|The soldiers had living quarters within the city, but also had small duty rooms built along the top of the wall. This one, constructed in 1988 during the restoration, mimics the standard style used. There were earthen beds within for the soldiers to use when off duty. During the Qing Dynasty, only Manchu soldiers were used to guard the city. They were divided into eight banners. The Blue Banner was stationed at Dongbianmen.
The Qing emperors were from Manchuria and had conquered China in 1644. They held their power both by using Chinese customs and beliefs to support their reign, and by maintaining their identity as Manchu. If you were Manchu, you were of the elite. Not every member of the clan was rich, but most were. One of the problems faced by the ruling class was maintaining military discipline and strength. The Manchu valued military prowess, but succeeding generations became accustomed to the leisure and softness of a life of privilege.
Last update: May 2011
© Marilyn Shea, 2011