The Qing Dynasty prospered well into the 20th century despite the numerous problems the administration faced. However, during the early days of the 20th century, civil disorders continued to grow in such unmanageable factions that the administration was pushed to do something about it. The high living standards of the previous century had contributed to a sharp increase in China’s population, there was approximately 400 million people living in China around the nineteenth century. This spike increased population density, it also created a surplus of labour shortages, land shortages, inadequate food production and several famines. As an attempt for a solution, Empress Dowager Cixi proclaimed a call for proposals for reform from the generals and governors. There were three reform movements between 1860-1911, “ the Qing court and Chinese provincial officials had tried to adapt a wide range of Western techniques and ideas to China’s proven needs: artillery, ships, the telegraph, new schools, factories, chambers of commerce and international law” (Spence, 234). The first reform being the Self-strengthening Movement the second was the Hundred Days Reform and the last is regarded as the Late Qing reform. These three reforms were similar in the fact that the main objective was to strengthen China. However, there were multiple reasons for the failed plans of the reforms. Analyzing certain individuals and events during the late Qing dynasty will help determine if the Manchus would have been viable leaders for modern China.
The early nineteenth century was the beginning of the Qing Dynasty’s downfall. During this century multiple issues, including economic pressures, corruption, domestic rebellions and foreign wars, challenged ...
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...a more sustainable society. If Qing officials were not as greedy and did not deplete the national treasury,
there would have been money to grow a stronger army. If the Qing army was strong and developed all agencies of the army including the navy, they would have been able to fight off foreign powers and not seem weak in the eyes of their people and other countries looking to expand and conquer. The reform movements failed because of the popularity of the revolutionary movement. The failure of reform accelerated the downfall of the Qing Dynasty. The revolutions occurred mainly due to individuals who saw the Qing Empire as pitiful and unworthy. Revolution was the only solution to save China.
Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. New York: NY
Zarrow, Peter. After Empire. Stanford: California 2012
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