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Of those volumes that had been categorised into the Siku Quanshu , many were subjected to deletion and modification. Books published during the Ming dynasty suffered the greatest damage. The authority would judge any single character or any single sentence's neutrality; if the authority had decided these words, or sentence, were derogatory or cynical towards the rulers, then persecution would begin.
He describes the mountains and wildlife, using them to justify his belief that the dynasty would endure. A Manchu translation was then made. In , he ordered a jubilee printing in both Chinese and Manchu, using some genuine pre- Qin forms, but Manchu styles which had to be invented and which could not be read. However, he was even more concerned than his predecessors to preserve and promote the Manchu language among his followers, as he proclaimed that "the keystone for Manchus is language.
He directed the elimination of loanwords taken from Chinese and replaced them with calque translations which were put into new Manchu dictionaries. Manchu translations of Chinese works during his reign were direct translations contrasted with Manchu books translated during the Kangxi Emperor's reign which were transliterations in Manchu script of the Chinese characters.
The long association of the Manchu rulership with the Bodhisattva Manjusri and his own interest in Tibetan Buddhism gave credence to the Qianlong Emperor's patronage of Tibetan Buddhist art and patronage of translations of the Buddhist canon.
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He quickly learned to read the Tibetan language and studied Buddhist texts assiduously. His beliefs are reflected in the Tibetan Buddhist imagery of his tomb, perhaps the most personal and private expression of an emperor's life. He supported the Yellow Church the Tibetan Buddhist Gelukpa sect to "maintain peace among the Mongols" since the Mongols were followers of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama of the Yellow Church, and the Qianlong Emperor had this explanation placed in the Yonghe Temple in Beijing on a stele entitled "Lama Shuo" on Lamas in , and he also said it was "merely in pursuance of Our policy of extending Our affection to the weak.
This explanation of supporting the "Yellow Hats" Tibetan Buddhists for practical reasons was used to deflect Han criticism of this policy by the Qianlong Emperor, who had the "Lama Shuo" stele engraved in Tibetan , Mongol , Manchu and Chinese , which said: "By patronizing the Yellow Church, we maintain peace among the Mongols.
This being an important task we cannot but protect this religion. In doing so we do not show any bias, nor do we wish to adulate the Tibetan priests as was done during the Yuan dynasty. The Qianlong Emperor turned the Palace of Harmony Yonghe Palace into a Tibetan Buddhist temple for Mongols in and had an edict inscribed on a stele to commemorate it in Tibetan, Mongolian, Chinese, and Manchu, with most likely the Qianlong Emperor having first wrote the Chinese version before the Manchu.
Persecution of Christians by his father became even worse during his reign.
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The Qianlong Emperor was an aggressive builder. In the hills northwest of Beijing, he expanded the villa known as the "Garden of Perfect Brightness" Yuanmingyuan now known as the Old Summer Palace that was built by his father. In time, the Old Summer Palace would encompass acres hectares , five times larger than the Forbidden City. To celebrate the 60th birthday of his mother, Empress Dowager Chongqing , the Qianlong Emperor ordered a lake at the "Garden of Clear Ripples" Qingyiyuan now known as the Summer Palace dredged, named it Kunming Lake , and renovated a villa on the eastern shore of the lake.
The emperor also spent time at the Mulan hunting grounds north of Rehe, where he held the imperial hunt each year. For the Old Summer Palace , the Qianlong Emperor commissioned the Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione for the construction of the Xiyang Lou , or Western-style mansion, to satisfy his taste for exotic buildings and objects. He also commissioned the French Jesuit Michel Benoist , to design a series of timed waterworks and fountains complete with underground machinery and pipes, for the amusement of the imperial family.
During the Qianlong Emperor's reign, the Emin Minaret was built in Turpan to commemorate Emin Khoja , a Uyghur leader from Turfan who submitted to the Qing Empire as a vassal in order to obtain assistance from the Qing to fight the Zunghars. In , the Yongzheng Emperor bestowed a hereditary marquis title on a descendant of Zhu Zhilian, a descendant of the imperial family of the Ming dynasty. Zhu was posthumously awarded the title " Marquis of Extended Grace " in , and the title was passed on for 12 generations in his family until the end of the Qing dynasty.
However, it has been argued that Zhu Zhilian, in fact, had no relation to the imperial family at all. The Qianlong Emperor instituted a policy of "Manchu-fying" the Eight Banner system, which was the basic military and social organisation of the dynasty. In the early Qing era, Nurhaci and Huangtaiji categorised Manchu and Han ethnic identity within the Eight Banners based on culture, lifestyle and language, instead of ancestry or genealogy.
Han Bannermen were an important part of the Banner System. The Qianlong Emperor changed this definition to one of descent, and demobilised many Han Bannermen and urged Manchu Bannermen to protect their cultural heritage, language and martial skills. The emperor redefined the identity of Han Bannermen by saying that they were to be regarded as of having the same culture and being of the same ancestral extraction as Han civilians  Conversely, he emphasised the martial side of Manchu culture and reinstituted the practice of the annual imperial hunt as begun by his grandfather, leading contingents from the Manchu and Mongol banners to the Mulan hunting grounds each autumn to test and improve their skills.
The Qianlong Emperor's view of the Han Bannermen also differed from that of his grandfather in deciding that loyalty in itself was most important quality. He sponsored biographies which depicted Chinese Bannermen who defected from the Ming to the Qing as traitors and glorifying Ming loyalists.
The identification and interchangeability between "Manchu" and "Banner people" Qiren began in the 17th century. Banner people were differentiated from civilians Chinese: minren, Manchu: irgen, or Chinese: Hanren, Manchu :Nikan and the term Bannermen was becoming identical with "Manchu" in the general perception. The Solons were ordered by the Qianlong Emperor to stop using rifles and instead practice traditional archery. The emperor issued an edict for silver taels to be issued for guns turned over to the government : .
The Qianlong Emperor and his predecessors, since the Shunzhi Emperor , had identified China and the Qing Empire as the same, and in treaties and diplomatic papers the Qing Empire called itself "China". This does not represent our dynasty's understanding of China, but is instead that of the earlier Han, Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties.
The Qianlong Emperor rejected the views of Han officials who said Xinjiang was not part of China and that he should not conquer it, putting forth the view that China was multiethnic and did not just refer to Han. Han Chinese farmers were resettled from north China by the Qing government in the area along the Liao River in order to restore the land to cultivation.
Due to this, Han people farmed , hectares in Manchuria and tens of thousands of hectares in Inner Mongolia by the s. In his later years, the Qianlong Emperor became spoiled with power and glory, disillusioned and complacent in his reign, and started placing his trust in corrupt officials such as Yu Minzhong and Heshen. As Heshen was the highest ranked minister and most favoured by the Qianlong Emperor at the time, the day-to-day governance of the country was left in his hands, while the emperor himself indulged in the arts, luxuries and literature.
When Heshen was executed by the Jiaqing Emperor , the Qing government discovered that Heshen's personal fortune exceeded that of the Qing Empire's depleted treasury, amounting to million silver taels , the total of 12 years of Treasury surplus of the Qing imperial court.
The Qianlong Emperor began his reign with about However, due to numerous factors such as long term embezzlement and corruption by officials, frequent expeditions to the south, huge palace constructions, many war and rebellion campaigns as well as his own extravagant lifestyle, all of these cost the treasury a total of During the midth century, European powers began to pressure for increases in the already burgeoning foreign trade and for outposts on the Chinese coast, demands which the aging Qianlong emperor resisted.
In King George III sent a large-scale delegation to present their requests directly to the emperor in Beijing, headed by George Macartney , one of the country's most seasoned diplomats. The British sent a sample of trade goods that they intended to sell in China; this was misinterpreted as tribute that was adjudged to be of low quality.
Historians both in China and abroad long presented the failure of the mission to achieve its goals as a symbol of China's refusal to change and inability to modernize.
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They explain the refusal first on the fact that interaction with foreign kingdoms was limited to neighbouring tributary states. Furthermore, the worldviews on the two sides were incompatible, China holding entrenched beliefs that China was the " central kingdom ".
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However, after the publication in the s of a fuller range of archival documents concerning the visit, these claims have been challenged. Some assert that China's present day autonomy and successful modernization put the Qianlong Emperor's actions in a new light. Macartney was granted an audience with the Qianlong Emperor on two days, the second of which coincided with the emperor's 82nd birthday. There is continued debate about the nature of the audience and what level of ceremonials were performed. Macartney wrote that he resisted demands that the British trade ambassadors kneel and perform the kowtow and debate continues as to what exactly occurred, differing opinions recorded by Qing courtiers and British delegates.
Qianlong gave Macartney a letter for the British king  stating the reasons that he would not grant Macartney's requests:. Yesterday your Ambassador petitioned my Ministers to memorialise me regarding your trade with China, but his proposal is not consistent with our dynastic usage and cannot be entertained. Hitherto, all European nations, including your own country's barbarian merchants, have carried on their trade with our Celestial Empire at Canton.
Such has been the procedure for many years, although our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks no product within its own borders. Your request for a small island near Chusan , where your merchants may reside and goods be warehoused, arises from your desire to develop trade Consider, moreover, that England is not the only barbarian land which wishes to establish This also is a flagrant infringement of the usage of my Empire and cannot possibly be entertained.
Hitherto, the barbarian merchants of Europe have had a definite locality assigned to them at Aomen for residence and trade, and have been forbidden to encroach an inch beyond the limits assigned to that locality If these restrictions were withdrawn, friction would inevitably occur between the Chinese and your barbarian subjects Regarding your nation's worship of the Lord of Heaven , it is the same religion as that of other European nations. Ever since the beginning of history, sage Emperors and wise rulers have bestowed on China a moral system and inculcated a code, which from time immemorial has been religiously observed by the myriads of my subjects.
There has been no hankering after heterodox doctrines. Even the European missionary officials in my capital are forbidden to hold intercourse with Chinese subjects The letter was preserved in archives but was largely unknown to the public until The Empire of China is an old, crazy, first-rate Man of War, which a fortunate succession of able and vigilant officers have contrived to keep afloat for these hundred and fifty years past, and to overawe their neighbours merely by her bulk and appearance. But whenever an insufficient man happens to have the command on deck, adieu to the discipline and safety of the ship.
She may, perhaps, not sink outright; she may drift some time as a wreck, and will then be dashed to pieces on the shore; but she can never be rebuilt on the old bottom.