, but must use the conveyances of the country. Produce may be brought from the interior by paying at the port of destination a duty which is equal to one half the duty upon exportation. This half duty is a commutation of the native levies exacted in the several provinces, and comprises a part of the provincial revenue. Foreign merchandise may be sent into the interior under a similar system. Opium can be brought to the ports by foreigners, but cannot be transported into the interior by them or by their agents, and after leaving the ports is subject to such duties as the authorities may see fit to impose. All duties upon goods or produce imported or exported by foreigners are fixed by treaty stipulations between China and foreign powers, and cannot be varied without the consent of the latter. Foreigners are exempted from the jurisdiction of the Chinese government and made subject to the functionaries of their respective states, but may be arrested by the native authorities. At most of the ports districts are set apart for their residence, and they are permitted to establish their own regulations for the police, sanitary, and other control of their settlements.
Shanghai is considered by its resi-dents a "model settlement." It supports a considerable police force, and maintains order among about 5,000 foreign and 70,000 native residents. It has many of the attributes of a free city. The telegraph has been completed to Shanghai by two routes, via India and Singapore, and via Siberia and Japan. Some short local lines are working in the foreign settlement at Shanghai, and their operations are becoming familiar to the Chinese, who are evincing a disposition to introduce them throughout the empire. No foreign machinery has been used in the mines of China, and their processes of extracting ores and of smelting and working them are rude. The revenues derived from the trade conducted in foreign bottoms are collected by customs authorities, consisting of foreigners and natives, the former controlling. This system was introduced at Shanghai in 1855, as a means of checking the corruption of the native customs officers, and has extended to all the ports where foreigners are concerned. Mr. Robert Hart is at the head of the whole system, and is credited with being an adviser of the government in all its affairs with western states.
That official deserves credit for having so managed his trust as to consult the rights of people of all nationalities, and to build up one of the most efficient customs establishments in the world. The establishment of lighthouses on the coast is chiefly due to Mr. Hart. His subordinates at the ports have been carefully chosen, and their annual contributions to the fund of information regarding their several districts are printed at the expense of the customs department. The matter printed already amounts to a considerable mass. Medical officers are employed at the several customs agencies, and their reports are also published. There are no chartered banks in China. Private banks are numerous. Insurance companies are unknown among the natives, but foreign companies at the open ports receive support from the native merchants. Paper money, formerly issued in immense quantities, is now almost unknown as a general circulating medium, excepting in the northern provinces. Loan offices and pawnbrokers' shops are numerous. The legal interest allowed on small loans is 3 per cent, per month, but among business men 1»> or 15 per cent, per annum is the usual rate.
The monetary system is arranged on the principle of weight, and the foreign names tael, marc, cani-dareen, and cash are applied to the divisions, though the cash (tsien) is the only native coin now current, while Mexican dollars are employed as a commercial medium along the coast. The tael (equal to 10 mace, or 100 candareens, or 1,000 cash) varies in different parts of the empire. At Shanghai the intrinsic value of a Mexican dollar is esteemed 725/1000 of a tael. This would make the tael about $1 39 Mexican. The market value of the Mexican dollar fluctuates from .72 to .82; an average value is about .75. The Carolus dollar, formerly much used, passed for a considerable period as the equivalent of the tael. It is now seldom seen in China. The native bullion is called sycee, and the ingots weigh from 5 to 50 taels. The tael (liang), catty (kin), and pecul (tan) are the weights commonly employed. The catty is 1 1/3 lb. avoirdupois, the tael 1 1/3 oz., and the pecul 133 1/3 lbs. Of long measures, the chili or foot is the unit of length (according to the tariff, 14.1 inches English). It is subdivided into 10 tsun, and each tsun into 10 fan. The decimal division runs through nearly all the Chinese weights and measures. The Chinese mile (li) is 0.3570 of the statute mile.
The land measures are the mau, fun (1/10 of the mau), li (1/10 fun), and hau (1/10 li). The usual man is about 7,000 square feet; 100 mau make a king. - The following tables exhibit the trade of China with the countries named for the year 1871, the values being expressed in Shanghai taels (1 tael equals about $1 40 gold). They are taken from reports published by Mr. Hart, and show the trade carried on under foreign flags at the open or treaty ports. No accurate exhibit of the trade of China can be made in the absence of data regarding that of Hong Kong, or that carried on with Hong Kong under the native flag. It should be mentioned also that Hong Kong produces nothing and consumes but little, and that the merchandise exchanged with the colony comes from or is destined for Great Britain, America, India, the Straits, etc.
AREA AND POPULATION.
Area in English square miles.
Pop. to sq. m. by last census.
Census of 1711.
Census of 1753.
Census of 1812.
Continent of Europe..
Siberia and Russia via Kiakhta.......
Singapore and Straits..
NATURE OF THE TRADE - IMPORTS.
Seaweed and agar-agar..
Biche de mar..
NATURE OF THE TRADE - EXPORTS.
Silk, raw and thrown...
" coarse and wild...
" piece goods.....
" manufactured but unclussed...
" candy .............
Mats and matting...........
TRADE OF THE SEVERAL PORTS.
Reexports from Shanghai...
" " other ports.
Net total exports...
The aggregate number of entrances and clearances of foreign vessels at the treaty ports in 1871 was 14,963; total tonnage, 7,381,557. Of the vessels 7,160, with a tonnage of 3,330,-881, were British; 4,000, of 3,187,043 tons, were American; and 1,480, of 428,747 tons, were German. - The Chinese exhibit but little disposition to emigrate, and considering the vast population of the empire but few are found outside of its borders. The migration to Java, Siam, and the straits of Malacca has extended over a considerable period. The producing class in Java is largely Chinese, and it is stated that they compose one third of the population of Bangkok in Siam. In Mantchooria the Chinese element is so great that the language of the country is dying out. In Mongolia the "labors of the Chinese farmers steal forward like a snake in the grass." Chinese traders find their way to the great marts of central Asia. Emigration to distant countries by the way of the sea has been opened within the last 25 years. The greatest flow has been to the Pacific coast of the United States, and next after that to Australia. This emigration has been perfectly voluntary in its character.
That to Peru and the West Indies has been promoted by foreigners and attended with horrors scarcely second to those of the African slave trade. It is said that a ship has been burned off the Chinese coast each year for a considerable period by the coolies on board, who have preferred to meet death in this manner to being carried into a condition of slavery. The history of the race and their timid character indicate that there is no occasion for the fear that they will come to this country in great numbers. Efforts to introduce them into the southern states have proved unsuccessful. As laborers they are less vigorous than the negroes; and as the latter possess political power, they are likely to use it against the Chinaman if he becomes a competitor in the labor market. The Chinese who have gone to the regions near China have settled in them with their families; but those who have come to this country do not seem to regard it as a permanent abode, and they even send back to the mother land the bones of those who die. As a laborer, the Chinaman, though lacking vigor, is constant, and he brings to his labors an element of intelligence which produces good results. Those who worked on the Central Pacific railroad were skilfully managed and pronounced eminently satisfactory.
The following table, which exhibits the Chinese immigration into the United States to June 30, 1873, is compiled from the reports of the bureau of statistics, except for the period prior to 1855, for which the figures are taken from a letter of Daniel Cleveland of San Francisco, published in the " United States Diplomatic Correspondence" for 18G8:
* The value of the opium imported into Hong Kong over that imported into the open ports and stated above is 16,256.056 taels. All or nearly all of this excess ultimately reaches China.
Previous to 1851.
To July 1, 1808, it is estimated that 45,887 had returned to China. The United States, according to the census of 1870, contained 63,199 Chinese, of whom only 4,566 were females. In British Columbia there were 1,548 in 1871. Victoria contains the greater portion of the Chinese in Australia, and in that colony they numbered 17,705 in 1871. (See Cooly.) - In no country of the world is education held in higher honor than in China. Though the government fosters it only by making it the road to distinction and by supporting the various examinations (hio-kung), the knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic, to a greater or less degree of proficiency, is all but universal. But as there is no alphabet in the language, and words are represented by what may be termed arbitrary symbols, the written language is one of which more or less may be acquired, and a certain mastery of it does not presuppose the mastery of the whole. Thus a merchant may know the symbols for the articles which he sells .and the numerals, so as to be able to keep his accounts, and yet have no ability to read the contents of an ordinary book. The number of adult males who can read the classical books with readiness is probably not more than three in a hundred; of women, one in a thousand.
The quality of the knowledge dispensed in Chinese schools must not of course be judged by the requirements of western nations. There are four literary degrees, the first of which is called siu-Uai (flowering talent), corresponding to the bachelorship of arts; the second ka-jin, or licentiate; the third tsin-sze, or doctor; the fourth han-lin, or member of the imperial academy. The examinations which the aspirants to public honors have to pass are very severe. Bribery is sometimes, but it is believed rarely, practised to attain the degrees. The unsuccessful candidates are numbered by hundreds of thousands; they get employment as school teachers, notaries, clerks, letter writers, etc. Literary attainments are considered creditable to women, and the number of authoresses is by no means small. Printed books are cheaper in China than elsewhere, notwithstanding the clumsiness of the printing apparatus. Knowledge centres in a mere acquaintance with the aphorisms of the classics. Sir John Davis justly compares the state of the sciences among them with their condition in Europe previous to the adoption of the inductive mode of investigation. In mathematics they have made some progress since they became acquainted with European mathematical works. Astronomy has not yet been emancipated from astrology.
Their geographical knowledge is mainly limited to their own country, though recently some Chinese scholars have adopted more correct ideas on this subject. A school known as the university of Peking was established in 1808, for the purpose of instructing Chinese youth in the various branches of western knowledge. The teachers are from different countries. The university has encountered many difficulties, and as yet is hardly worthy to be dignified by the name. It however contains the elements of usefulness, and will not be neglected by the representatives of western states at the capital. The Roman Catholic missionaries have established no fewer than 25 considerable schools, one of which, at Shanghai, numbers over 300 pupils. The Protestant missionaries are doing much work of this sort. In 1872 the government sent 30 students to the United States, and 30 more are to come each year for the succeeding four years, in all 150. They are to be thoroughly educated in special branches, and are promised official employment on their return to China. A sum of about $2,000,000 has been appropriated for the purposes of the mission. In the fine arts, the sesthetical feeling of the Chinese has been developed in a manner so peculiar as to defy all direct comparison with Christian art.
While the skilful workmanship in sculpture, paintings, and architecture may justly be admired, the designs are mostly grotesque and incongruous. No higher standard seems to exist than mere mechanical skill; there is scarcely any vestige of an effort to realize the idea of the truly beautiful and sublime. Chinese artists are able to copy European works with admirable accuracy, but they do not appreciate them, or consider them as models worthy of imitation. In landscape gardening they excel, but their singular predilection for dwarfish and stunted forms mars the effect of their designs. Their music is painfully discordant to cultivated ears. They have a great many stringed and wind instruments, besides drums, bells, etc.; but of accord, rhythm, harmony, and melody they have no adequate conception. "The gong is the type of Chinese music: a crashing harangue of rapid blows upon it, with a rattling accompaniment of small drums, and a crackling symphony of shrill notes from the clarinet and cymbal, constitute the chief features of their musical performances. Their vocal music is generally on a high falsetto key, somewhere between a squeal and a scream." Dancing they set down as a branch of the dramatic art.
How Europeans or Americans can enjoy dancing themselves instead of having it done by professionals is utterly incomprehensible to the Chinese mind. The drama is very popular among all classes of Chinese society, but officials are not permitted to witness theatrical performances because of the vulgarity and obscenity by which the plays are sometimes, though not generally, characterized. The actors are not respected. Women are not allowed to appear on the stage; their parts are played by beardless youths or eunuchs. Only in the northern and eastern provinces are permanent theatres to be found. The lower classes are very fond of theatrical entertainments, and, as in ancient Rome, there is no shorter road to popularity than the furnishing of gratuitous performances to the people. - Indifference to religious matters is a prominent national trait of character. They have not even a general term corresponding to the word religion; kiao, the word that comes nearest to it, meaning only doctrine or creed. The lower classes are mostly professors of an adulterated kind of Buddhism, which in the lapse of time has sunk to coarse paganism and idolatry. The priests of this profession, over 1,000,000 in number, are for the greatest part ignorant and have no great reputation for virtue.
They beg around the country and live in monasteries. The higher classes are either believers in the doctrines of Confucius, or in those of the philosopher Lao-tse. These are scarcely more than systems of moral philosophy clothed in a fantastical symbolism. Thus Confucius teaches that from the original substance (Tai-ki) two principles emanate: Yang, the principle of perfection, of the heavenly, of light and warmth, the masculine, symbolized by------; and Yin, the feminine principle, or that of imperfection, of the terrestrial, of darkness and cold, symbolized by-------. By the combination of these symbols four images (sz'siang) are presented, viz.: ==== ===== ==== ==== corresponding to the four cardinal virtues, piety, morality, justice, and wisdom. From a double combination result eight signs (kua),viz.: viz:≡≡≡ heaven, ≡≡≡ moistness,≡≡≡ fire,≡≡≡ winds, ≡≡≡ water, ≡≡≡ mountains, ≡≡≡ thunder, ≡≡≡ ≡≡≡ earth. By the aid of these symbols, arranged in the form of a circle, Confucius describes the universe, and, making them to correspond with moral and mental properties, constructs an ethical system, scarcely to be styled a religion.
Lao-tse (born 604 B. C, 54 years before Confucius) founded the religion of the Tao (supreme reason), which, according to him, is anterior to and the source of the divinities (Ki, Hi, Kuei) and all material forms. Like Zeno, he recommends retirement and contemplation as the most effectual means of purifying our spiritual nature. The professors of this religion (Taosze, usually rendered rationalists) believe in the existence of a spiritual world, in spiritual manifestations, and a migration of souls. There arc 1,500 temples devoted to Confucius attached to the examination halls. The priests of the Tao religion live in temples and small communities with their families, or lead a wandering life, deriving a precarious livelihood from the sale of charms. They have degenerated very much, and are commonly looked upon as ignorant cheats or jugglers. The Buddhists, or the followers of Fo, have the largest number of temples, but the great mass of the people offer their prayers in any temple indiscriminately, and are perfectly indifferent to the diversities of religious denominations. "Buddhism in China/' says Dr. Morrison, "is decried by the learned, laughed at by the profligate, yet followed by all." No religion is taught in the common schools.
The one creed upon which all agree is the worship of deceased ancestors. The Tai-ping insurgents attempted to found a new religion, which was a curious mixture of the oldest Chinese religion and Christian doctrines; it recognized divine revelation as still continuing; its professors were fanatical and intolerant propagandists. Christianity appears to have found adherents in China at an early-date. It is certain that the Nestorians had flourishing missions which began in the 7th century, and certainly existed till 1:330, when they were reported to number about 30,000 souls. The first Roman Catholic mission was established by Johannes de Monte Corvino. He was made archbishop by Pope Clement V. in 1305, and seven suffragan bishops were sent to his assistance. After the final establishment of the Ming dynasty almost nothing is known of the Catholics or the Nestorians. The Catholic missions were reestablished in the second half of the 16th century, chiefly by Jesuits, and have been maintained ever since, but with varying success and influence.
The Roman Catholic population of China is estimated by Hue at 700,000. The estimates of other Catholic missionaries vary from 400,000 to 1,000,000. Since the treaty with France of 1858 the Catholic congregations have received large accessions, and the church property has been greatly increased, chiefly by the recovery of estates previously seized by the government or lapsed through the hostility of the people. At the close of 1872 there were in China proper 26 vicariates apostolic and three prefectures apostolic, and in Chinese dependencies three vicariates. The first Protestant mission was begun in 1807 by the London missionary society, since when a number of other societies, English, American, and German, have sent out missionaries. The Protestant missions have been confined until lately to the open ports. In 1801) they had an aggregate membership of 5,624. A mission of the Greek church was established under Peter the Great, and in 1872 numbered a few hundred converts. The Mohammedans number many millions; there are at least 200,000 in Peking alone. - The form of government is monarchical, but not despotical, since the emperor is bound by ancient laws and customs, and could scarcely without danger disregard the advice or remonstrances of his ministers or the boards of administration.
The official title of the emperor is hioang-ti, autocrat, as nearly as it can be translated. His real name is never used while he lives, but the period of his reign has a special name expressive of its character and tendencies. The emperor designates himself by the terms kua-jin, the solitary or unequalled man, and kua-kiun, the solitary prince. His throne is called "the dragon's throne." Like all oriental princes, his person is venerated in an extreme manner, He never appears in public unless preceded by a large body guard. His courtiers and chamberlains are for the most part eunuchs, of whom perhaps 1,000 are connected with the palace. He has one legitimate wife (hwang-hoi, empress), two wives of an inferior rank (fu-shin, queens), and a great number of concubines. The emperor makes choice of his successor from among the sons of his three wives, but the selection remains a secret until his death. The daughters are married to Mongolian or Mantchoo princes. Every succeeding generation of the imperial offspring stands one grade lower in the ranks of nobility, until at the seventh remove they belong to the people at large, but are governed by a special board called board of the imperial clan. Only the highest classes of princes are obliged to live at court.
Besides this nobility of birth, there is a personal dignity generally connected with official rank, to which every one has access irrespective of birth. The five ancient degrees of dignity are hung, han,pe, tse, and nan, sometimes rendered duke, marquis, earl, viscount, and baron. The mark of official nobility is the peacock's feather. Titular rank is sold to ambitious individuals, in the same manner as official titles, such as aulic councillor, secret councillor, etc, in some German states. The civil mandarins number about 15,000, the military about 20,000. Each are divided into nine classes, and rank alike. Officials of the first rank wear a ruby placed on the apex of the hat; those of the second a red coral button; those of the third a sapphire; those of the fourth a blue opaque stone; those of the fifth a crystal; those of the sixth a white shell button; those of the seventh one of plain gold; those of the eighth one of worked gold; and those of the ninth one of worked silver. There are additional indications of rank embroidered on the garments worn, which differ in the civil and military grades. The administration of the imperial government is complicated.
A cabinet (nui-Icau), consisting of four chief chancellors and a number of assessors, has the general superintendence and legislative regulation of the country. Two of the members of this board are Mantchoos and two Chinese. The former have a veto upon the latter. The emperor himself takes a prominent part in the labors of this board. Of late a portion of its powers has been vested in a cabinet council of five members only (kiun-ki-chu), which corresponds to the ministry of western nations. Its members are selected by the emperor from the functionaries of the highest rank. The duties of these supreme councils are general, comprising matters relating to all departments of the government. The principal executive bodies under them are the six boards (luh-pu), viz.: 1, board of civil service (Ii-pu); 2, board of revenue (hu-pu); 3, board of rites (li-pu), or imperial household, court matters, and diplomacy; 4, board of war (ping-pn); 5. board of justice (hing-pu), performing also the functions of a supreme court of appeals (ta-Ii-se); 0, board of public works (kung-pu). Each department has two presidents, four vice presidents (one half Chinese, the other Mantchoos), and three subordinate grades of officers (direc-tors, under-secretaries, and controllers), besides a great number of clerks; but no board is entirely independent of the others in its acts.
An institution peculiar to China is the censor-ate (tu-cha-yuen, i. e., all-examining court), whose duty it is to examine all official acts of the ministry and cabinet, to institute inquiries, raise objections to such measures as they deem detrimental to the best interests of the country, and even to stop them entirely. They are bound to give a hearing to every subject who has cause to complain of any act of government. The office, in its practical working, is somewhat similar to that of the tribunes of the people in ancient Rome, and may be considered a substitute for popular representation. At least, the privilege of reproving even the doings of the emperor has often been exercised by the censors with candor and plainness. The administration of the vassal states and foreign affairs is separate from that of the empire proper. It is intrusted to the li-fan-yuen, usually called the colonial office. Since the treaties of 1858 a separate office for the transaction of business with the western states has been established; it is known as the tsung-li yamen.
The provinces are divided into prefectures or departments (fu), each containing an average population of 2,000,000; the prefectures into districts (chai-'u), and the districts into Men or sub-districts. The larger provinces are administered each by a governor general (tsung-tu) or viceroy, while of the lesser ones there is but one viceroy for two or three. Each province has besides a governor. At the head of the departments are intendants of circuit, at the head of the districts magistrates, and at the head of the Men petty officers who are charged with the enforcement of order, the collection of taxes, etc. Special imperial commissioners (hin-chai) are constantly sent to all parts of the empire to take a general surveillance. Governors general are appointed for three years; their powers are limited by those of a provincial cabinet, consisting of the governor, the military commandant, the provincial treasurer, and the chief justice of the province. According to the "Red Book" there are 8 governors general, 15 governors, 19 treasurers (2 in Kiangsu), 18 provincial chief justices, 17 literary chancellors, 15 military commandants, and 1,740 intendants or magistrates. The number of petty subordinate officers is immense. The whole forms the most stupendous bureaucracy in existence.
The municipal government of Peking is a part of the general government. All public offices are open to those who have been successful in the literary examinations, without any distinction of birth, nationality, or creed. The salaries of all public officers are comparatively low, and hence corruption prevails among them. While governors general sometimes make millions of dollars in this way, even the pettiest subordinates may make their hundreds and thousands. Yeh, being questioned how much he paid to his secretaries, replied that their salary was 100 taels ($140) a month, but that they made three or four times as much by perquisites. The ordinary salary of a governor general is 20,000 taels, of a lieutenant governor 16,000, of a treasurer 9,000, of a provincial chief justice 6,000, of a military governor 4,000, of a general 2,400. The revenue of the central government cannot be ascertained by foreigners with any degree of accuracy, but it is much less than might be supposed. The estimates vary from $180,000,000 to $440,-000,000, and even the latter amount would only be at the rate of a little over $1 for every inhabitant.
The taxes are partly paid in kind and partly in money, thousands of canal boats being constantly employed to carry the rice and grain collected from the farmers to Peking. According to Dr. Medhurst, $42,327,954 land taxes in money, and $12,692,871 in grain, are sent to Peking, while $38,273,500 in money and $105,689,707 in grain are kept in the provinces. This, with the revenue derived from customs and transit duties, which is set down by Dr. Medhurst at not over $1,974,-662, would give a total taxation of $200,958,-694. But there are other sources of revenue, such as the duties on salt, license money, stamp tax, government monopolies, mining, pearl fishery, the manufacture of gunpowder, etc. China has no public debt. Extraordinary sources of revenue, resorted to when necessity demands it, are sales of office and honors, temporary increase of duties, and contributions from the rich. The laws of China are collected into a general code (Ta tsing Hull li, i. e., statutes and rescripts of the great pure dynasty), and arranged under seven heads, viz.: general, civil, fiscal, ritual, military, and criminal, and those relating to public works.
In theory this code might be considered as a sort of constitution of the empire, but in practice the high provincial officers frequently supersede it by issuing edicts upon matters that have been provided for already by law, or by reviving some old law, or by forced and arbitrary application of existing laws to special cases. The edicts are placarded in the cities and towns, and the more important ones circulated in pamphlet form. However excellent many of the written laws may be, their execution is by no means such as to give the people at large the benefit of them. Innumerable cases of judicial murder, extortion, and crime are reported in the Peking "Gazette," and the code recognizes cases of oppression and tyranny in which open rebellion of the subjects against the officers of the government would be justifiable. The cruelty of the tortures by which the magistrates sometimes seek to obtain confessions almost surpasses belief. The treatment of prisoners, who are caged like wild beasts, is barbarous in the extreme. Flogging (from 10 to 300 blows), transportation, perpetual banishment to remote provinces, slavery (hard labor), and death are the legal punishments of crime; imprisonraent is regarded only as a corrective.
Decapitation and strangling are the legal modes of executing criminals, the more cruel modes of quartering, flaying, starving to death, etc, having fallen out of use almost entirely. It is believed that the number of criminals who undergo the penalty of death is not one half of those who die from the effects of torture and imprisonment. The trials are held in public; they are brief and free of cost; no counsel is allowed to the criminal. Appeals to higher courts are frequently resorted to. Sentences of death require the signature of the emperor, but this form is dispensed with by a fiction of the presence of the emperor in every public office. - The military organization is very defective. As a general rule, the Chinese hate war, and do not consider superiority in military power an attribute of a higher order of civilization, though they esteem personal courage and praise their ancient heroes in songs and novels. "China owes her advance in numbers, industry, and wealth mainly to her peaceful character and policy." A standing army has existed since the 7th century. The soldiers in time of peace live in garrison in the large cities; they are poorly paid, and badly armed and equipped. There is nothing imposing about them except their numbers.
The infantry carry matchlocks of the clumsiest kind, or spears, bows, swords, and bucklers; the cavalry, helmets, cuirasses of quilted and doubled cotton cloth, covered with iron plates or brass knobs, bows and arrows, and shields of strong wickerwork. The artillery have cannon of iron and brass of a heavy calibre, but scarcely know how to use them. The jin-gall, a kind of swivel resting on a tripod, is the most effective light arm the Chinese possess. of late years the government has shown a disposition to adopt the weapons and the military methods of western states. In 1800--'61 Gen. Ward, an American, drilled a force of 2,500 Chinese after the foreign style. They were armed with foreign muskets, and dressed in a half-foreign costume. This organization was enlarged under Burgevine, another American, and Col. Gordon of the British army, and was very successful in expelling the Tai-ping troops from the province of Kiangsu. Some French officers drilled a similar force in the Chekiang province, and operated against the Tai-pings with like success. Arsenals, so called, have been established at Shanghai and Foochow. In each of these upward of 1,000 natives are employed under the supervision of foreigners.
Firearms of all kinds are successfully made, and each establishment has built and launched four or five war vessels, some of them of nearly 3,000 tons burden. The want of courage of the Chinese soldiers has been proverbial, yet it is not without honorable exceptions. The Tartar garrison of the Pei-ho forts stood their ground with firmness in May, 1858; and there were many instances of daring exhibited by the native troops during the succeeding campaign. Gen. Ward used to say that he could take his disciplined corps where no white troops would go. It is likely that in case of another foreign war the Chinese government, having considerable supplies of improved arms and a knowledge of the foreign methods of warfare, would be able to make a much better contest than heretofore. A French officer, M. Giquel, in a recent book says that it would not be safe to undertake a contest with China with a smaller force than 40,000 men. The regular army, or the eight, banners of Mantchoos, consists of 67,800, or, according to De Guignes, 100,000 Mantchoos, 21,000 Mongolian Tartars, and 27,000 Chinese. The pay of a foot soldier is from $3 to $4 a month, of a horseman about $5. The green banner, or militia, numbers 700,000 men, mostly farmers and mechanics, wholly unlit for a serious conflict.
Besides these, there are some irregular corps, bringing the total nominal figure of the army up to 1,230,000. Of so-called fortresses China has not less than 1,103, but only ; a few of them are built in a substantial manner and able to withstand a cannonade, while the rest consist merely of a common wall and ditch. The great wall (wan-li-chang, i. e., the myriad-mile wall), on the N. frontier of China proper, is the most gigantic work of defence ever erected by man. It was originally built as a bulwark against the invasions of the Tartars (215 B. C). It runs from a point on the coast of Liautung, lat. 40° 4' N., lon. 120° 2' E., in a westerly direction, to the Yellow river, in lat. 39 1/2° N. and lon. 111 1/2° E.; thence to lat. 37° N., and again in a N. W. direction to its termination in lon. 99° E. and lat. 40° N.; making 21 degrees of longitude, and with its windings a length of 1,250 or 1,500 m. In some places it is a simple rampart, in others a solid foundation of granite, while the eastern section has a height of from 15 to 30 ft., and a breadth such that six horsemen may ride abreast on it. There are brick towers upon it at different intervals about 40 ft. high.
The navy has heretofore consisted of 1,951 war junks, entirely similar to trading vessels, and in no way able to withstand the means of modern maritime warfare. The whole number of vessels of the foreign style now (1873) in use as war vessels is about 20. These are placed under the control of provincial officers, and are supported from the several provincial treasuries. Foreigners have heretofore been employed to command these vessels, and to superintend their engines; but of late nearly all such have been dismissed. It is quite certain that they would in case of war fall into the hands of the enemy, and form a source of danger rather than of support to the government. - The history of China dates back nearly 5,000 years, but up to the year 2207 B. C. it bears a mythical character. The Chinese myths begin with the reign of the Tien-hwang, Ti-hwang, and Yin-hwang (the celestial, the terrestrial, and the human rulers). After them, Fuh-hi, who in the old legend appears also as a demigod, became the founder of the Chinese empire (2852). He is said to have taught the people cattle-raising and writing; to have introduced the divisions of the year, the institution of marriage, etc.; and to have died at the age of 200 years, after a reign of 115 or, as some accounts say, 164 years.
His successor, Shin-nung, during a reign of 140 years, introduced agriculture and medical science. The next emperor, Hwang-ti, is believed to have invented weapons, wagons, ships, clocks, and musical instruments, and to have introduced coins, weights, and measures. His third successor, Ti-ku, established schools, and was the first to practise polygamy. In 2357 his son Yau ascended the throne, and it is from his reign that the regular historical records (Shu-king) begin. A great flood which occurred in his reign has been considered synchronous and identical with the Noachic deluge, and to Yau is ascribed the merit of having successfully battled against the waters. His reign lasted from 2357 to 2258, during which time he organized the political system of the country on a firm basis, fostered agriculture, industry, and commerce, built canals, roads, etc. His son and successor, Shun (2255-2207), ruled in the same spirit. So far, if the old traditions are to be relied upon, China enjoyed a golden age of national felicity. The beginning of the later history of China inaugurates a series of internal broils, revolutions, wars, and changes of dynasty. The immobility which is generally supposed to be the prominent characteristic of China does not appear in the history of her dynasties.
The dynasty of Hia (2207-1707) was founded by Yu the Great, who was the first to unite supreme ecclesiastical power to the temporal authority. His grandson was dethroned by a popular revolution in favor of his brother Chung-kang, who held the reins of government with a vigorous hand. Shan-kang succeeded to the throne after a period of Avar, and by him and his son Ti-chu the country is said to have been well governed. Thereafter the dynasty degenerated until it was expelled by a popular movement, and replaced by the dynasty of Shang or Yin, which gave 28 rulers to the country (1766-1122), most of them vicious and cruel. The last one, Chowsin, terminated his miserable career in the same way as Sardanapalus. Wu-wang, the general who had succeeded in overthrowing him, became the founder of the dynasty of Chow and the regenerator of the empire. His dynasty ruled for a period of 873 years, the history of which is an almost uninterrupted catalogue of feuds, revolutions, wars with the Tartars, usurpations of princes and provincial governors. During the reign of Li-wang (571-544), the principal disciple and expounder of Confucius, Meng-tse (Mencius) was born.
The dynasty of Tsin (249-202) restored the unity of the empire by resubjecting the vassal states which had obtained independence under the preceding weak rulers. Ching-wang (240-210) erected the great wall for the protection of the empire against the incursions of the Tartars, and assumed the title of hwang or emperor. Under the name of Tsin-chi hwang-ti, he is celebrated as the national hero of China. In order to destroy all traditions of the former political institutions, he decreed that all books treating of them should be burned. The writings of Confucius and Mencius were among them, a few fragments of which only could be found afterward. The dynasty of the Han (206 B. C. to A. D. 220) gave to the country the emperors Wen-ti (180 B. C), the restorer of the ancient literature; Wu-ti (141), a great patron of science and art; Siuen-ti (73), who subjected the Tartar country as far as the Caspian sea; Ming-ti (A. D. 58-70), under whoso reign the Buddhist priest Ho-shung, from India, introduced the Buddhist creed, while the apostle Thomas is believed by the Armenian Christians to have been in China; and Ho-ti (89-10(5), who introduced the culture of the grape.
About A. D. 200 a Roman embassy is said to have come to China*. From 220 to 260 the empire was divided into three kingdoms, which were reunited by Wu-ti, the founder of the second dynasty of the Tsin (260-420). The Tartars, who had been kept in check by the former dynasty, now obtained a firm foothold in the northern portion of the empire, where they established an independent kingdom (386). Four dynasties (Sung, Tse, Liang, and Chin) ruled the southern empire till 590, a period replete with domestic wars, religious dissensions, and palace revolutions. In 590 the prince of Sui, having subjected the Tartar kingdom, conquered also the southern empire and reunited them. He was a wise ruler, a promoter of science, education, industry, and commerce. During the dynasty of the Tang ((319-907) Christianity was preached by the Nestorian, Olopen (030). The emperor Kow-tsung extended his conquests to the boundaries of Persia. His son Tai-tsung was the Charlemagne or Haroun al-Rashid of China. His successors became abject tools of their eunuch courtiers (9th century), who were destroyed by Chow-tsung (890), but too late to save the dynasty.
Once more the empire was torn by the feuds of contending dynasties, and the Tartars, whose relation to the Chinese empire was strikingly similar to that of the German tribes to the declining Roman empire, increased in power and importance. Tai-tsu, the founder of the dynasty of the Sung, and his successors (900-1279), under whose reign the arts and sciences flourished, were unahle to keep the Tartars down. They were compelled to seek the aid of one tribe against another, but were in turn assailed by their allies, until the Mongolians overran the empire. Genghis Khan advanced on Peking in 1215. Kublai Khan (Chinese, She-tsu) established the first Mongol dynasty in China, having Peking as the capital city (1279-1368). The last emperor of the Sung dynasty drowned himself and family near Canton. The conquerors did not attempt to change the national customs and institutions, but favored Buddhism. Kublai conquered Cochin China and Tonquin. In his reign the European traveller Marco Polo came to China. In 1294 the first Roman Catholic missionaries appeared at Peking. In 1342 a famine having destroyed 18,000,000 people, a general revolution broke out.
In 1358 a Buddhist monk of low birth, Chu Yuen-chang, assumed the lead of the revolution, overthrew the Mongolian dynasty, and ascended the throne under the name of Hung-wu. His dynasty (Ming) lasted 276 years (1308-1644), and gave to the country 10 rulers, most of them efficient. About the middle of the 15th century the Tartars again invaded the empire, but were repelled. The invasions of the Mantchoos commenced under the reign of Shi-tsung(1522-1507). About the same time the Portuguese began to trade with the neighboring islands. In 1583 the Italian Jesuit Ricci was allowed to preach Christianity in China, and by conforming it in many respects with the traditions of Confucius he made many converts, even among the mandarins. In 1604 the Dutch sent three vessels to China, but were not admitted. When, in 1022, they tried to enter the empire by force, they were defeated; still they succeeded in establishing themselves on one of the Pescadore islands, which they afterward exchanged for Formosa. In 1615 the Mantchoos, exasperated in consequence of the assassination, by order of the Chinese emperor, of their king, had commenced hostilities, and when in 1635-'44the empire became again the theatre of bloody intornecine wars, they took sides with the defeated imperial party against the insurgent usurper Li-tse-ching, defeated him, entered Peking, and proclaimed Shun-chi, the youthful son of their own king, emperor of China. He was the founder of the present Man-tchoo dynasty, which has succeeded well in overcoming the strong national antipathies of the Chinese. In 1053 the Dutch were once more refused admission, while the Russians were allowed to trade with the northern portion of the empire.
Shun-chi was educated by the German Jesuit Adam Schall, who, as president of the board of mathematicians, became in fact the prime minister. In 1661 Kang-hi succeeded to the throne. He conquered Formosa and Thibet, improved the financial condition of the government, promoted science and literature, established schools and colleges, had the different provinces of the empire surveyed and mapped by Europeans, and restored the Christian churches to the missionaries (1671). Two Frenchmen, Gerbillon and Bouvet, were his favorite advisers. During his reign the city of Peking was destroyed by an earthquake, when, according to native accounts, 400,000 perished among the ruins. Yung-ching (1722-1730) expelled the missionaries from the schools, in consequence of his suspicions of their designs and dislike of their overbearing conduct. His son Kien-lung (1730-1790) extended his dominion over the largest portion of central Asia. Although in general just and well meaning toward his subjects, he for a time persecuted the Christians, and turned a deaf ear to the requests of European powers (Russia excepted) to be admitted to commercial intercourse with China. His successor Kia-king (1790-1820), a voluptuous and cruel monarch, was unable to check the anarchy created by insurrectionary movements against his tyrannical rule.
In 1807 Mr. Morrison, the first Protestant missionary, came to Canton, translated the Bible into Chinese, and in conjunction with Mr. Milne established the Anglo-Chinese college at Malacca. In 1820 Tau-kwang ascended the throne (died Feb. 24, 1850). The most important event of his reign was the first war with Great Britain, known as the opium war. The British, having sent an unsuccessful commercial expedition against China as early as 1596, did not obtain a foothold in that country until the end of the 17th century. An embassy which they sent to Peking in 1793 under Lord Macartney was kindly received. The embassy of Lord Amherst in 1816 was not admitted into the presence of the emperor. The refusal was probably occasioned by Lord Amherst's unwillingness to perform the kotow, and did not result in any interference with the course of trade. Until 1834 commercial intercourse was conducted by the East India company. In that year their charter ended, and Lord Napier was sent out by the British government to superintend the trade. He endeavored to communicate with the viceroy at Canton by letter and on terms of equality.
This was refused, and led to the bringing up as far as Whampoa (12 miles below Canton) of two frigates, which received and answered the fire of the forts at the Bogue (Sept, 11, 1834). On Sept. 21 Lord Napier retired to Macao, where he died three weeks later. After this trade was carried on without the immediate superintendence of the British officials till 1837 (April 12), when Capt. Elliot, the British commissioner, went to Canton under an agreement with the viceroy, which was a virtual abandonment of the position taken by Lord Napier, and acknowledgment of Chinese superiority. Capt. Elliot justified his action by a statement that the relations between the Chinese authorities and the merchants were in a precarious condition. This condition arose out of a discussion as to whether the trade in opium, which had been carried on in an illicit manner, should be legalized, and there was danger that the government would not only decide the question unfavorably, but take some active measures to put down the traffic. Such a decision was subsequently reached, and in the autumn of 1837 Capt. Elliot was directed by the viceroy to drive away the opium vessels, and to notify his government that they must not come again.
The trade went on, however, under greater or less restrictions and difficulties, until the early part of the year 1839, when a special commissioner named Lin appeared with strenuous orders to thoroughly suppress it. One of his first steps was to demand the surrender of all opium. This order was complied with, and Lin was directed by his government to destroy it. The whole quantity, 20,291 chests, valued at about $10,000,000, was placed in trenches, mixed with lime, and sea water admitted, a procedure by which the desired result was most perfectly accomplished. This measure did not however suppress the trade. More opium arrived and was sold clandestinely. In consequence of the continued irritation and the persistent efforts of the commissioner to suppress the traffic, the British residents were withdrawn from Canton, and afterward from the Portuguese colony of Macao, and on Dec. 6 trade with the English was declared at an end. These circumstances led to the war of 1840-'42, known as the opium war. The British forces appeared off Macao June 22, 1840. On July 4 the island of Chusan, off the mouth of the Yangtse river, was occupied. Simultaneously the ports of Amoy and Ningpo, and the mouths of the Min and Yang-tse rivers were blockaded.
The British plenipotentiaries proceeded toward Peking, and on Aug. 11 anchored off the mouth of the Pei-ho river. The Chinese officer Ki-shen met them there, and it was arranged that the discussion of matters at issue should be referred to Canton. Negotiations were continued at Canton as arranged for, and a treaty was effected. It was not ratified by the Chinese emperor, and on Feb. 19 hostilities were resumed, and the British fleet moved up to the city of Canton. On the 26th the Chinese paid a ransom of $6,000,000, and the British prepared to leave their investing lines. The evacuation was very soon completed, and trade was reopened and continued throughout the war, which was prosecuted in the north. Amoy was captured on Aug. 27, Chusan was occupied a second time on Sept. 29, and Ningpo on Oct. 13. Desultory operations continued throughout the winter. In May, 1842, Chapoo was captured, and on June 16 and 19 Woosung and Shanghai respectively were occupied. In the latter part of July Chinkiang was invested and captured, and the forces moved to Nanking, 40 m. beyond Chinkiang. The native authorities, anticipating the loss of their ancient capital and thoroughly humbled by the events of the war, sued for peace, and a treaty was effected.
This treaty provided for: 1, lasting peace between the two empires; 2, an indemnity from China of $21,000,000 ($12,000,000 being for expenses of the war, $3,000,000 for debts due British subjects, and $6,000,000 for the opium destroyed); 3, the ports of Canton, Amoy, Foo-chow, Ningpo, and Shanghai to be opened to trade; 4, Hong Kong to be ceded to the queen; 5, British prisoners to be unconditionally released; 6, Chinese who had been in British service to be held guiltless; 7, correspondence to be conducted on terms of equality; 8, the forces of Great Britain to occupy Chusan and Amoy until $6,000,000 should be paid. On Feb. 24, 1844, Mr. Caleb Cushing arrived in China as commissioner of the United States, and without difficulty he negotiated a treaty which was signed July 3, 1844, at Wanghia near Canton. A treaty with France was signed Oct. 23. - The relations of foreign states with China moved along for several years with varying phases of friendliness and hostility. At the northern ports the people were generally friendly. At Canton, which had been spared from military occupation by the British, and where the population is more turbulent than elsewhere along the coast, difficulties with foreigners were continually occurring.
The great fact upon which the danger of the situation depended was that a satisfactory basis of intercourse had not been reached. Foreigners, coining as they did from states of advanced power and civilization, were unwilling to take up an inferior position before the Chinese. The emperor and his officials claimed for China the sovereignty of the world, and that it was by his august sufferance alone that intercourse was permitted. Many of the officials entertained a more or less just sense of the intelligence of foreigners and of the advantages to be derived from commerce; but Chinese officials are invariably time-servers, and they could not enter upon the task of enlightening the central government. At length it became manifest that a war would be needed to effect more satisfactory relations. The pretext for military operations was the seizure of the Arrow, a vessel of Chinese construction registered in Hong Kong under a colonial ordinance. On Oct. 8, 1856, a party of Chinese constabulary boarded this craft, tore down the British flag, and carried away the crew, who were Chinese. The British consul informed the viceroy of what had been done, and demanded the return of the men and a disavowal of the act of the constabulary. The viceroy returned the men, but refused to apologize.
Further correspondence ensued, but a satisfactory result was not obtained, and the British authorities proceeded with such force as was available to active hostilities. It will appear strange to the reader that such operations should be entered upon by the British representatives without reference to the home government. It is to be remembered, however, that the Chinese government had persistently refused to receive on terms of equality the representatives of western states, and that the intercourse of foreign officials was carried on with the provincial authorities. There was no way to reach the imperial government excepting through these, and a petty war with them was the only recourse excepting a general war with the empire. During the preceding years since the establishment of relations at Nanking, these local operations had not been infrequent, and had resulted favorably as a rule without being carried further than a mere demonstration of force and of a determination to procure redress. The operations of the British forces at this time resulted in the capture of various forts near Canton. The viceroy, so far from yielding under this pressure, appeared disposed to defy British power, and proceeded to offer a reward for British heads, $30 at first, and afterward $100. An attempt to poison residents at Hong Kong followed.
The running warfare thus opened was kept up for several months, the advantages resting with the Chinese rather than with the British. Meanwhile the situation was receiving the attention of the government of Great Britain, and it determined to secure a satisfactory settlement, at the expense if necessary of a second war. The French government, actuated by a sense of the difficulty of conducting relations with China under the existing system, and having various grievances, concluded to join in an expedition intended to demand satisfaction and to enforce more satisfactory relations. The American and Russian governments held that they had no special ground for complaint, and, while sending out special ministers, gave them pacific instructions. It is a matter of history that the American envoy, who entered upon his mission with a disposition to deprecate the course of England and France, felt constrained at a later moment to admit that it was justified by all the circumstances, and that it would have been wiser for his country to unite in the effort to effect more satisfactory relations. An expeditionary force left England in the spring of 1857, but was diverted to India to aid in the suppression of the mutiny.
Toward the end of the year a portion of the force reached Hong Kong, and Lord Elgin, with the support of Baron Gros, the French commissioner, was able to present an ultimatum to the viceroy. The response was deemed unsatisfactory. The bombardment of Canton by the allied British and French forces commenced Dec. 28, and the city was occupied the next day. The force engaged on the British side was about 5,000 men, the French 900. The combined losses were 10 killed and 100 wounded. The Chinese loss was perhaps 250. There was no lack of disposition to hold the city on the part of the Chinese, and many indications of valor on their part were shown. The speedy and comparatively bloodless capture of a city of more than a million inhabitants, in face of their best efforts to hold it, must be attributed simply to the superior organization, armament, and morale of the attacking forces. The viceroy Yeh was detained by the British authorities. The control of its inhabitants was necessarily confided to the native governor under the supervision of a commission of British and French officers. It has been mentioned in the notice of the war of 1840-'42 that trade with Canton was continued while military operations were prosecuted in the north.
So in this instance, the allies while holding Canton permitted trade to take its usual course. The several foreign representatives at this stage of proceedings met by arrangement at Shanghai, and united in a request to the government at Peking to send to that city a high commission with full powers to discuss the situation, and to effect more liberal treaties. Responses to these several letters were received in due course. The government, so far from acceding to the request for the appointment of a special commission, declared that Yeh had been degraded and that Hwang had been appointed in his stead, and enjoined the several envoys to repair to Canton. The latter considered the response unsatisfactory, and determined to proceed toward Peking without delay. The advance of the combined fleet of the allies and of the Russians and Americans arrived off the Pei-ho about the middle of April, 1858, and soon afterward the envoys again despatched letters to the government requesting the appointment of a plenipotentiary. An answer was received to these notes indicating that certain officers had been named by the government; but as it did not appear that they possessed full powers, the envoys declined to communicate with them, and declared their intention to proceed toward the capital.
After a delay of several weeks, the allies bombarded the forts at the mouth of the Pei-ho, and stormed them. The Chinese made no adequate resistance, and these strongholds were occupied with but few casualties. No time was lost in reaching Tientsin, 50 m. above the mouth of the river. Here the envoys were met in June by Kwei-liang and Hwa-shana, plenipotentiaries of the Chinese government. On the 14th the Russian treaty was signed, and on the 18th the American. The British treaty, much fuller in its scope, was signed on the 15th, just 15 years after the treaty of Nanking, and the French the next day. These latter treaties stipulated for the residence of ministers at Peking, for the opening of additional ports, for travel and trade under restrictions in the whole empire, for the navigation of the Yangtse river, and for the settlement of the transit-dues question. Four millions of taels (about $5,500,000) indemnity was provided for in the British treaty, and a smaller sum in the French. The British envoy, taught by experience to anticipate evasions by the Chinese government, insisted upon the ratification of his treaty before leaving Tientsin, and received within a few days the imperial decree. It contained also the ratification of the other treaties.
Treaties of amity and of commerce were thus concluded, but the very moment when elsewhere difficulties would have been at an end, was signalized by hostile conduct on the part of the native troops at Canton. So serious were these, and so peculiar were the relations of foreign states with China, that Lord Elgin did not hesitate to advise the British commander-in-chief to undertake at that point vigorous action, "showing our power to control and punish the braves." Mr. Bruce, afterward Sir Frederick Bruce, was appointed by the British government minister to China, and in the early part of the year 1859 proceeded on his mission. At Hong Kong he was met by a report that the imperial government was hostile to the treaty concluded by Lord Elgin, and was making warlike preparations at the mouth of the Pei-ho. At Shanghai he received letters from the imperial commissioner Kwei-liang and his associates urging him to remain in that city for the discussion of measures which they said had been left undetermined by Lord Elgin. Mr. Bruce believed these representations were intended only to procure delays, and determined to proceed north in order to exchange the ratifications of the treaty. The French and American ministers were met by similar representations, and regarded them in the same way.
On arriving off the mouth of the Pei-ho the river was found to be well fortified, and every incident corroborated the information received at Hong Kong that the emperor would not accede to the expectations of the envoys without pressure. On July 25 Mr. Bruce received a letter saying that the imperial commissioners had been recalled from Shanghai, and would be directed to accompany him to Peking. As some time would elapse before their arrival, he was requested to wait at the anchorage, and informed that the governor general would at the right moment go to his vessel and conduct him to the mouth of the Pehtang river, a small stream 10 m. N. of the Pei-ho, from whence he could proceed to Peking by land. The letter was considered unsatisfactory, as indicating an unusual and disagreeable route to the capital, and because the name of her majesty was not put on a level with that of the emperor. Thereupon Admiral Hope, in command of the British forces, attempted to force the passage of the Pei-ho, but was defeated with a considerable loss. The British and French ministers retired to Shanghai to await instructions.
The American minister, Mr. Ward, whose treaty contained no essential clauses not embraced in Mr. Cushing's treaty of 1844, concluded to proceed by the route indicated by the Chinese. He disembarked with his suite at Pehtang on July 20, and was conducted in the rude carts of the country to the Pei-ho above Tientsin, thence in boats to Tungchow, 12 m. below Peking, and from that point to the capital in carts. He was here treated with a show of consideration, but was denied an interview with the emperor unless he should perform the kotow, and finally was obliged to exchange the ratifications at Pehtang. Mr. Ward on his return to Shanghai informed Mr. Bruce that he was "more convinced than ever of the soundness of his (Mr. Brace's) determination to proceed to Tientsin under his own flag, and of the accuracy of the information as to the unreasonableness of the court and the influence gained by the anti-foreign party in the emperor's counsels." The British government received the information of the occurrences at the mouth of the Pei-ho in a spirit which must commend itself to every student of history, and to every one who has at heart the dignity and honor of the West in its relations with eastern exclusive-ness and arrogance.
Their minister was directed to demand a formal apology for the act of the Chinese troops at the mouth of the Pei-ho, to receive any friendly overtures thereafter in a conciliatory spirit, but to decline any ceremonial unless it should recognize the equality of his government; and he was at the same time informed that the government would make such arrangements as might be necessary to enforce acceptance of the terms offered to the Chinese emperor. The French government received information of what had occurred in the same spirit, and entered upon similar preparations to enforce their views. The ultimata of the two governments were addressed to the Chinese government in March, 1860, and in April the response was received flatly refusing the demands of the allies. Lord Elgin and Baron Gros reached Shanghai in June as special ambassadors of their respective governments. The month of July was occupied with preparations for the approaching campaign. On Aug. 1 a force of 5,000 men was landed by the allies at Pehtang, which was found to be deserted. The Pei-ho forts were taken from the rear on the 21st, and Tientsin was occupied without resistance on the 24th. At this point imperial commissioners appeared, who declared that they had full powers and presented them.
A negotiation ensued, which resulted in the preparation of a treaty; but at the last moment the commissioners stated that they could not stipulate that the convention would take effect without previous ratification. The ambassadors could only attribute this action of the commissioners to a design to create delay, and determined to march against the capital. While the allied forces were moving forward, other representations were received which led to further negotiation, and to an arrangement that the troops should halt at Tungchow, where conferences, which it was hoped would be final, should be held. Mr. Parkes and others were sent forward to this town to agree upon a place for an encampment, the means of procuring supplies, etc. While in the prosecution of their work they were arrested and detained under circumstances of indignity and cruelty. At the same moment the allied troops were met by indications of a determination to resist their progress, and a battle followed in which the Chinese were routed.
The treacherous treatment of Mr. Parkes and his associates left the allies no alternative but to proceed against Peking, in front of which city they arrived on Oct. 6. Mr. Parkes and some others of those captured with him were finally given up on the 9th, but several Englishmen were killed by ill usage and horrible and protracted cruelty. One of the gates of the city was surrendered to the allies on the 13th. On the 24th a convention of peace, in terms nearly identical with that of the articles prepared a few weeks before at Tientsin, was signed, and the ratifications of the treaty of 1858 were exchanged. The next day a convention with France was signed, and the ratifications of the French treaty of 1858 were exchanged. An incident of this war which deserves mention is the destruction of the imperial summer palace. It has been condemned as an unnecessary and wanton act, and has drawn forth the severest strictures in this country. The defence made by Lord Elgin is that the treatment of Mr. Parkes and his comrades deserved signal punishment, and that no other course would have so effectually humbled the government with so little harm to the people. Twenty-six British subjects carrying a flag of truce had been seized in defiance of honor and of the law of nations.
Thirteen only were returned alive, all of whom bore marks of the indignities and ill treatment from which they had suffered; the others were barbarously murdered. The destruction of a palace was surely no undue retaliation for guilt so great. The death of the emperor occurred soon after the close of the war. The heir to the throne was under age, and a regency was established, which ended Feb. 23, 1873, by his assumption of power. During this interval the actual condition of the empire was greatly improved, and foreign relations were undisturbed. The more salient events were the suppression of the great rebellion, the close of the two Mohammedan rebellions, the despatch of the embassy of which Mr. Burlingame was the chief, and the Tientsin massacre. - The great rebellion, i generally known as the Taiping rebellion, broke out in southern China in the year 1850. The British war of 1840-'42 had destroyed the prestige of the imperial government. There had been repeated failures of crops in the districts where it originated, and such failures are frequently the cause of outbreaks in China. Hung Siu-tsnen became at an early moment the prominent figure in the outbreak. He had failed in the literary examinations, and was therefore unlikely to rise in the service of the government.
He had read some of the tracts printed by the missionaries, and appears to have considered himself the recipient of divine messages. His associates professed to acknowledge a "supreme being" and an "elder brother." Foreigners were disposed to believe that they inclined toward Christianity, and that its cause would be advanced by their success. By April, 1851, the Taiping forces were well organized, and numbered upward of 12,000 men. A little later Hung Siu-tsuen assumed the title tien-wang or heavenly prince. They accomplished various successes in the provinces of Kwangtung, Kwangsi, and Hunan, and on Dec. 23, 1852, they captured Hanyang'on the Yangtse. In January, 1853, they took Woochang, the capital of the Hu provinces. In February Kiukiang and Nganking suc-cumbed to their forces, and on March 8 they arrived beforo Nanking, which they captured on the 19th, murdering about 20,000 Mantchoos found in the city. In May a force was sent northward toward Peking. It consisted of only about 6,000 or 7,000 men, yet it marched over 400 in., subsisting on the country through which it passed.
It was turned back when within 100 m. of the capital, and rejoined the forces at Nanking in the summer of 1854. For several years after the military operations of the Taipings were little else than incursions to obtain contributions of money and provisions. The imperialists gradually closed in upon them, and at the end of 1859 their prospects were very gloomy. But in the spring of 1860 they attacked and routed the besieging army. The occupation of Chinkiang, Soo-chow, and the wealthy country lying between Shanghai and Ningpo, followed. The former city was threatened, but, being defended by foreigners, held out against the efforts of the insurgents. Ningpo fell into their hands. Had the Taipings displayed vigor and discretion, it is not impossible that they might yet have mastered the empire. But their government was one which built up not at all; it only ravaged the districts which it occupied, passing on to other districts when the first were exhausted. Unsatisfactory as had been the course of relations with the imperial government, foreign officials could not but feel that it represented law and order, and that its overthrow by the insurgents would be a disaster to native and foreign interests.
Acting in accordance with this belief, the foreign governments determined to protect the ports open to trade. These became the bases of operations against the insurgents, in which the imperial armies were supplemented in some instances by detachments from the British and French forces, and by native troops drilled and commanded by foreign officers and armed with foreign weapons. Soochow and the other cities of the delta plain were reconquered in rapid succession, and in July, 1864, the Taiping capital succumbed. From thence a detachment of the insurgent troops found their way southward to the region where the rebellion had originated fourteen years before, and were dispersed. - Other important revolutionary movements were the Mohammedan rebellions in Yunnan and in the northwest, both of which originated in an attempt to extort from the government security against local oppressions. Notwithstanding a general massacre of the Mohammedans in Yunnan by the provincial authorities, the rebels gained strength, and in April, 1857, took Talifoo, the second city of the province, and in 1858 conquered the capital.
Their leader, Tu-wen-si, assumed the title of Wen-soay (King or Sultan Suleiman), and succeeded in establishing his rule over an area of 65,000 sq. m. and a population of over 4,000,-000. Only about a tenth of these were Mohammedans, who were called by the Chinese Kwei-tseu, but by themselves Pansi, which the English corrupted into Panthay. In 1866 the Chinese government agreed to recognize his independence, provided that he would make no further conquests, but he refused. In 1872 he sent his son Hassan to Europe to endeavor to establish friendly relations; but before any results were reached the Chinese took Talifoo and killed Suleiman. The conquest of the territory and the extinction of the empire of the Panthays followed. - The rebellion in the northwest originated in 1862 at Singanfoo, capital of the province of Shensi, among the Mohammedan Dungenes, called by the Chinese Khoi-khoi or Khui-khui. It spread rapidly through the province of Kansuh and over the frontier of China proper into Dzungaria, and extended thence into E. Turkistan. Before the close of 1864 Khamil, Aksu, and Yarkand were taken, and soon after the Chinese evacuated the whole country.
Dissensions broke out among the rebels, and an Uzbeck chief, Yakub Kush-begi, gradually subjected the whole of E. Turkistan and part of Dzungaria, and established a government which still enjoyed independence at the end of 1873. In 1871 the Russians took possession of Kulja and the entire basin of the Hi. The territory thus lost by China embraces an area of about 600,000 sq. m., with 2,000,000 inhabitants. - The mission of Mr. Burlingame left Peking in the autumn of 1867. It had its origin in the desire of the government to demonstrate to western powers its friendliness, and to forestall demands of an extreme character which it anticipated would be made during the revision of the treaties of 1858 then about to take place. Its chief seized the opportunity to place before the world the indications of a marked change of policy on the part of the government, and to demonstrate that the old system of recourse to local authorities for the redress of grievances should be abandoned in favor of representation to the imperial authorities at Peking. The facts of his appointment to represent China, and of his being accredited to western states on terms of equality, afforded an indication of the marvellous change which had ensued since the Avar, and a more complete justification of the wisdom of the allies in insisting upon residence at the capital. - On June 24, 1870, a popular outbreak against foreigners occurred at Tientsin, resulting in a deplorable massacre.
Its victims were the French consul, the vice consul, the interpreter of the French legation at Peking and his wife, a Catholic priest, nine sisters of charity, a French subject engaged in trade and his wife, and three Russians. The French consulate, the cathedral, and the missionary hospital in which the sisters were engaged, were destroyed. The most revolting barbarities were perpetrated before and after the deaths of the victims. The local officials cannot be held blameless for the massacre, but it has not been demonstrated that they intentionally promoted it, and the attempts made in some quarters to fasten re-sponsibility for the event upon the government have been futile. The local officials were banished to a remote part of the empire, 15 of the rioters were executed, a large indemnity was paid for the destruction of property and for I the families of those who had perished, and a special mission was sent to France to declare the regret of the government.
Great Wall of China.