The Chinese Revolution of 1911

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Final Essay Luca Klinghoffer 15/10/12

1911 Revolution

A revolution, in general terms, refers to “The overthrow of one government and its replacement with another” (TheFreeDictionary). The 1911 revolution in China saw to the decline of the Qing Dynasty and the downfall of the emperor. Through the opium war, the pressure from foreign countries, Japanese invasions and foreign trade, China was pushed to reform to some extent; but overall, the main cause for the Revolution of 1911 was due to internal factors. Countless factors acted as contributors to this revolution, most of which were internal. Poverty, corruption, economic tensions, famines, floods and droughts swept through China, the failure to self-strengthen itself led to doubts about ‘the mandate of heaven’, and ultimately, the Taiping and Boxer rebellion emphasized how weak and overwhelmed China was and therefore not able to sustain itself.

Many Qing officials acknowledged the fact that China was in need of refurbishment and decided to act upon it by attempting to sync western knowledge into Chinese education. This process was named “The Self-Strengthening Movement”, or China’s feeble attempt to modernize itself which was founded by two specific scholars named Li HongZhang and Zuo Zongtang. As the movement grew, scholars began to develop modern industries, transportations, militaries… It was not long before The Self-Strengthening Movement started failing; most pupils were not keen to accept new ideas and wanted to stick to their old, traditional, Confucian ways. To this, modernization was an incredibly arduous goal to achieve. As an addition, China also just experienced the chaos of the Taiping Rebellion and other rebellions. Although the failure of the Self-Strengthening Movement pointed out to the foreign powers just how weak...
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