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Published Wednesday, November 13, 19 | By PaulvHill

One might incorrectly infer from viewing historical timelines that transitions between dynasties occur abruptly and smoothly. Rather, dynasties were often established before the complete overthrow of an existing reign or continued for a time after they had been effectively defeated. For example, the conventional date 1645 marks the year in which the Qing dynasty armies overthrew the preceding Ming dynasty, according to the dynastic cycle of China. However, the Qing dynasty was established in 1636 (or even 1616, albeit under a different name), while the last Ming dynasty pretender was not deposed until 1663. This change of ruling houses was a messy and prolonged affair, and the Qing took almost twenty years to extend their control over the whole of China. It is therefore inaccurate to assume China changed suddenly and all at once in the year 1645.

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