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Why Did Chinese Nationalism Fail? Essay

925 words - 4 pages

Western influence was the major cause of China changing to a republic in 1911. Western powers caused Nationalism to flourish in China which eventually made the Chinese people want their own government so that they could resist the west.From the 18th century the west caused internal strife in China, until the Chinese Dynasties finally collapsed in 1911. The Boxer Rebellion was caused by anti-western people openly attacking Europeans because they felt that Westerners were causing so many problems in China. The Chinese Dynasty was a target of the Boxers as well, but quickly managed to use the Boxers to concentrate more on attacking European people. The Opium Wars were fought because the British wanted to be able to trade more freely, and they very quickly turned to damaging the Empire. Other Rebellions or conflicts were fought all over China over a long space of time, and they were often caused by European influnces. For thousands of years before Europeans were in Asia, China followed Confucism and the Emperor was said to have been granted the Mandate of Heaven from higher powers. Because of this, people did not want to disrupt the natural order of things, so did not challenge the Emperor at all. Before Europeans came to China, the Empire was very successful and the Emperor maintained control over all of China without problems. Within fifty years of the British trade convoys first arriving at the Forbidden City, the first Opium War had begun, and China was suffering. This was good for maintianing control, but meant that China did not advance at all for all this time. The main reason that Britain had for trying to control parts of China was because of trade and profit. Since the Chinese Emperors refused to allow them free trade the British began to attack China to let their goods, especially opium, into China for profit.Western powers, and Britain especially, picked on a weak Chinese government forcing it to give up colonies. When the first British trade convoys arrived in China, the Emperor told them that the west didn't have anything that the Chinese wanted. However, Britain was very greedy and keen to open up trade with China. When the Chinese still refused to have open trade, the British began to have wars with China, including the first Opium War. After the first Opium War, Britain enforced on China the Treaty of Nanjing, which included China handing over Hong Kong to the British. China called this treaty one of the unequal treaties because they were enforced instead of negotiated. In 1860 China also gave up more parts of southern China in the Convention of Peking. Eventually, Britain forced a weak Chinese government to accept to a 99 year lease of...

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