Sino Wester Cultural Interchange

Topics: Qing Dynasty, China, Taiping Rebellion Pages: 5 (1861 words) Published: December 18, 2012
Discuss and analyses how did Chinese attitude towards the western world change between 1880s and 1920s, and what are the major impetuses for this major transformation.

Wilson Lu

After the defeat by the British Empire in the First Opium War in 1820 led to the Treaty of Nanjing (1842), under which the cession of Hong Kong and opium was legitimized. The so call sinocentrism ebbed and flowed with China’s might and glory. The foreign trades were growing quickly due to China’s wealth not allowed Chinese monarchs to restrict and foreign countries threatened the Chinese. At the same time, it is first time that mutual influence between China and the west is more appropriate after 1840s. This paper will mainly focus on the discussion about what are the major impetuses for Chinese attitude towards the western world change between 1880s and 1920s. What was the old world like? Industrialization vs. Confucianism. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the UK experienced a great improve in agricultural productivity known as the British Agricultural Revolution, which enabled an unprecedented population growth in western world and it also have a significant role to the Industrial Revolution. Isaac Newton monograph Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Latin for "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy" published in 1687, laid the foundations for most of classical mechanics. After that Matthew Boulton and James Watt they entered into a partnership and Watt developed several inventions, which improved the steam engine. It is first time human being do not need to rely on natural power. After that, the steam engine was claimed to be the landmark of industrial revolution and Watt also named the father of industrial revolution. When Boulton and Watt those Scotland people were perfecting the engine a scholar called Adam Smith was editing his drafts. This draft could view as a special engine, which advocated people’s wealth growing and it provided power to the society changing continuously. The draft published in 1776 named An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, also usually abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations. It considered the first modern work of economics, which make sure the accumulation of capital allowed investments in the conception and application of new technologies, enabling the industrialization process to continue to evolve. The industrialization process formed a class of industrial workers who had more money to spend than their agricultural cousins. They spent this on items such as tobacco and sugar, creating new mass markets that stimulated more investment as merchants sought to exploit them. The mechanization of production spread to the countries surrounding England geographically in Europe such as France and to British settler colonies, helping to make those areas the wealthiest, and shaping what is now known as the Western world. By the end of Qianlong Emperor’s long reign, the Qing Empire was at its top. China ruled more than one over third of the world’s population, and had the largest economy in the world. By area of extent, it was one of the largest empires ever in history. The core of the dynasty was Confucianism, the belief that human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor especially including self-cultivation and self- creation. Those six books and four class were the textbook for the imperial civil service examination (Keju). At that time society divided into four classes name as Gentry, peasant, monk and merchant. Merchant class is the lowest class in the traditional Chinese society. It was because they do not produce anything, only profit from others’ creations. Ironically, the merchant class was more affluent than farmers and artisans and held influence above and beyond their supposed social standing. Opium War I&II

The First Opium War was fought between the UK and the Qing Dynasty of China over their conflicting...
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