Self-Strengthening Movement of Late Qing China: an Intermediate Reform Doomed to Failure

  •  Jason Qu    


Despite of strong economy including highest GDP gross and self-sufficient feudal economy system, the late Qing Empire fell behind the world trend with its isolationist trade policies. As the Western world caught up technologically, economically, and politically, the former biggest economy had suffered from consecutive losses in wars. In order to preserve the feudal regime, the initiative reform, termed the Self Strengthening Movement was grandly carried out. However, without the true support from the supreme power on one hand, and without the support of the populace on the other, the Movement was an intermediate reform in attempt to preserve the royal system and forestall its continued decline. In policy, the reforms envisioned Western-style modernization without adjusting the political order, yet the entrenched conservatism of the Qing Imperial Court proved to be the decisive hindering factor in the failure of the Movement.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9655
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9663
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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