Presently, "Manchuria" most often refers to Northeast China ("Inner Manchuria")
|Manchu script||ᡩᡝᡵᡤᡳ ᡳᠯᠠᠨ ᡤᠣᠯᠣ|
|Romanization||Dergi Ilan Golo|
- Greater Manchuria, the area of northeast Asia which served as the homeland of the Jurchens who became the Manchus, now divided between China (Northeast China, or "Inner Manchuria") and Russia (Outer Northeast China, or "Outer Manchuria");
- the Later Jin (1616–1636), the Manchu state which became the Qing Empire;
- the northeastern provinces of the Qing Empire initially reserved for use by the Manchu people;
- Manchukuo (1932–1945), the puppet state of Imperial Japan intended as a Manchu nation-state; or
- (most often) Northeast China, the three provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning in China.
First used in the 17th century by the Japanese, it remains a common term elsewhere but is deprecated within China, where it is associated with ethnic chauvinism and Japanese imperialism. Northeast China is now predominantly Han Chinese and is considered the homeland of several groups besides the Manchus, including the Koreans, the Xianbei, the Shiwei, and the Khitans. The area is also home to many Mongols.
Manchuria is now most often associated with the three Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning. The former Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo further included the prefectures of Chengde (now in Hebei) and Hulunbuir, Hinggan, Tongliao, and Chifeng (now in Inner Mongolia). The region of the Qing Empire referenced as Manchuria originally further included Ussuri and Primoskiy Krais and the southern part of Harbin Oblast. These districts were acknowledged as Qing territory by the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk but ceded to the Russian Empire as the Amur Acquisition in the unequal 1858 Treaty of Aigun and 1860 Convention of Beijing. (The People's Republic of China indirectly questioned the legitimacy of these treaties in the 1960s but has more recently signed agreements such as the 2001 Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship which affirm the current status quo; a minor exchange nonetheless occurred in 2004 at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers.) Various senses of Greater Manchuria sometimes further include Sakhalin Island, which despite its lack of mention in treaties was shown as Qing territory on period Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and French maps of the area. (Ethnographically, the island was occupied by the Ainu until their forced removal by the Soviet Union after 1945.)
Map of Manchukuo and its rail network, c. 1945
Etymology and names
"Manchuria"—variations of which arrived in European languages through Dutch—is a Latinate calque of the Japanese place name Manshū (満州, "Region of the Manchus"), which dates from the 19th century. The name Manju was invented and given to the Jurchen people by Hong Taiji in 1635 as a new name for their ethnic group; however, the name "Manchuria" was never used by the Manchus or the Qing dynasty itself to refer to their homeland.
According to the Japanese scholar Junko Miyawaki-Okada, the Japanese geographer Takahashi Kageyasu was the first to use the term Manshū as a place name in 1809 in the Nippon Henkai Ryakuzu, and it was from that work that Westerners adopted the name. According to Mark C. Elliott, the term Manshū first appeared as a place name in Katsuragawa Hoshū's 1794 work Hokusa Bunryaku in two maps, "Ashia zenzu" and "Chikyū hankyū sōzu", which were also created by Katsuragawa. Manshū then began to appear as a place names in more maps created by Japanese like Kondi Jūzō, Takahashi Kageyasu, Baba Sadayoshi and Yamada Ren, and these maps were brought to Europe by the Dutch Philipp von Siebold. According to Nakami Tatsuo, Philip Franz von Siebold was the one who brought the usage of the term Manchuria to Europeans after borrowing it from the Japanese, who were the first to use it in a geographic manner in the 18th century. According to Bill Sewell, it was Europeans who first started using the name Manchuria to refer to the location and it is "not a genuine geographic term". The historian Gavan McCormack agreed with Robert H. G. Lee's statement that "The term Manchuria or Man-chou is a modern creation used mainly by westerners and Japanese", with McCormack writing that the term Manchuria is imperialistic in nature and has no "precise meaning" since the Japanese deliberately promoted the use of "Manchuria" as a geographic name to promote its separation from China at the time they were setting up their puppet state of Manchukuo.
The Japanese had their own motive for deliberately spreading the usage of the term Manchuria. The historian Norman Smith wrote that "The term 'Manchuria' is controversial". Professor Mariko Asano Tamanoi said that she "should use the term in quotation marks" when referring to Manchuria. In his 2012 dissertation on the Jurchen people to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy degree in History from the University of Washington, Professor Chad D. Garcia noted that usage of the term "Manchuria" is out of favor in "current scholarly practice" and that he had ceased using the term, instead using "the northeast" or referring to specific geographical features.
In the 18th-century Europe, the region later known as "Manchuria" was most commonly referred to as "[Chinese] Tartary". However, the term Manchuria (Mantchourie, in French) started appearing by the end of the century; French missionaries used it as early as 1800. The French-based geographers Conrad Malte-Brun and Edme Mentelle promoted the use of the term Manchuria (Mantchourie, in French), along with "Mongolia", "Kalmykia", etc., as more precise terms than Tartary, in their world geography work published in 1804.
In present-day Chinese, an inhabitant of the Northeast is a "Northeasterner" (东北人; Dōngběirén). "The Northeast" is a term that expresses the entire region, encompassing its history and various cultures. It's usually restricted to the "Three East Provinces" or "Three Northeast Provinces", however, to the exclusion of northeastern Inner Mongolia. In China, the term Manchuria (traditional Chinese: 滿洲; simplified Chinese: 满洲; pinyin: Mǎnzhōu) is rarely used today, and the term is often negatively associated with the Japanese imperial legacy and the puppet state of Manchukuo.
Manchuria has also been referred to as Guandong (關東; 关东; Guāndōng), which literally means "east of the pass", and similarly Guanwai (關外; 关外; Guānwài; 'outside the pass'), a reference to Shanhai Pass in Qinhuangdao in today's Hebei, at the eastern end of the Great Wall of China. This usage is seen in the expression Chuǎng Guāndōng (literally "Rushing into Guandong") referring to the mass migration of Han Chinese to Manchuria in the 19th and 20th centuries. The name Guandong later came to be used more narrowly for the area of the Kwantung Leased Territory on the Liaodong Peninsula. It is not to be confused with the southern province of Guangdong.
During the Qing dynasty, the region was known as the "three eastern provinces" (東三省; 东三省; Dōngsānshěng; Manchu ᡩᡝᡵᡤᡳ
ᡤᠣᠯᠣ, Dergi Ilan Golo) since 1683 when Jilin and Heilongjiang were separated even though it was not until 1907 that they were turned into actual provinces. The administrators of the three areas were the General of Heilongjiang (Sahaliyan Ula i Jiyanggiyūn), General of Jilin (Girin i Jiyanggiyūn), and General of Shengjing (Mukden i Jiyanggiyūn). The area of Manchuria was then converted into three provinces by the late Qing government in 1907. Since then, the phrase "Three Northeast Provinces" was officially used by the Qing government in China to refer to this region, and the post of Viceroy of the Three Northeast Provinces (dergi ilan goloi uheri kadalara amban) was established to take charge of these provinces. After the 1911 revolution, which resulted in the collapse of the Manchu-established Qing dynasty, the name of the region where the Manchus originated was known as "the Northeast" in official documents in the newly founded Republic of China, in addition to the "Three Northeast Provinces".
Geography and climate
Manchuria consists mainly of the northern side of the funnel-shaped North China Craton, a large area of tilled and overlaid Precambrian rocks spanning 100 million hectares (250 million acres). The North China Craton was an independent continent before the Triassic period and is known to have been the northernmost piece of land in the world during the Carboniferous. The Khingan Mountains in the west are a Jurassic mountain range formed by the collision of the North China Craton with the Siberian Craton, which marked the final stage of the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea.
No part of Manchuria was glaciated during the Quaternary, but the surface geology of most of the lower-lying and more fertile parts of Manchuria consists of very deep layers of loess, which have been formed by wind-borne movement of dust and till particles formed in glaciated parts of the Himalayas, Kunlun Shan and Tien Shan, as well as the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts. Soils are mostly fertile mollisols and fluvents except in the more mountainous parts where they are poorly developed orthents, as well as in the extreme north where permafrost occurs and orthels dominate.
The climate of Manchuria has extreme seasonal contrasts, ranging from humid, almost tropical heat in the summer to windy, dry, Arctic cold in the winter. This pattern occurs because the position of Manchuria on the boundary between the great Eurasian continental landmass and the huge Pacific Ocean causes complete monsoonal wind reversal.
In the summer, when the land heats faster than the ocean, low pressure forms over Asia and warm, moist south to southeasterly winds bring heavy, thundery rain, yielding annual rainfall ranging from 400 mm (16 in), or less in the west, to over 1,150 mm (45 in) in the Changbai Mountains. Temperatures in the summer are very warm to hot, with July average maxima ranging from 31 °C (88 °F) in the south to 24 °C (75 °F) in the extreme north. Except in the far north near the Amur River, high humidity causes major discomfort at this time of year.
In the winter, however, the vast Siberian High causes very cold, north to northwesterly winds that bring temperatures as low as −5 °C (23 °F) in the extreme south and −30 °C (−22 °F) in the north where the zone of discontinuous permafrost reaches northern Heilongjiang. However, because the winds from Siberia are exceedingly dry, snow falls only on a few days every winter, and it is never heavy. This explains why corresponding latitudes of North America were fully glaciated during glacial periods of the Quaternary while Manchuria, though even colder, always remained too dry to form glaciers – a state of affairs enhanced by stronger westerly winds from the surface of the ice sheet in Europe.
Manchuria was the homeland of several ethnic groups, including Koreans, Manchu, Mongols, Nanai, Nivkhs, Ulchs and possibly Turkic peoples and Japanese. Various ethnic groups and their respective kingdoms, including the Sushen, Donghu, Xianbei, Wuhuan, Mohe, Khitan and Jurchens have risen to power in Manchuria. Various Koreanic kingdoms such as Gojoseon, Buyeo and Goguryeo were also established in large parts of this area. At various times, Han dynasty, Cao Wei dynasty, Western Jin dynasty, Tang dynasty and some other minor kingdoms of China established control in parts of Manchuria and in some cases tributary relations with peoples in the area. Parts of northwestern Manchuria were under control of the First Turkic Khaganate and Eastern Turkic Khaganate.
A number of world renowned linguists, including Dr. Bang-han Kim, Dr. Alexander Vovin, and Dr. J. Marshall Unger refer to the Goguryeo language and a number of other Koreanic languages like Ye-Maek or Buyeo as distinctly Old Korean. According to several linguists the linguistic homeland of proto-Korean is located somewhere in Manchuria. Later, Koreanic-speakers already present in northern Korea started to expand further south, replacing or assimilating Japonic-speakers and likely causing the Yayoi migration. Whitman (2012) suggests that the proto-Koreans arrived in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula at around 300 BCE and coexist with the descendants of the Japonic Mumun cultivators (or assimilated them). Both had influence on each other and a later founder effect diminished the internal variety of both language families.
With the Song dynasty to the south, the Khitan people of Inner Mongolia created the Liao dynasty in the region, which went on to control adjacent parts of Northern China as well. The Liao dynasty was the first state to control all of Manchuria.
In the early 12th century the Tungusic Jurchen people, who were Liao's tributaries, overthrew the Liao and formed the Jin dynasty, which went on to control parts of Northern China and Mongolia after a series of successful military campaigns. During the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), Manchuria was administered under the Liaoyang province. In 1375, Naghachu, a Mongol official of the Mongolia-based Northern Yuan dynasty in Liaoyang province invaded Liaodong, but later surrendered to the Ming dynasty in 1387. In order to protect the northern border areas, the Ming decided to "pacify" the Jurchens in order to deal with its problems with Yuan remnants along its northern border. The Ming solidified control over Manchuria under the Yongle Emperor (1402–1424), establishing the Nurgan Regional Military Commission. Starting in the 1580s, a Jianzhou Jurchen chieftain, Nurhaci (1558–1626), started to unify Jurchen tribes of the region. Over the next several decades, the Jurchen took control of most of Manchuria. In 1616, Nurhaci founded the Later Jin dynasty, later became known as the Qing dynasty. The Qing defeated the Evenk-Daur federation led by Evenki chief Bombogor and beheaded Bombogor in 1640, with Qing armies massacring and deporting Evenkis and absorbing the survivors into the Banners.
Chinese cultural and religious influence such as Chinese New Year, the "Chinese god", motifs such as the dragon, spirals, and scrolls, agriculture, husbandry, methods of heating, and material goods such as iron cooking pots, silk, and cotton spread among the Amur natives including the Udeghes, Ulchis, and Nanais.
In 1644, after the Ming dynasty's capital of Beijing was sacked by the peasant rebels, the Jurchens (now called Manchus) allied with Ming general Wu Sangui and seized control of Beijing, overthrowing the short-lived Shun dynasty and establishing Qing dynasty rule (1644–1912) over all of China. The Manchu conquest of China killed over 25 million people. The Willow Palisade was a system of ditches and embankments built by the Qing dynasty during the later 17th century to restrict the movement of Han civilians into Jilin and Heilongjiang. Only bannermen, including Chinese bannermen, were allowed to settle in Jilin and Heilongjiang.
After conquering the Ming, the Qing often identified their state as "China" (中國, Zhongguo; "Middle Kingdom"), and referred to it as "Dulimbai Gurun" ("Middle Kingdom") in Manchu. In the Qing shilu the lands of the Qing state (including Manchuria and present-day Xinjiang, Mongolia, Tibet) are thus identified "the Middle Kingdom" in both the Chinese and Manchu languages in roughly two thirds of the cases, while the term refers to the traditional Chinese provinces populated by the Han in roughly one third of the cases. It was also common to use "China" (Zhongguo, Dulimbai gurun) to refer to the Qing in official documents, international treaties, and foreign affairs. In diplomatic documents, the term "Chinese language" (Dulimbai gurun i bithe) referred to Chinese, Manchu, and Mongol languages, and the term "Chinese people" (中國人 Zhongguo ren; Manchu: Dulimbai gurun i niyalma) referred to all Han, Manchus, and Mongol subjects of the Qing. The lands in Manchuria were explicitly stated by the Qing to belong to "China" (Zhongguo, Dulimbai gurun) in Qing edicts and in the Treaty of Nerchinsk.
However Qing rule saw a massively increasing amount of Han Chinese both illegally and legally streaming into Manchuria and settling down to cultivate land as Manchu landlords desired Han Chinese peasants to rent on their land and grow grain, most Han Chinese migrants were not evicted as they went over the Great Wall and Willow Palisade, during the eighteenth century Han Chinese farmed 500,000 hectares of privately owned land in Manchuria and 203,583 hectares of lands which were part of coutrier stations, noble estates, and Banner lands, in garrisons and towns in Manchuria Han Chinese made up 80% of the population.
Han Chinese farmers were resettled from north China by the Qing to the area along the Liao River in order to restore the land to cultivation. Wasteland was reclaimed by Han Chinese squatters in addition to other Han who rented land from Manchu landlords.
Despite officially prohibiting Han Chinese settlement on Manchu and Mongol lands, by the 18th century the Qing decided to settle Han refugees from northern China who were suffering from famine, floods, and drought into Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, so that Han Chinese farmed 500,000 hectares in Manchuria and tens of thousands of hectares in Inner Mongolia by the 1780s. The Qianlong Emperor allowed Han Chinese peasants suffering from drought to move into Manchuria despite his having issued edicts in favor of banning them from 1740 to 1776. Han Chinese then streamed into Manchuria, both illegally and legally, over the Great Wall of China and Willow Palisade. Chinese tenant farmers rented or even claimed title to land from the "imperial estates" and Manchu Bannerlands in the area. Besides moving into the Liao area in southern Manchuria, the path linking Jinzhou, Fengtian, Tieling, Changchun, Hulun, and Ningguta was settled by Han Chinese during the Qianlong Emperor's reign, and Han Chinese were the majority in urban areas of Manchuria by 1800. To increase the Imperial Treasury's revenue, the Qing sold formerly Manchu-only lands along the Sungari to Han Chinese at the beginning of the Daoguang Emperor's reign, and Han Chinese filled up most of Manchuria's towns by the 1840s, according to Abbe Huc.
The Russian conquest of Siberia was met with indigenous resistance to colonization by the Russian Cossacks, who crushed the natives. The conquest of Siberia and Manchuria also resulted in the spread of infectious diseases. Historian John F. Richards wrote: "... New diseases weakened and demoralized the indigenous peoples of Siberia. The worst of these was smallpox "because of its swift spread, the high death rates, and the permanent disfigurement of survivors." ... In the 1690s, smallpox epidemics reduced Yukagir numbers by an estimated 44 percent." At the hands of people like Vasilii Poyarkov in 1645 and Yerofei Khabarov in 1650 some peoples like the Daur people of Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang were killed by the Russian Cossacks to the extent that it is now considered by some authors to have been genocide. The Daurs initially deserted their villages since they heard about the cruelty of the Russians the first time Khabarov came. The second time he came, the Daurs decided to do battle against the Russians instead but were slaughtered by Russian guns. The Russians came to be known as "red-beards". The Russian Cossacks were named luocha (羅剎), after Demons found in Buddhist mythology, by the Amur natives because of their cruelty towards the Amur tribes people, who were subjects of the Qing. The Russian proselytization of Eastern Orthodox Christianity to the indigenous peoples along the Amur River was viewed as a threat by the Qing.
In 1858, a weakening Qing Empire was forced to cede Manchuria north of the Amur to Russia under the Treaty of Aigun. In 1860, at the Treaty of Peking, the Russians managed to obtain a further large slice of Manchuria, east of the Ussuri River. As a result, Manchuria was divided into a Russian half known as "Outer Manchuria", and a remaining Chinese half known as "Inner Manchuria". In modern literature, "Manchuria" usually refers to Inner (Chinese) Manchuria. As a result of the Treaties of Aigun and Peking, China lost access to the Sea of Japan.
History after 1860
Inner Manchuria also came under strong Russian influence with the building of the Chinese Eastern Railway through Harbin to Vladivostok. In the Chuang Guandong movement, many Han farmers, mostly from the Shandong peninsula moved there. By 1921, Harbin, northern Manchuria's largest city, had a population of 300,000, including 100,000 Russians. Japan replaced Russian influence in the southern half of Inner Manchuria as a result of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–1905. Most of the southern branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway was transferred from Russia to Japan, and became the South Manchurian Railway. Japanese influence extended into Outer Manchuria in the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917, but Outer Manchuria had reverted to Soviet control by 1925. Manchuria was an important region due to its rich natural resources including coal, fertile soil, and various minerals. For pre–World War II Japan, Manchuria was an essential source of raw materials. Without occupying Manchuria, the Japanese probably could not have carried out their plan for conquest over Southeast Asia or taken the risk to attack Pearl Harbor and the British Empire in 1941.
There was a major epidemic known as the Manchurian plague in 1910–1911, likely caused by the inexperienced hunting of marmots, many of whom are diseased. The cheap railway transport and the harsh winters, where the hunters sheltered in close confinement, helped to propagate the disease. The response required close coordination between the Chinese, Russian and Japanese authorities and international disease experts held a ′International Plague Conference′ in the northern city of Shenyang after the disease was under control to learn the lessons.
It was reported that among Banner people, both Manchu and Chinese (Hanjun) in Aihun, Heilongjiang in the 1920s, would seldom marry with Han civilians, but they (Manchu and Chinese Bannermen) would mostly intermarry with each other. Owen Lattimore reported that during his January 1930 visit to Manchuria, he studied a community in Jilin (Kirin), where both Manchu and Chinese bannermen were settled at a town called Wulakai, and eventually the Chinese Bannermen there could not be differentiated from Manchus since they were effectively Manchufied (assimilated). The Han civilian population was in the process of absorbing and mixing with them when Lattimore wrote his article.
Around the time of World War I, Zhang Zuolin established himself as a powerful warlord with influence over most of Manchuria. During his rule, the Manchurian economy grew tremendously, backed by immigration of Chinese from other parts of China. The Japanese assassinated him on 2 June 1928, in what is known as the Huanggutun Incident. Following the Mukden Incident in 1931 and the subsequent Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the Japanese declared Inner Manchuria an "independent state", and appointed the deposed Qing emperor Puyi as puppet emperor of Manchukuo. Under Japanese control Manchuria was one of the most brutally run regions in the world, with a systematic campaign of terror and intimidation against the local Russian and Chinese populations including arrests, organised riots and other forms of subjugation. Manchukuo was used by Japan as a base to invade the rest of China.
After the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945, the Soviet Union invaded from Soviet Outer Manchuria as part of its declaration of war against Japan. Soon afterwards, the Communist Party of China and Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) started fighting for control over Manchuria. The communists won in the Liaoshen Campaign and took complete control over Manchuria. With the encouragement of the Soviet Union, Manchuria was then used as a staging ground during the Chinese Civil War for the Communist Party of China, which emerged victorious in 1949. Ambiguities in the treaties that ceded Outer Manchuria to Russia led to dispute over the political status of several islands. This led to armed conflict in 1969, called the Sino-Soviet border conflict, resulting in an agreement. In 2004, Russia agreed to transfer Yinlong Island and one half of Heixiazi Island to the PRC, ending an enduring border dispute.
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