The Ming and Qing dynasties were two most controversial dynasties in China. Generally speaking, Ming and Qing dynasties were period of decline of China, as well as era when agricultural civilization was closing. Politically, centralization of power by autocratic monarchy has reached its zenith, and whole society is in a state of high pressure, but economically, emphasis on suppression of agriculture and entrepreneurship has been fully implemented. In terms of culture, stereotypical essays and word prisons were realized, and ancient Chinese thought became rigid.
Map of Ming Dynasty drawn in Japan
Map of Ming Dynasty drawn by Korea
However, territorially, Ming and Ming dynasties had completely different states. The Ming Dynasty was founded by an agricultural nation, so Ming Dynasty mainly occupied agricultural regions of East Asia, leaving only Vietnam and North Korea. As for western regions, Qinghai, Tibet, Mongolia and other regions, Ming dynasty was practically powerless. The territory of Ming Dynasty at its peak consisted of North Korea in east, Tubo (Tubo Xuanweixi, located in Ningxia, Gansu) in west, Nuergan in north, and Jiaozhi in south, about 7 million square kilometers. data only lasted 20 years.
Ming Dynasty map in American textbooks
For more than 200 years, territory of Ming Dynasty mainly stretched from Liaodong in east, Jiayuguan in west, Great Wall of China in north, and Zhennanguan in south. Its area is about 4 million square kilometers. The Ming dynasty fought protracted wars with surrounding Jurchens and Mongols. Guided by idea of “opening borders with help of maps”, Tan Qixiang expanded territory of Ming Dynasty to maximum, and pulled Tibet, Qinghai and Northeast China into territory of Ming Dynasty, which is quite a face.
US-drawn map of Ming Dynasty
However, maps of Western countries usually do not give face of Ming Dynasty. Generally, Ming maps made by West do not include Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai and Mongolia, and most of Heilongjiang river basin in northeast China (Nurganduses) will be added.
Map of Ming Dynasty and Russia drawn by Russia
In terms of territory, Qing Dynasty was different. With rise of Northeast under Qing Dynasty, he was able to unify Northeast region first, and then entered into custom to unify Han area in Central Plains. After that, Kangxi Emperor conquered Galdan three times and annexed whole of Mongolia to territory. Later, entry into Tibet was allowed, and Tibet and Qinghai were included in territory. Emperor Qianlong destroyed Dzungar and annexed Xinjiang to his territory.
The territory of Qing Dynasty in American textbooks
Japanese map of Qing Dynasty
When Qing Dynasty was expanding, it was also a period when Russia was rapidly expanding to east. If Qing dynasty had not been able to include Mongolia, Xinjiang, etc. in its territory, these areas would most likely have been annexed to Russia. At that time, no one would have recognized it, even if they shouted "from ancient times" every day . The Qing dynasty and Russia signed Nerchinsk Treaty, Kyakhta Treaty, Notes on Division of North-Western Border, etc., which established border between China and Russia, which means that Qing dynasty occupied more than 11 million square kilometers of land, later sovereignty over these places passed to Republic of China and New China.
Map of Qing Dynasty expansion drawn by Russia
Map of Qing Dynasty expansion drawn by Korea
There is not much difference between area of the Qing Dynasty drawn at home and abroad, basically covering entire region of East Asia. Most interestingly, there is an English version of map of Ming and Qing dynasties, which places territory of Ming dynasty on territory of Qing dynasty. The result is a sharp contrast: area of the Qing Dynasty is about three times larger than Ming Dynasty. It can be said that Qing dynasty established the territory of modern China, which is recognized not only by Chinese historians (except Mingfen), but also by foreigners.
English version of map of Ming and Qing dynasties