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Chinese History - Qing Period Science, Technology, and Inventions

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There are many fields of social activities and sciences the two cultural spheres learned from each other. During the end of Ming and begin of Qing Dynasty, the Jesuit patres residing at the imperial court in Beijing were important media for the cultural and technical exchange from east to west and vice versa. While the Jesuits showed to the Chinese upper class the technical inventions made in Europe during the past century, like watches and astronomical instruments, they were impressed by the high standards of Chinese medicine, land surveying, . Chinese painters and musicians adopted European concepts of art. Chinese painters and calligraphers had always stood in the century-old tradition of elder patterns and models, musicians did not live as famous composers, but as nameless instruments of the ritual art of music. The west was inspired by technically improved objects like suspension-bridges with iron chains, a push cart with a sail, rotating de-spelting machines, magnetism, and much more. The great universal genius Leibniz undertook deepgoing investigations into Chinese technique. Silk worms were introduced to the west some centuries before, but industrial production of silk only could only be established in the 16th century. The German J. F. Böttger accidently invented porcelain, but the need for Chinese porcelain was very high in the stream of a China fashion in 18th century Europe. Philosphers interpreted the tranquil and prosperous empire of the Kangxi and Qianlong Emperors as the ideal state, headed by a wise monarch. Until the end of 18th century, China was technically much more advanced than the west, and only the industrial revolution helped the western states to became prevalent powers during the 19th century, giving them a sentiment of being superior to the backward Chinese empire.


March 19, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail

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