Why Did Early Reforms Fail in the Qing Dynasty?

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There were three reform movements between 1860-1911. They were the Self-strengthening movement, hundred Days Reform and late Qing reform. They all aimed at strengthening China. However, all of them ended in failure for many reasons. There were mainly six reasons: Empress Dowager Cixi's role, the opposition from conservatives, lack of careful planning, lack of capital, corruption and the rising popularity of revolutionary movement. First, Cixi was the biggest problem in carrying out the reforms. The Qing government was controlled by her. From the beginning, she didnt admit China needeed modernization. In the Self-strengthening movement, she didnt give any support to the reformers. The only thing she cared was her power in the Qing government. This attitude continued to the Hundred days reform. Even during the Late Qing Reform, she was not sincere. She was more concerned about her rule, not the strengthening of China. As she never gave her full heart to the reform, the reform movements could not succeed at last. The second reason for the failure was the opposition from conservatives. They included civil officials, scholars and uneducated peasants who opposed the reforms. Like Cixi, the civil officials were afraid that they would lose their power when the reforms brought new system and policies . Moreover, most of them were loyal to Cixi and followed her attitude towards the reform. They thought that China didnt need to carry out western reforms but needed the confucian tradition. Besides, the scholars did not like the idea of changing or abolishing the Civil Service Examination. They had spent a life time to study the Confucian classics to take part in the Civil Service Examination. If the syllabus was changed, they would lose their chance to become officials or have to start over again. Even the uneducated peasants did not welcome foreign things since they suffered much from the foreign. The opposition from different sectors of the society made the reform fail....
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