How Effective Were The Late Qing Reforms Of Modernizing Early 20th Century China

1695 Words Aug 14th, 2015 7 Pages
How effective were the Late Qing Reforms of Empress Dowager Cixi in modernizing early 20th century China 1902-1908
Empress Dowager Cixi (alternatively Tz’u-his) has traditionally been characterized as a powerful obstacle to reform; promulgating Qing conservatism, Manchu values and neo-Confucianism, and, throughout the second half of the 19th century, stolidly resisting political reform. However, from her return to court in 1902 to her death, a dramatic revolution in Cixi’s approach towards Western influence brought China across the threshold of the modern world with “no foot-dragging” (Cixi correspondence, First Historical Archives of China, 1996, page 1020). Though she may not have directly initiated the transition into modernity, already underway in the radical social upheavals of late 19th century, she legitimized China’s already maturing forces by means of social, economic and industrial political reforms. Thereby through Cixi’s late intervention the bourgeoning induction into modernity was carefully directed, delivering a people long desirous of change and already revolting against the crumbling traditions of the Qing Dynasty, to a globally proficient constitutional monarchy (li-xian) with “virtually all the attributes of a modern state”. (Jung Chang, Empress Dowager Cixi, 2013, page 371)
(FOOT NOTEsome key elements distinguish modern society from traditional society, namely the departure from agrarianism, the
Modern state is conventionally identified by…

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