Dowager Empress Ci Xi Essay

Submitted By ladynitram
Words: 1079
Pages: 5

The Dowager Empress CiXi has been described as scheming, manipulative, narrow-­‐minded, ambitious, power hungry, politically astute & hardworking. Discuss this statement. Support your response with quotes from above. Dowager Empress Ci Xi as a ruler whose manipulative, murderous person attributes were used to her and China’s advantage. All throughout her rule she secured her position through deceitful plots, also employing intellect and power to maintain her control. Though her actions may have been negative, her intentions and results beneEited the Chinese people and advantaged her power. She did most of the bad in order to do well for the whole of China. There were many positives to Ci Xi’s rule but there were undeniable acts that tarnish the good things she had done. This may include the manipulation of the Boxer Rebellion, her son and nephew. As Ci Xi was not able to rule due to her gender she used the others around her in order to progress, no matter the consequences. When the death of her husband (Emperor Xian Feng) occurred in 1861, she directed the deaths of the eight regents appointed to rule after his death. By doing this she was able to secure her place in power and remain at the top. Though she did not personally end their lives, she was responsible for their deaths. This exhibits the lengths she was comfortable with going to in order to continue upwards. Her staging of a coup was a plot to regain her power once more, another manipulative ploy against those in her way. Another scheme that proved to be advantageous for her, but negative for a large number of people was the Boxer Rebellion. This Rebellion was mostly located in areas where missionaries and foreigners populated the regions. The Dowager Empress supported the Boxers murders and killings. With her support behind this rebellion, she was able to beneEit from it no matter the outcome, making the decision to support them a smart but dangerous one. Though it did prove to be a detrimental affect to her safety and proving her calculations wrong, as it would be. Her decision to support the Boxers can be seen by some as overly ambitious, power hungry, scheming or all three and more. A quote from Orville Schell demonstrates the general view that Ci Xi was presented with in the Western worlds. It’s statements made prove to be quite true when considering the misrepresentation and misinformed opinions generally applied to Ci Xi. “Condescendingly referred to in the West as “the Old Buddha,” the “She Dragon,” shows how the generalisation of Ci Xi was usually as an old, mean woman who was prone to being mocked by Westerners.