Chinese modernization

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  • Recall: what were the factors that led Britain to industrialize in the 18th century?
  • To what extent did Confucianism delay modernization in China?
  • 1. What is Confucianism?
    2. What institutions were based on Confucianism?
    3. Look at modernization from the standpoint of economic and  political change.
    4. Which Confucian precepts were hostile to modernization? Why? Which were not? Why not?
    5. Which Confucian institutions would delay or oppose modernization? Why? Which were not? Why not?
    6. What evidence is there that despite or because of Confucianism early protoindustrialization
    7. What else might have been responsible for delaying modernization?

One response to “Chinese modernization

  1. Here is something I wrote up a week or two ago when preparing for the presentation, it conveys quite a bit of information:

    The majority of the Qing emperors looked down upon trading with the foreigners, in fact emperor Qianlong proclaimed that

    “Our land is so wealthy and prosperous, that we possess all things. Therefore there is no need to exchange the produce of foreign barbarians for our own”

    By limiting and discouraging trade the Chinese did not only decrease the money flow to their economy from foreign trade but they also limited the ideas and innovations which could be shared, traded, observed etc. from the westerners. By limiting this they also limited their knowledge and chances of developing or adapting new innovations themselves (which would ultimately be one of the factors leading to Chinas industrialization).

    Due to the fact that the population was rising so steadily in China it was much easier to use cheap labour force instead of investing in machinery. Since the Chinese population was so high the supply of workers naturally raised as well, thus making manual labour a much cheaper option.

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