China In 1900

Key Terms:

1. The Manchu Dynasty
In 1900 China was ruled by the Qing family know as the Manchu dynasty. It had been in existence for over 2000 years.
2. Unequal treaties
Giving countries control of China's sea-ports and allowing them special trading privileges.
3. Treaty ports
By the end of the 19th century of China's ports, were treaty ports, open to foreign trade and residence.
4. Spheres of influence
The European powers had divided China into what is called spheres of influence. This meant that the British people had the biggest share of business, missionary work, transport, etc.
5. Hundred Days of Reform
In a 3 month period Guangxu introduced new schools and colleges and a new examination system. He also improved the government's budget.
6. The Boxer Rebellion, 1900
The boxers rebellion was in 1900 when it reached a climax and they killed Europeans and Christians. There also was a boxer rebellion in Beijing itself. They trapped 1000 foreigners and kept them under siege for 2 months.

The Manchu Dynasty
In 1900 China was ruled by the Qing family. They came from Manchuria, North China. It was known as the Manchu dynasty. It was in existence for over 2000 years and had been one of the most advanced civilizations in the world. They were especially skilled in astronomy, mathematics, engineering, and medicine. They were the first people who used paper and invented printing. Silkweaving, gun powder, spectacles, the magnetic compass, and suspension bridge.

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The Qing Flag- also Manchu dynasty.

The European Influence
By 1900 the Chinese empire had become weak because the Europeans in the 19th hundreds gained influence so they used force against China. Between 1839 and 1842 the British fought and 'Opium War' against China to force the Chinese to continue buying the drug opium from British- ruled India. There also was a second opium war which they burned down government buildings. Invaders forced the Manchus to sign 'unequal treaties' giving them control of China's sea- ports and allowing them special trading privileges. By the end of 19th century, 50 of China's seaports were treaty ports, open to foreign trade and residence. In addition European powers had divided China up into what they called spheres of of influence. British people had the biggest share of business, missionary work, and transport. In 1850 the Taiping Rebellion against the Manchus broke out. It lasted for 14 years between 1850- 1864. 600 cities were destroyed and 20 million people were killed and that made them more unpopular.

The Yangste river war.

Boxer Rebellion

The Boxers, or "The Righteous and Harmonious Fists," were a religious society that had originally rebelled against the imperial government in Shantung in 1898. They practiced magic of rituals and spells which they believed made them immune to bullets and pain. The Boxers believed that the expulsion of "foreign devils" would magically renew Chinese society and begin a new golden age. Much of their discontent, however, was focussed on the economic scarcity of the 1890's. They were a passionate and confident group, full of contempt for authority and violent emotions.
The Boxer Rebellion was mostly in Beijing. The Western response was fast and severe. Within a couple months, an international force captured and occupied Beijing and forced the imperial government to agree to the most humiliating terms yet: the Boxer Protocol of 1901. Under the Boxer Protocol, European powers got the right to maintain military forces in the capital, thus placing the imperial government more or less under arrest. The Protocols suspended the civil service examination, demanded a huge indemnity to be paid to European powers for the losses they had suffered, and required government officials to be prosecuted for their role in the rebellion. In addition, the Protocols suspended all arms imports into the country.

The humiliation of the Boxer Protocols set China on new course of reform that put into place all of the reforms originally proposed by K'ang Yu-wei. In 1901, the education system was reformed to allow the admission of girls and the curriculum was changed from the study of the Classics and Confucian studies to the study of Western mathematics, science, engineering, and geography. The civil service examination was changed to reflect this new curriculum, and in 1905 it was abandoned altogether. The Chinese began to send its youth to Europe and to Japan to study the new sciences, such as economics, and radical new Western thinking started making their way into China, such as Marxism. The military was reorganized under Yuan Shih-k'ai, who adopted Western and Japanese models of military organization. Key to this new military was the establishment of the military as a career; a new professional officer corps was created built on a new principle: loyalty to one's commander rather than loyalty to the Emperor.
The provincial assemblies that had originally been proposed by K'ang Yu-wei were established in 1909, the year in which the last emperor, Pu Yi, the Hsuan-tung emperor, ascended the throne. A national elected Consultative Assembly was established in 1910. Although the Assembly was meant to support the imperial court, in reality it was frequently odds with the interests of the imperial government. This is where things stood in 1911 when an uprising began in Szechwan province in the west. Angered at a government plan to nationalize the railways, the uprising soon grew into a national revolution that would end once and for all imperial rule in China.