Decline of China 18th Early Term Paper

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Williams 276)

During an intense period of social and political unrest among the western civilizations (roughly 1843-1853) it was a religious infiltration in China that created social and political turmoil, "the movement that finally overshadowed all other disturbances was really of a religious character." (Williams 279) the conflict is known as the Tai ping Rebellion and was in part spurned on by Protestant missionary teaching of rebels in China, yet another example of western infiltration of China.

Williams 278-280) the rebellion effectively replaced the Manchu dynasty, ending thousands of years of dynastic rule, asserting the capital at Nanking and creating an even more corrupt cruel government than had ever been present before.

Williams 281)

Education in China was even influenced heavily by western powers, as adoptions of what was thought of as superior progress, clearly created the education system in China, as well as many other locations.

Since near the end of the nineteenth century what promises to be an even more wonderful transformation of a people -- political, social, scientific, and industrial -- has been taking place in China (R. 335). A much more democratic type of national school system than that of the Japanese has been worked out, and this the new (1912) Republic of China is rapidly extending in the provinces, and making education a very important function of the new democratic national life... displacing the centuries-old Confucian educational system

Cubberley 721)

Clearly, from the above statement made in 1902, one can se the arrogance of the western tradition, as it infiltrated every aspect of Chinese life, down to the manner in which children were assimilated into western thought and culture, again clear evidence of the decline of Chinese culture and tradition, a sign of progress only in the sense of the nature of control realized by colonialism and imperialism.

In a broader sense, the discussions of American foreign policy also enlivened imperialism studies. The Open Door concept, developed around 1900 regarding American relations with China, has been interpreted by the Williams school as the particular form of an American imperialism directed in the main toward winning markets not only in Latin America but indeed characterizing American foreign policy in the twentieth century, if not since the Civil War."(Albertini, and Wirz xx)

An interesting modern statement, regarding the late development of the industrial revolution in China, still reeks of the idea of western development as the ultimate goal of all nations, even those most divergent in character to the West.

The great divergence lies in the historical fact that England did this during the 17th and 18th centuries, but China, though relatively prosperous as late as 1750, did not undergo an agricultural revolution until the 1950s. In the 18th century, neither India nor China could enter the Industrial Revolution, for both were dependent on labor-intensive agriculture and had no surplus workers to send to the cities and their factories. There was also no demand for Asian fabricated goods in world markets. While 18th- and 19th-century England used world demand for low-cost products to power its production of machine-made textiles, Qing China and early-modern India had no foreigners clamoring for their manufactured wares. Neither was there a burgeoning middle class to buy such goods at home.

Rosecrance 127)

The value of such observations is considered accepted as fact, by many westerners who think of progress as industrial, capitalistic and "democratic," regardless of the divergence of these ideals with the previously prosperous traditions of the eastern nations.

The development of China, through the 19th and early 20th centuries is marked with examples of successful and failed attempts to lay complete control over her resources by imperial interests. The country developed through years of resistance and loss, differing only by the characters that were involved in the particular topical game. The control of resources and goods in conjunction with a sense of mutual disregard for the other's believed superiority created demonstrative social, political and economic chaos. Profit, religion and even colonial education, driven by western interest ruled much of China and limited her natural development. Though China may have been effective at resisting official colonial rule, she was not left unscathed by colonial drive and interests.

Works Cited

Albertini, Rudolf von, and Albert Wirz. European Colonial Rule, 1880-1940: The Impact of the West on India, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Trans. John G. Williamson. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982.

Blue, Gregory. "One the British Connection." Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839-1952. Ed. Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000. 31-47.

Cubberley, Ellwood P. The History of Education: Educational Practice and Progress Considered as a Phase of the Development and Spread of Western Civilization. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1902.

Porter, Jonathan. "Herbert S. Yee. Macau in Transition: From Colony to Autonomous Region." China Review International 9.1…[continue]

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