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The Qianlong emperor’s letter to George III and the early-twentieth-century origins of ideas about traditional China’s foreign relations

Abstract:

This article examines the famous edict in which the Qianlong emperor responded to the British embassy led by Lord Macartney to China in 1793, which has often been interpreted as a symbol of the Qing dynasty’s ignorance and narrow-mindedness. An examination of a wider range of archival documents suggests that the quotation does not reflect the Qianlong emperor’s response to the British embassy, which was primarily to see it as a security threat, but rather eighteenth-century British concerns w...

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Publication status:
Published
Peer review status:
Peer reviewed
Version:
Accepted Manuscript

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Publisher copy:
10.1093/ahr/122.3.680

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Department:
Oxford, HUM, Oriental Studies Faculty
Publisher:
Oxford University Press Publisher's website
Journal:
American Historical Review Journal website
Volume:
122
Issue:
3
Pages:
680–701
Publication date:
2017-06-08
Acceptance date:
2016-09-09
DOI:
EISSN:
1937-5239
ISSN:
0002-8762
Pubs id:
pubs:641861
URN:
uri:774c2dfc-2d31-48c4-a41e-1fab73655014
UUID:
uuid:774c2dfc-2d31-48c4-a41e-1fab73655014
Local pid:
pubs:641861

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