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China An Imperialist’s Dream Traditional Chinese Society • Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist traditions dominate; Chinese folk religion also prevalent among peasantry • Culturally refined • Technologically advanced • “Late” imperial period 1368 – 1916 -imperial since 221 BC Isolationism • After the 15th century, the Chinese government felt that its culturally superior country would have no need to interact with “lesser” barbarians • Ironically, their isolation sets them behind technologically and promotes cultural stagnation Empress Dowager – Tzu Hui (Cixi –See Chee) • Scapegoated by history as a cause of China’s demise – Did execute opponents, amassed wealth while country was suffering – YET, she tried to reform Chinese society to avoid takeover by foreign powers Boxer Rebellion – 1898-1901 • Boxers – secret society; “magic” aspect to their fighting/call on spiritual power • Foreigners were “demons” as were Chinese who worked for them • nationalistic • Supported by empress dowager – Authorized to massacre Chinese Christian converts and missionaries • Put down by foreign power alliance: Italy, Great Britain, US, AustriaHungary, Russia, France, Australia, Germany, Japan, British India (gee, what could ALL OF THOSE PLACES WANT?) • Foreign powers retaliated by raping and pillaging the Chinese countryside – in the name of Christianity Opium Wars/Anglo-Chinese Wars • Opium had been used for “medicinal” purposes since 7th century • Europeans introduced the idea of mixing it with tobacco in 1600s • British flooded market with Indian opium • Rise in opium addicts led to govt trying to ban import • Series of wars in mid 19th century with China losing rights to own territory to Brits Arrogance of outsiders • Western Europe and the US saw no issue with economic imperialism in China • Thought the Chinese were inferior culturally • Read excerpts from the Open Door Policy and the German Kaiser on how China should be handled. – Is there an air of social Darwinism in these documents? – Were European nations justified in forcing their New Imperialism on Third World countries?