康乾盛世 The Golden Age of Three Emperors
The reigns of the Qing emperors Kangxi (1661-1722 AD), Yongzheng (1722-1735 AD) and Qianlong (1735-1796 AD) marked a period of unprecedented prosperity both politically and economically.
Kangxi enjoyed the longest reign in Chinese history. When he ascended the throne in 1661, he was still a child. He quickly became versed in statecraft, however, and to appease officials of the old regime, he promoted a program of Sinicization of his government. He appointed Han officials, instituted Confucianism as the state ideology and enthusiastically promoted Han culture among the ruling Manchu class. Kangxi also attached importance to the restoration of agricultural production, which had been devastated by years of war and official neglect. He adopted a series of measures to lighten the burden on the peasants, and prosperity rapidly returned to the countryside. During his reign, the last of the armed Ming loyalists were put down, separatist activities in Mongolia and Tibet were quashed, and control of Taiwan was wrested from Zheng Chenggong's descendants. In addition, encroachment from tsarist Russia was halted. Kangxi thus made great contributions to the territorial integrity of the country, as well as to its security and prosperity.
Emperor Yongzheng proved a worthy successor to Kangxi's policies. Emperor Qianlong succeeded to the throne in 1735. He encouraged peasants to cultivate waste land, and lightened their tax burden. He also strengthened the central government's control over the ethnic-minority areas, particularly in Tibet.