Ancient China Essay

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May 21, 12 History 9 CP Reversal of Fortune: China’s Century of Crisis

Imperialized China: A Crises Series

China was an independent and significant leading country amongst the other Great Powers of the world and Chinese authorities made it a priority to limit the European missionaries and merchants in their abilities in China. However, an astonishing reversal of fortune in Chinese history came in time when their imperial state had collapsed and their country transformed to be weak and dependent on the European dominated world. China becoming imperialized is a progressive story that is both logical as well as chronological. The story is a series of crises that First and foremost, China had ironically suffered from its improvements and successes. A sturdy economy and crops led to a massive population growth, though this wasn’t all that positive because no industrial revolution or agriculture production followed to spread, use, or provide for the new population. Due to these previous factors, there was a growing pressure on the land, which meant smaller farms for the peasants, unemployment, impoverish, misery, and starvation. To accompany these already crises within China, the bureaucratic government practically set China up for destruction by governing with a small, non-increasing staff. As the population continued to increase, the government didn’t increase in staff to preform necessary operations, such as tax collection, flood control, social welfare, and public security. This caused them to loose control and power, which, in turn, led to the harsh treatment of peasants, harassment to tax payers, and corporal punishment for those who didn’t pay their taxes. As with anything in life, the wrong combination can be fatal, for instance the recipe of a less powerful dynasty and an increasing number of gangs led to a rebellion. This rebellion is known as the Taiping Uprising. In this peasant uprising, they had ideas against Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and requested to remove the idea of private property, equal distribution of land, equal rights among all people, to end foot binding, prostitution, and opium smoking, and to separate military camps by gender. At the end of the rebellion, the rebel groups challenged the Qing dynasty to power, though the Qing won in the end due to landowners mobilizing their troop in fear of the Taiping program taking control. Even though the Qing dynasty was saved it lost power when the provincial gentry took power. Their approach was very restricted in the fact that the peasant problem was not solved and there was no change to help the women. This conservative approach weakened China’s economy and decreased their population by an average of 25 million people. This series of crisis that existed just within China provoked its future reversal of fortune. These crises were chronological and logical in regards that they follow each other with a sort of progression. Moreover, China’s relationship with Europe changed when the famous Opium wars came about. Opium was a small-scale drug that was used as a liquid medicine, though in the 18th century people, such as the British, American, and other western merchants found it addictive. Opium was smuggled into China, which was against their law and caused many Chinese officials to be corrupted. Much of China’s silver had to be exported to pay for the Opium, therefore causing China to have serious economic issues. This issue went to court because millions of people had been found to be addicts and Lin Zexu led a campaign in which he took and destroyed 3 million pounds of opium from western traders and forced them out of China. The British found this offensive and sent a naval expedition to China to end their restrictions on opium, which started the first Opium war. There were a series of wars that ended with China’s agreement to have restrictions on their sovereignty, to open ports for western traders, vandalism of the…