The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, was the last imperial dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912, with a brief return in 1917. It was succeeded by the Republic of China and formed the modern borders of China, although much of its later history is categorized by weakness and subservience to European colonial powers.
In 1636, Jurchen clan leader Hong Taiji led his forces from Manchuria to overthrow the Ming Dynasty, capturing Beijing. It was not until 1683 that the Manchu were able to establish control over all of China. During the late 1700s, the Qing emperors extended Chinese power into Central Asia.
The Qing Dynasty reached an apex under the rile of the Qianlong Emperor (1735-1796). Economic crisis soon led to corruption and European powers began to extend their influence over China, especially during the Opium War (1839-42). The Treaty of Nanking, which ended the war, gave Britain access to Chinese ports and control over Hong Kong.
During the Tongzhi Restoration in the 1860s, the Qing were able to re-establish political control over China, but its power waned following the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, where China lost Korea and Taiwan. Qing power was further eroded during the Boxer Rebellion, an anti-foreign movement that witnessed further European control over China. In 1911, Sun Yat-sen began the movement to make China a modern nation, leading to the abdication of the last emperor in 1912.