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"The Last Emperor" Essay

1078 words - 5 pages

For this multimedia project, I decided to watch “The Last Emperor.” In “The Last Emperor,” Puyi the last emperor of the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty, is faced with the close of traditional monarchy and the switch to a republic. I want to examine why traditional monarchy fell and the republic of China took over. I would like to discuss the various transitions China’s government. China went through an imperialistic monarchy, republic, warlord governments, and communism. Though China went through many different changes I would like to discuss why China shifted and the instant it happened. I would like to talk about the corruption and the government’s relationship with its people. My thesis statement is China’s governmental change from a traditional monarchy to a republic was because of a poor governmental/societal relationship and corruption within the Qing dynasty.
The movie is essentially a series of flash back. The movie begins with a prison train full of war criminals going to a prison in 1950s Manchuria. Piyu took the throne from the empress when he was three years old. He was treated above everyone else this is apparent when he met his brother at ten and later at fifteen when he met his wife. Throughout the entire movie there is a sense of rich kid never grows up and cannot fend for himself. Even in his forties when he is delivered to the prison-camp he cannot even tie his shoes. Arranged marriages is an evident tradition in Confucian culture. The changing China from Imperialism to a republic is portrayed well. One example of the revolution was Reginald, the tutor going to the Forbidden City and the car is surrounded by revolutionaries gathering outside the walls of the Forbidden City.
After Piyu, his wives, remaining servants and tutor were kicked out of the Forbidden City by warlord Feng Yuxiang, he and his wives fled to Japan. Japan gained control of Manchuria and renamed it Manchukuo. Puyi became the puppet Emperor of Manchukuo. Puyi’s role as emperor in Manchukuo was essentially to sign laws and be a figure in Japanese propaganda. The Japanese control over Puyi was obvious towards the end of the movie, a news clip showed in the prisons depicting the war crimes in Manchukuo and Puyi had no idea. Puyi was a puppet the entire movie first to the Chinese then to the Japanese. From the time he became emperor at just three years old he was not capable of ruling and therefore was used as a pawn. The Chinese imperial government used Puyi as their puppet. Although Puyi was a fool and a puppet, he was still the last emperor of China and emperor of Manchukuo (Manchuria). Puyi died in 1967.
Imperialism is the policy of spreading a nation's authority by territory or economic or political control over other nations. Imperialism is basically the policy of a nation's dominance over other lands, territories, or nations. China had no colonies and was losing power as the world modernized. Imperialistically China was seen as a weak and useless government....

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