Qing Dynasty Economy

The Qing Dynasty had multiple economical ups and downs, but it is regarded as one of China’s most important historical periods.

17th Century Economy

As the 17th century was drawing to its end, the Chinese economy was struggling to recover from major war losses. The overthrow of the Ming Dynasty resulted in great economic instability, but the markets began to expand in the following period.

The southeast coast of China was reopened and trading with other regions was established once again. Foreign trade also began to expand at a steady rate with a 4% growth per year.

Government Intervention

The markets at the beginning of the Qing Dynasty were struggling and a large portion of the population was unable to pay its taxes. After so many wars, the population was left almost incapable of paying its dues, but the government found a solution.

The people were given incentives to contribute to the market growth. This resulted in a steady increase in wealth and more people were able to pay their taxes. The money received from taxes was used to hire laborers and facilitate private merchants. Also, the government forced merchants to open new mines only in poor areas to provide jobs and help the population to earn its living.

18th Century Economy

As the 18th century arrived, the population in China started to grow. During the Ming Dynasty, the peak count reached 150 million people. But during the 18th century, the population numbers doubled. This growth was caused by the period of peace and stability.

Also, food scarcity was less of a problem. China imported peanuts, sweet potatoes, maize and new species of rice that increased the food production.

Food Creates Wealth

This import of food meant new crops and incidentally, some people turned into nobles due to the wealth they accumulated by cultivating the land. Some of them managed to gather huge fortunes and started making connections with officials.

All these changes that lead to the increase of the population, prosperity, and wealth were made possible by the decisions made by the government under the reign of the Qing Dynasty.