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The Fall of the Qing Dynasty Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on December 3, 2013
  • Category: History
  • Length: 1,232 words

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Below is an essay on "The Fall of the Qing Dynasty" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The Fall of the Qing Dynasty
Author Zhang Weiwei in The China Wave, Rise of a Civilizational State, argues that Japan became a national state during the Meiji Restoration, but China was unable to accomplish this due to its decline in the mid-19th century. He claims that this decline was a result of its inability to cope with modern states, as demonstrated by the loss of wars against such powers as the British, French and Japanese (49). The primary question is how a formerly world leading power with extensive human and natural resources at hand could decline to the extent that it lost virtually every war from this period on. It is commonly proposed that such Western nation-states as Britain, because of their superior military power, brought China to its decline. Though this proposition is correct, I argue that the decentralization of the Chinese system of governance was an integral reason for its inability to cope with the challenges posed by modern nation-states. This decentralization is characterized by many factors including internal social unrest, lack of strong leadership, corruption, and traditional ideals. The already decentralized, corrupt state was thus easily exploited by modern imperialist powers due to their superior military technology and organization. Eventually, China’s decline and successive defeats led to the fall of the last Chinese empirical dynasty.
To begin, it is necessary to have a strong understanding of China’s background as an empire and what led to its decline during this period. First, let’s consider religion.   Confucianism is arguably the religion with the biggest influence in Chinese political development, and can be directly associated with the decline of the empire during this time period. Confucius’ ideals and religious traditions are known for being associated neither with conquests nor crusades (Wasserstrom 3-4). As Gary Hamilton has demonstrated in session 5 of his series of lectures, after the final journeys of the Ming...

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