Why was western imperialism in China so successful?

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Transcript Why was western imperialism in China so successful?

Guiding Question:
Why was western imperialism
in China so successful?
Before Imperialism
• One of the oldest countries in the world
• Strong pride of their ancient culture
• Population of 300 million
• Self-sufficient:
• Agricultural economy: rice, maize, sweet potatoes
• Mining: salt, silver, iron
• Manufacturing: silks, cottons, porcelain
Resisting Foreign Influence
• Looked down on all foreigners
• Cut off from Western world 
preserve culture
• Opened 1 port for trading w/ West
• “Qing’s had everything they
Trade Issue
• Chinese had many trade
• China benefited: exported
more than it imported
• British suffered: bought more
than they sold
• British needed a product to sell
China that would make a profit
Opium War
• Late 1700’s British used
opium, rather than silver, to
trade with Chinese
• Opium- highly addictive drug
made from poppy plant
• By 1835 – 12 million Chinese
addicted to drug
Opium War Cont’…
• Chinese made opium illegal to protect ppl
& economy
• British refused to stop trading opium
Letter from Qing Emperor’s advisers to England Queen
Victoria about problem (1839):
By what right do they [British merchants]…use the poisonous
drug [opium] to injure the Chinese people?...I have heard that
the smoking of opium is strictly forbidden by your country;
that is because the harm cause by opium is clearly
understood. Since it is not permitted to do harm to your own
country, then even less should you let it be passed on to
harm of other countries.
Opium War Cont’…
• 1839: GB fought to keep trade open with China
• Battles took place mostly at sea
• British superior military & industrial strength
quickly led to victory
Unequal Treaty
• Treaty of Nanjing (1842) forced China to:
– Pay for GB war expenses
– Open more ports for GB trade
– Give GB island of Hong Kong
• British expanded sphere of influence: built
road, railroads, factories
• Chinese resented foreign citizen’s presence
Results of Imperialism
• Internal problems emerged:
– Population explosion (430 million by 1850)
– Millions starved
– Opium addiction increased
– Corruption in govt. – could bribe your way in
– Tax increase on peasants
Taiping Rebellion (1850-64)
• Chinese ppl rebelled vs. Qing Dynasty
• Army of 1 million ppl fought to over throw
Qing’s & push out British & French
• Taiping  Great Peace
• Imperial troops, militia, British & French
crushed rebellion
Minor Reform by Govt.
• Pressure from ppl & foreign
countries forced China to consider
modern ways
• Chinese govt. clung to traditional
• Empress Ci Xi made some changes:
• Updated education & military
• Built arsenals to produce steam
powered boats, rifles, & ammunition
Other Nations Step In
• Foreign countries took
advantage of China’s
weak military,
economic, & political
• Began developing
spheres of influence to
build up trade
Hundred Days of Reform
• Chinese were humiliated by loss of power 
pressure for stronger reforms
• “Hundred Days of Reform”
– Some govt. officials planned to:
• Adopt Public School System
• Create elected assemblies
• Improve banks & military
• Empress found out, reversed reforms,
executed leaders behind movement
Boxer Rebellion (1900)
• Chinese frustrated with presence of
• Workers & peasants formed a secret
org.  Boxers
• Boxers attacked foreign communities
across China
• Foreign forces defeated the rebellion
Boxer Rebellion Cont’…
Despite failure, sense of
nationalism emerged
Desire to resist more
foreign influence grew
• Qing dynasty realized China
needed to make changes to
• 1905: Empress sent a group
of officials to tour the world
to study different govt’s
• 1908: Development of a
Constitutional Monarchy
Reforms Cont’…
• 5,000 years of China’s
dynastic rule came to
an end
• Further westernization
ideas emerged
Present Day Canton
• Today China is one of
the strongest countries
in the world
Guiding Question:
Why was western imperialism
of China so successful?