In What Ways, and with What Results, Did China Develop in the 19th Century and the Early 20th Century? Support Your Answer with Examples.

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China has gone through major changes throughout the second half of the 19th century up till the early 20th century. The result of the Opium Wars opened up China to the rest of the world, which contributed to the fall of the Qing dynasty. The Wars struck a crippling blow to the Qing Empire and it demonstrated how weak China was compared to the European powers. The ailing Qing dynasty during the middle of the 19th century created opportunities for the European imperialists who were interested in crippling China. They wanted to undermine China by enforcing foreign policies in the country, which would contribute to the growing discontent among the citizens since their monarch was hopeless.

After the naval expeditions of Zheng He (1371-1435) during the Ming dynasty, the Hongwu Emperor decided to ban all trade and from then onwards, China became increasingly isolationist. The Chinese feared that the result of foreign intervention would be an attempt to take over the country therefore, all the dynasties after that continued to adopt these policies in order to prevent invaders such as Japanese pirates. During the Qing dynasty, the Qianlong Emperor rejected an offer to expand trade because he feared that by trading with foreign countries, the imperialist nations would attempt to take over China by imposing their ideas on the Chinese. China’s desire to shut itself away from the foreign countries was because of its desire to protect itself. After the Industrial Revolution, the European states began to adopt Imperialism where they became increasingly fond of colonising foreign countries that were not as well developed as they were. They would then exploit the resources in that country in order to reinforce their own nation. Even though China was isolated, it was well aware of its neighbouring countries being penetrated by the British. In order to conceal their…...

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