The Chinese held the Middle Kingdom outlook for 1000s of old ages. showing their belief of the high quality of the Chinese and their Emperor. The Century of Humiliation. enduring from the first Opium War in 1839 until the 1940’s and the rise of the Communist Party. forced Western thoughts into China and caused uncertainties of and the eventual autumn of the Middle Kingdom. Many factors of the Century of Humiliation. runing between the Taiping Rebellion. the ‘rice bowl’ outlook of the Chinese in the face of reform.
and World War 1 influenced the cultural displacements and the humiliation of China. but the most important of the lending events of the Century of Humiliation was the Opium Wars and the Unequal Treaties. particularly the Treaty of Nanking.
The beginning of the Century of Humiliation was the Opium Wars. which non merely rid China of its testimonial system but besides was the beginning of opium was banned by the Chinese authorities. denying the British the trading rights they saw that they superiorly deserved.
This began the illegal importing of opium by the British. which continued through the early nineteenth Century. Further illegal importing of opium by 1839 caused the emperor to allow Commissioner Lin Zexu to impound illegal opium upon a British ship in the port of Guangzhou. motivating the first Opium War between the British and the Chinese ( 5-6 ) . The Chinese overpoweringly lost to the British due to the superior firepower of the British naval forces. The triumph of the British began the arrangement of the unequal treatise. which continued following the Second Opium War in 1858. The first unequal pact was the Treaty of Nanking. established in 1842 in the wake of the first Opium War. Under the Treaty of Nanking. China had to pay insurances for the opium it seized during the Opium War.
Furthermore. the British weren’t allowed to impose takes higher than five per centum on British imports. The metropoliss of Canton. Foochow. Amoy. Ningpo. and Shanghai were opened to British trade. and British occupants of said metropoliss were exempt from Chinese jurisprudence. These factors began the domains of influence in China. leting Britain to presume economic control of Chinese society through these controlled ports. The island of Hong Kong was to boot taken from the Chinese as a trading base for the British ( 2-3 ) . Numerous other pacts were implemented during this epoch of unequal pacts.
The most outstanding of these were the Treaty of Wanghsia. which furthered exterritorial privileges and opened internal waterways to American ships. and the Tientsin Treaties following the Sino-French War. in which England and France reestablished opium trade. allowed missional activities in China. and assumed ageless control of Chinese imposts. In both instances. the rights gained by America and France. severally. were assumed by Britain under the most-favored-nation clause of the Treaty of Nanking ( 3 ) . The consequences of the Opium Wars and the unequal pacts established the Western laterality of China that began the series of events in the Century of Humiliation. weakening the dynasty system and most significantly leting the Chinese to inquiry and change their false high quality ( 6 ) .
The inquiring of Chinese tradition and the influence of Western thoughts that began in the Opium Wars lead to the Taiping Rebellion. another major subscriber to the Chinese Century of Humiliation. Led by Hong Xiuchuan. a adult male influenced by the inflow of Western thoughts and the spiritual footing of Christianity to the point of declaring himself the brother of Jesus called to set up the Heavenly Kingdom. the Taiping Rebellion began with quickly increasing success. The Taiping Rebels seized Nanjing in 1853 and claimed it to be the capitol of the new land. The influence of Western thoughts in combination with the civil agitation of the Chinese provincials was combined and demonstrated through the rapid growing and power of the Taiping Rebellion. The Rebels rose to command metropoliss. some falling briefly while others turned to civil wars enduring up to 14 old ages.
Through these rebellions and civil wars. the Taiping Rebellion became one of the most destructive civil wars in known history. Approximately 20 million people died in the Taiping Rebellion. and major cultural and industrial countries like the Yangzi delta were destroyed. The Manchu authorities lost farther power in this rebellion. non merely in the agitation of their people but from the demand to let warlords and aliens to stamp down the rebellion for them ( 6 ) . The superior influence of the Taiping Christian-Chinese over the Chinese people and the authorities of Southern China furthered the humiliation of the Chinese. The promotion and message of the Taiping Rebels. from single persecution of functionaries to Hung’s declaration of himself as the Prince of Heaven and the declaration of the land as the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace. when coupled with the power given to the warlords and aliens for defence furthered in part to the humiliation and ruin of the Chinese Empire ( 32-3 ) .
The uneffective nature of China in the face of Western influence and thoughts was the “rice bowl mentality” of the Manchu authorities system which contributed to the humiliation of China. This rice bowl outlook was the response to the efforts at reform within the Manchu authorities. The reforms were set to occidentalize and progress the Chinese people. but those who would lose single power through the new reforms or recreation from tradition actively blocked the reforms from ordaining. In forestalling the reforms and Westernization. the Chinese were kept stagnant in advancement as the West advanced. The rice bowl outlook altered Manchu authorities through undisputed corruptness by Empress Dowager Cixi and those whose corruptness she allowed. Despite three immature emperors being on the thrown. Empress Dowager Cixi cutely maintained concealed power over the determinations of China from 1861 to 1908.
The bookman aristocracy assisted Empress Dowager Cixi in the blocking of reform. as changes to instruction. authorities. agribusiness. and military policy and operation would endanger their power. wealth. and epicurean life styles. This greed was likewise held by Cixi. who took money intended to construct a defensive fleet in the Sino-Japanese War and used it to construct a garden for herself. Cases such as this contributed to such humiliation as the loss of the Sino-Japanese War. and farther delayed the modernisation in China ( 7 ) . This rejection of Westernization and modernisation for selfish. personal benefit resulted in the permanent consequence of the humiliation of China. with the sentiment of the bookman aristocracy being accurately held in the quotation mark:
“Our bookmans and functionaries have confined themselves to the survey of stanzas and sentences and are nescient of the greatest alteration of the last several thousand old ages: they are accustomed to the impermanent security of the present” ( 34 ) . This uneffective rice bowl outlook that allowed corruptness in the Chinese authorities withheld the industrialisation necessary for China to excel the West. or even the westernizing Japan. This withholding factor contributed to the humiliation of China through discontinuing its advancement and leting its loss to the ‘inferior’ states environing it ( 7-8 ) .
The last most important event that contributed to the Century of Humiliation was World War I. During World War I. Japan took advantage of the discouragement in Europe to prehend the Shandong Peninsula in China in attempt against Germany. Although Japan was in the Allied forces. the chance for power and control of China was non passed. Past the licking of China in the Sino-Japanese War due to the rice bowl outlook and corruptness. this farther licking by the traditionally lesser Japan extended the humiliation in China. To increase the humiliation. the Japanese presented the Twenty One Demands to China. naming for Nipponese ownership of the Shandong Peninsula. the extension of Nipponese rights in Manchuria. and half involvement in Chinese Fe and steel Millss in cardinal China ( 19-20 ) . The Japanese besides demanded the denial of any other foreign state rentals on their cost. every bit good as demanding China to buy all weaponries from China and entrust military and police work to Nipponese functionaries.
To counter this. the Chinese joined the Allied ranks to seek to negociate themselves out of the Twenty One Demands after the war. The Treaty of Versailles did non give just recognition of China’s demands and allotted the lands to Japan. Due to this. China refused to subscribe the Treaty of Versailles and was therefore ignored within it. The lesser position given to China through these steps in a transnational understanding contributed greatly to the dishonour of the Century of Humiliation in China ( 20 ) . The Century of Humiliation in China was wrought by an inefficient and corrupt authorities faced with a more advanced and culturally different opposing state. The Opium Wars and the Unequal Treaties. with the Treaty of Nanking most outstanding amongst them. foremost and first humiliated China through destructing the dominant outlook and attitude of Chinese foreign dealingss.
Their licking and the policies forced upon them contradicted their cardinal beliefs towards their authorities and opposing states. The Taiping Rebellion marked the common people’s response to this western influence and the mortifying licking of the supposed superior Middle Kingdom. The rice bowl outlook of the opinion Manchus stopped China from decently progressing and supporting itself. The engagement of China in World War I and the Treaty of Versailles farther humiliated China in regard to the other states involved in World War I. These events were non the exclusive points of humiliation during the Chinese Century of Humiliation. but each most significantly influenced and demonstrated the of import factors in said humiliation and the autumn of the Chinese Empire and development of the modern Chinese authorities.
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