The suppression of reform and the persecution of the reformers aroused great indignation in the large towns of China, as well as self-interested protests from British, American, and Japanese diplomats. As a result Ci-xi did not dare assassinate the Guangxu Emperor, as she had intended, and was forced to tone down the prosecutions. This probably explains why most of the Hunanese reformers appeared to be ideologists. In addition, they met fierce and well-organized opposition to their ideas from the majority of their own class in Hunan. China’s defeat by the Japanese in 1895, interpreted by most Hunanese shenshi as the result of the concessions made since 1840 to foreign methods and ideas, only intensified their conservatism. Realizing that no compromise was possible, that determined opposition to the conservatives was their only course, the Hunanese reformers were led to adopt a radicalism which left its mark on the political life of their province for many years.
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25 It was essential for the head of the family to beget a male heir in order to perpetuate the cult of the ancestors and thereby ensure continuity with the past. The family structure was based on authority; indeed, inequality among people was built into the general conceptions of Confucianism. Families which were regarded as being descended from a common ancestor formed a clan https://hookupreviewer.com/friendfinder-review/ . Clans were exogamous—meaning that a married woman automatically left the clan to which she belonged by birth and entered that of her husband. The clans were lively social units, particularly in South China. That region had been settled relatively late by the Chinese, and their feeling of strangeness in new surroundings led them to put great emphasis on their customary ties.
Certainly the fact that some officials and scholars took part in modern activities began the transformation of the ruling class. From ownership of landed property in an old-style agricultural system it moved on to industrial capitalism. But the phenomenon affected a minority, which was too much a part of the established order to be able to overthrow it. A real renovation of the state could only come about outside the yangwu movement or by accomplishing a complete reshaping of its aims. Views such as these began to emerge before 1884 among the merchants and even among some supporters of the yangwu movement.
They gained from a tariff agreement concluded with the China Merchants’ in 1877, for the stability of prices enabled them to increase their business and their capital. The victims of the China Merchants’ were more often the private companies of Chinese merchants. Rather than overhauling its management, the China Merchants’ boosted declining profits by extending its privileges in fields like the transport of state cargoes, where the competition was Chinese, not foreign. As document 4 describes, the company eventually had a 225 kind of monopoly.
On newly acquired land the customs relating to long leases were no longer respected; new owners raised the rent or employed agricultural laborers at will. The tendency toward the concentration of landowning grew stronger, as did that toward harsher exploitation of the peasants. Since they contributed to the enrichment of the minority and the impoverishment of the majority, the disturbances affecting the Chinese economy crystallized social antagonism. They were one of the major causes of popular risings, including the Boxer movement. Although these new armies were superior to the traditional imperial troops, some of their characteristics were a potential threat to the state. Since they were not under the control of the Ministry of War the central government’s only means of exerting authority over them was through the provincial commanders.
The beneficial effects, however, were lessened by the fact that the general fall in the price of silver was irregular, subject to disastrous fluctuations and constant speculation. Similarly, the depreciation of silver, added to the increase in money transactions, brought a rise in the price of copper cash under conditions which were detrimental to the mass of the population. Copper cash became rarer, while the copper coins in circulation depreciated and the volume of paper money grew. There was a tendency to reckon salaries and agricultural prices in silver, although they were paid in copper cash. Meanwhile the difference increased between the real rate of exchange determining payment for work, and the legal rate, fixed at a time when silver was expensive, governing the payment of land rent and taxes.
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By July 1874, 5,356,948 taels had been spent; fifteen ships, including one with 250 horsepower, had left the yard. The establishment had become larger than planned, but it had proved impossible to abide by the five-year plan. The cost of each ship was several times more than the price of foreign vessels which could be bought in China. However, the quality was slightly better, although it did not come up to that of the good Western warships. The Nanking arsenal When he assumed the post of governor-general in 1865, Li Hong-zhang had the Suzhou arsenal run by Macartney transferred to Nanking. Although the Nanking arsenal, which made only arms, was a smaller operation than the Jiangnan works, its production was more varied and its weapons were technically superior.
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Each ministry, as well as the Grand Council and Grand Secretariat, was under the control of a committee of senior officials. The Ministry of Rites was also responsible for relations with the tributary countries which had become part of the Chinese world over the centuries. Some, like Vietnam and Korea, had adopted the Chinese ideographic script. Others, like the Ryukyu Islands, the Sulu Archipelago, Burma, Laos, Siam, and Nepal, were linked economically and politically with China. At varying intervals they all sent missions to Peking bearing tribute .
Consequently he refused to allow the besiegers to use modern weapons, particularly artillery, which would have shattered all resistance. During the siege 76 foreign combatants, 6 foreign children, and several hundred Chinese Christians were killed; losses were far heavier among the besiegers. In the provinces of the Northeast, however, over 200 Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries and 32,000 Chinese Christians died, often victims of terrible atrocities. Throughout the siege the diplomats of the court in Peking reassured the foreign governments about the fate of the legations.
He hoped to gain support from the Moslem rebellion there, but the maneuver came too late to save the Taiping, and Nanking fell almost immediately. The association between the two movements had been more fruitful for the Nian than for the Taiping. Their network of fortified villages developed steadily during the first period, giving them a strong infrastructure complementing the mobile action of the rebels’ cavalry units.
In some cases the central, government took action without waiting 154 for the pleas of the victims. A more important step, however, was the permanent reduction of the land tax in certain areas. Tax cuts were granted to several districts in Zhejiang and to Canton.