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Late qing reforms
Late Qing ReformsIB Higher Level HistoryAcademic Year 2012-2013
Learning Objective✤ To describe the key features of the late Qing reforms from 1901-1911 and compare/contrast these with earlier attempts at reform
Late Qing Reforms: Summary✤ Education Reforms✤ Military Reforms✤ Constitutional Reforms✤ Administrative Reforms✤ Financial Reforms✤ Legal Reforms✤ Cultural Reforms
Education Reforms✤ 8 Legged Essay abandoned✤ Academies or Shu-juan converted into Western style schools✤ Study abroad was also encouraged especially Japan✤ In 1904 regulations for school administration modelled on the Japanese✤ December 1905 a Ministry of Education (Hsueh Pu) established
Effects of the Education Reforms✤ Abolition of 8 Legged Essay leads to anger amongst the test takers✤ In 1904 the total number of schools was 4,222 and the number of students 92,169; in 1909, the number of schools was 52,348 and of students 1,560,270✤ BUT! Curriculum largely unchanged and traditional Confucian attitudes remained✤ Girls initially not educated
More Effects of the EducationReforms-The Importance ofJapan✤ By 1905 and 1906 number of students in Japan had reached around ten thousand✤ Japan becomes a hotbed of anti Qing sentiment✤ In February 1906, decision to send only good Confucian scholars✤ The Chinese minister to Japan was appointed controller of the Inspectorate of Chinese Students in Japan, making possible closer supervision.✤ The tighter the controls became, the stronger was the anti-Manchu feeling among the students.
Ichiko on the Education Reforms✤ "One wonders how far the government was really serious about the new education" since its aim was "only to create a people who would love the Ching dynasty and stay loyal to the Ching emperor"
Military Reforms✤ Aimed at placing the countrys armed forces completely under Manchu control eg: In 1903, the government set up in Peking the Commission for Army Reorganization (Lien-ping chu), as a central agency to recruit and train the New Army✤ Creation of the New Army, by 1910 all six divisions of the Beiyang Army were taken under the direct command of the Army Ministry✤ In 1909, it was decreed that the emperor was the supreme commander of the army and navy
Effects of the Military Reforms✤ Respect for military does go up✤ Officers sent to Japan to train become both Nationalist and revolutionary✤ New Army becomes one of the prime movers of the revolution in 1911✤ The recruitment of gentry as officers, together with the fact that soldiers were recruited from among the native population, led the provincial units of the armed forces to resist the centralization of the army just as the provincial governors did
Constitutional Reforms-Ichiko✤ Aim was to strengthen the position of Manchu officials.✤ For example, even at the end the establishment of a supposedly responsible cabinet in May 1911, in which out of 13 ministers, eight Manchus and only four Han Chinese were appointed.✤ The promise to adopt constitutional government, the calling of the Provincial and National Assemblies in 1909 and 1910 were basically all aimed as well at preserving the rule of the Manchu dynasty.
Administrative Reforms-Ichiko✤ "an attempt on the part of the conservative Ching government and of similarly conservative local gentry to preserve their political power"✤ Ministries of Trade and Police set up✤ Offices no longer sold and overlapping responsibilities merged✤ Move towards constitutional monarchy
Financial Reforms✤ Attempt at currency unification✤ Largely a failure
Legal Reforms✤ 1905 physical penalties as slow slicing, public exhibition of heads, and beheading of the corpse, and the penalty of tattooing were abolished. Physical punishments like flogging with the bamboo were replaced by fines. Collective responsibility and torture were also abolished.✤ 1908 draft of the new criminal code was completed-modelled on the Japanese criminal code
Cultural Reforms✤ 1902 government came out against footbinding✤ 1902 ban on marriage between a Manchu male and Chinese female was lifted✤ 1906 throne issues an edict to ban opium✤ 1906 presidency of the new central government ministries open to either a Manchu or a Chinese✤ 1911 British promise to stop opium exportation from India to China by 1917
Interpreting the Late QingReforms Ichiko✤ “In summary, the reform programme during the last five or six years, if not the entire last decade of the Ching dynasty, may be viewed as attempts of the Manchu rulers, Chinese provincial governors and Chinese gentry members to preserve their power, or even to expand it. These elements often worked at cross-purposes. In the event, the reforms led to the fall of the dynasty.”-Ichiko