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The MC reforms weren’t actually due to be reviewed until 1929 but Lord B brought it forward for political reasons as he thought a Labour government likely
K'ang Yu-wei, however, expected more changes. He intended to establish a constitutional and parliamentary government for China. All other reform measures, to K'ang, were secondary to political modernization.
The hundred days reforms
The Hundred Days Reforms IB HL HistoryLearning Objective: To investigate the causes and effects of the hundred days reforms
The Background Causes• Calls for institutional reform• Failure of the Self-Strengthening Movement• The introduction of Western ideas of reform• Progressive-minded young intellectuals• The effects of the Sino-Japanese War• The effects of the Scramble for Concessions• Political struggle within the Qing court
Reasons for Reform• Institutional reform and other changes would strengthen Chinas defence against Western imperialism.• A new educational structure would replace the old, traditional one,• The political system would be re-organized to achieve a greater degree of efficiency.
Other Reasons• The reform movement was also part of the struggle for power within the Qing court.• The young scholar-reformers advocated reform out of patriotic reasons, and to advance to positions of power in the government.
The Reforms Begin• Last from June to September 1898,• Some 200 or so reform decrees were issued in quick succession.• A wide-reaching program for reform of institutions was attempted.• Too much, too late?
Education Reforms• Abolition of the Eight-legged essay in the Civil Service Examinations. Introduction of a new syllabus based on current political and economic problems.• Introduction of an exam on political economy. Establishment of an Imperial University in Peking. Founding of a medical school.• Establishment of primary and secondary schools in the provinces
Government administration• Appointment of reform-minded officials. Introduction of stricter discipline for civil servants. Measures to check corruption and sinecures.• Improvement in administrative efficiency, simplified procedures. Creation of 12 new Ministries to replace the old 6 Boards• Encouragement of reform suggestions from private citizens.
Q1 How would you best summarize thereasons for the Hundred Days reforms?
Begins to Unravel• Too radical for the Empress Dowager• Sees it as an attempt to take power from her• Yuan Shikai involved• Emperor imprisoned and probably poisoned• Orders issued to arrest Kang and the reformers• Kang’s writing banned• 6 martyrs (including Kang’s brother)
Reasons for Failure 1: Inexperience• Age of reformers• No knowledge of the West• No knowledge of power politics• Didn’t consider consequences e.g.: abolition of 8-Legged essay made students unhappy
Reasons for Failure 2: Power of Tz’u-Hsi• Had been the boss for 37 years• Experienced and embedded in power• Still controlled grand council• Had control of Jung-Le’s troops
Reasons for Failure 3: Conservative Opposition• Saw Kang’s interpretation of Confucius as blasphemy• Even moderates couldn’t accept it
Reasons for Failure 4: Speed of Reforms• Reforms are rushed through and a flurry of edicts comes from the court• Implementation was almost impossible due to the speed• No attempt to build capacity lower down the imperial administration or clarify exactly what was wanted
Q3: Develop a hypothesis-What willbe the consequences of reform failure?
Consequence 1• Progressive reform from the top down now impossible (for a while)
Consequence 2• Reactionary court incapable of leadership
Consequence 3• Reactionary court leads to anti foreignism and the Boxer rebellion
Consequence 4• Relations between Han and Manchu damaged as court pursue anti Chinese policy to punish reformers• Kang-I “ Reform benefits the Chinese but hurts the Manchus. If I have properties, I would rather give them to my friends than let the slaves share the benefit”
Consequence 5• Relations between Han and Manchu damaged as court pursue anti Chinese policy to punish reformers
Consequence 6• An increasing amount of Chinese begin to see that the only path forward is revolution from below• Enter Dr Sun Yat Sen