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How Accurate Is It To Say That The Spread Of Revolutionary Beliefs Was The Main Reason For The Fall Of The Qing Dynasty 1911 12?

1344 words - 6 pages

How accurate is it to say that the spread of revolutionary beliefs was the main reason for the fall of the Qing dynasty 1911-12?
This essay will be looking at how much of a contribution the spread of revolutionary beliefs in China had in the fall of the Qing Dynasty. In order to determine the importance of this I will therefore also be looking at other factors such as, foreign interference, double tenth and the inability to change.
I believe it is partially accurate to say that the spread of revolutionary beliefs was important in the downfall of the Qing Dynasty; however it wasn’t necessarily the most important factor. This can be determined from the effects of Sun Yatsen’s anti-government ...view middle of the document...

Hence, making the statement only moderately accurate.
Another important factor to consider which contributed towards to the collapse of the Qing dynasty; is foreign interference. The hatred towards foreigners derived from both the Opium wars and the unequal treaties. The Opium wars were initiated by Britain in 1839; they unfairly demanded that China increased its purchases of opium as it was one of their greatest incomes. China made the mistake of retaliating by closing the ports, so in response Britain dispatched their gun boats and essentially annihilated the Chinese’s defences. The Chinese civilians were shocked and angry that their status had been questioned by people regarded as “inferiors”, this anger was then further provoked by the unequal treaties. All the western powers collaborated and forced China into signing the agreements which gave the other nations the right to form concessions and open new treaty ports. Naturally, this caused great resentment towards the foreigners and their hatred continued to grow even more from the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion. The empress, Cixi, made the naïve mistake of trying to overthrow the foreign powers and had clearly not learnt her lesson from the results of the Opium wars and much to her dismay, once again, China was defeated. All actions have consequences, and this was no exception, the Western nations imposed several severe penalties on China such as $450 million in reparation fees. Any power which China thought they had left was truly diminished, they were a laughing stock, not even Chinese citizens had sympathy towards the Qing dynasty and the majority of people still wanted freedom from the foreign nations. This proves that the national resentment of foreign interference was a large factor in the downfall of the Qing dynasty and can perhaps be viewed as more important than the spread of revolutionary beliefs. This is due to the fact that foreign interference was the starting point in a series of chain reactions, without it nobody would have questioned China’s ability and would have even begun to consider the need for reformation.
The next factor which I’m going to look at is China’s complete inability to reform. A key example of this is the ‘100 Days’ reform which was initiated in 1898 by the Emperor, Guangxu. He decided, along with the progressive elements, that the reformation of China was vital and began to introduce measures which were all based on Western models such as: new innovations in education. Guangxu was the first Emperor that thought modernising China was the way forward, he wanted to try and win back all of the critics of the government who were appalled by China’s lack of ability to prevent foreign interference. But on the other hand, the Empress Cixi absolutely detested the concept of “reformation” due to her conservative nature. Cixi found that the reforms were all far too sudden...

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