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The Great Reform Movement Essay

1778 words - 7 pages

The late Qing reforms introduced by the Empress Dowager in the decadefollowing the Boxer Rebellion were highly significant in leading China into a moremodern nation. The several reforms shaped the numerous aspects of Chinese society. Thereforms that were instituted fueled the fire that led to the Wuhan Rebellion in 1911 andthe fall of the Qing.The major reforms that were introduced by the Empress dowager after the BoxerRebellions were reforms on education, the military, and constitutionalism. These reformswere chosen because they were needed in china. The Chinese political infrastructureneeded to be renovated. China wanted to progress as a nation and looked towards theirneighbor Japan and Western sources for enlightenment.The introduction of reforming the education system was one of great importance.The curriculum that was introduced was modernized. The old Neo-Confucian orthodoxywas old and needed to be abolished if the Chinese were to advance. The old curriculumrequired the reading of the Classics. This is in essence was useless to the Chinese in theirpresent time because it didn't teach them any practical knowledge. They could not usethe information learned in the Classics and apply them to the situations that they werefacing. Subjects that included math, philosophy, and science were introduced asimportant subjects that needed to be studied.Another important part of China was the exam system. The reform of thissystem was also a mandate because of the changing wave of restructuring thatwas taking place in China. Spence states, "Guangxu ordered the abolition of the highlystylized format known as the "eight-legged essay," which had structured the exams forcenturies." The termination of this exam system was an excellent proposal because theinformation that was stressed upon was becoming useless.The school system was retrograded and a new decree was announced. Schoolswere integrated to both sexes. Each province was instituted to have a primary schoolwhich they operated and funded. The old way of writing was also tainted. Spence states, "Guanxu also urged that fine calligraphy and knowledge of poetry no longer be majorcriteria in grading degree candidates; instead he ordered the use of more questions relatedto practical government problems." The lettering and wording used was useless becausethe Chinese didn't talk in that vernacular. They were using a model of speech thatwas ancient and didn't sound like the way they spoke.A different aspect of the educational reform was the assigning of institutions andvarious levels of schools. These schools were established on the bases of promoting bothChinese and Western studies. Under Yuan Shihkai , the enforcement of small privateacademies were also transformed into larger Universities in provincial capitals. Regionalschools in the province capital became high schools and district schools were made intoelementary schools.Besides educational reform, military reform was a highly important topic.. Theappointment...

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