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In the 19 th Century In the 19 th Century. Examine the documents that follow and discuss Western views regarding China and the Chinese in the 19 th century.

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Presentation on theme: "In the 19 th Century In the 19 th Century. Examine the documents that follow and discuss Western views regarding China and the Chinese in the 19 th century."— Presentation transcript:

1 In the 19 th Century In the 19 th Century. Examine the documents that follow and discuss Western views regarding China and the Chinese in the 19 th century. What additional documents could you use to answer this question?

2   Doc 1: British historian and professor Thomas Arnold in a letter to W. W. Hull, March 18, 1840 – protesting conflict with China over the smuggling of opium. Note use of phrases – “dreadful guilt,” demoralizing drug,” and “supposed superiority.” Arnold was a liberal although students probably don’t know that. POV – educated and logical although emotional in tone; could be influential and writing to convince Hull that allowing opium smuggling will harm Britain Opium Conflict

3   Doc 2: Treaty of Nanjing (Nanking), 1842 – Official document, British demands to China after First Opium War – reparations, open ports, Hong Kong, etc. POV: sounds friendly but is quite unfriendly – victor to loser - arrogant; imperialistic – gaining territory Unequal treaties

4   Doc 3: Rich China crepe shawl with embroidered border, The World of Fashion, July 1854, Plate 1. Fashion magazine showing latest styles - this one highlighting Chinese silk. POV – Fashion needs of rich have no “borders,” see China as source of the best silk  Influence of textile industry

5   Doc 4: “Domestic Life of Woman.” Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal 17 (1886): From an article describing the daily life of Chinese women. Indicates that women know their place – in the home – and adjust to their position over time. Author indicates manners and morals are superior to European peasants. Their faults are also noted. POV – Christian missionary, looking to convert – especially young women, also Victorian – note the description as favorable with regards to household role

6   Doc 5: 'Mrs. Ford', interviewed by the Works Progress Administration (1930s) recalls her memories from the 1870s. Recalls Chinese immigrants as honest and industrious. Notes secondary position as immigrants – servants, work tailings left by white men, butt of practical jokes by whites. POV – sympathetic, student could point out that at 70 + years of age her memory might be suspect but the details would refute that; impressed with their work ethic

7   Doc 6: “The Natural History of a Chinese Girl” Newspaper article doesn’t really get into the title. Points out the immense poverty of the mass of people and criticizes Confucianism (and by inference the Qing government) for not “advancing” and moving people out of crowded cities to take advantage of vast spaces and resources of China. POV – Social Darwinist – note references to “advance” and “progress” ; very critical – perhaps concerned, also interested in commerce – note the audience and the reference to “advanced political economy” and “world in need of China today”

8   Doc 7: Woodcut and commentary; Committee of the China Famine Relief Fund, The Famine in China (London: C. Kegan Paul and Co., 1878). One of a series of woodcuts and commentary about famine relief for Chinese. Millions died in this famine. POV – concern, possibly Christian (English), critical of wealthy, somewhat sarcastic  Famine as a result of imperialism?

9   Doc 8: Political cartoon, Melbourne Punch – Australia imposed a duty (import tax) on opium in The idea was to stop use of opium by Chinese although it really became a source of income for the government. POV – cartoon shows that duty is aimed at Chinese although many Australians used opium and opium derivatives in “medicines” and recreationally. Could be called racist – certainly aimed, like document 9, at a specific ethnicity Social Darwin political cartoons

10   Doc 9: Handbill, Chinese Exclusion Act, United States, 1882 public notice announcing meeting to celebrate passing of Chinese Exclusion Act which prohibited Chinese immigration for 10 years and which was subsequently severely restricted until the 1960s. Act was passed as a public reaction to more whites needing jobs as gold mining became less profitable. POV – economic concerns, could also be called racist or Social Darwinist, targeted at Chinese specifically. Foreign policy

11   Doc 10: French political cartoon, 1890s – China as a pie being carved up by European powers and Japan. Note inclusion of Japan. Note aggressiveness of Germany’s Kaiser and that he is specifically looking at England’s Queen Victoria. POV – could be seen in different ways – critical of imperialistic designs of European powers, concern over international squabbling (growing aggression in Europe), educational – educating public on international affairs.  Who are the figures

12   Doc 11: Open Door Notes, United States Secretary of State John Hay, 1899 Open Door Policy of U.S. to open trade equally throughout China for all Western powers and Japan. United States did not claim a “sphere of influence.” Note that it is not critical of commercial imperialism, only exclusionary tactics. POV – concern of being shut out of China trade, political so perhaps influenced by private commercial interests More foreign policy

13   Possible Groupings:   Doc 1, 8Opium  Doc 2, 3, 9, 10, 11Trade although 10 is inferred  Doc 5, 8, 9Immigrants  Doc 4, 5Positive qualities  Doc 6, 7Poverty of people  Doc 4, 6, 8Critical of characteristics  Doc 6, 9Less advanced (racism, Social Darwinism) 

14   Possible Additional Documents:   Note – documents from Asians probably will not be able to address that question as the question wants Western views of China and Chinese. Note also that two documents were either written by or addressed to missionaries   English merchant – willingness to trade drugs to make profit  Pope – attempts to gain ground in converting to Catholicism  British naval officer – overextended, superiority over Chinese  Church (Protestant or Catholic) asking for missionaries – reasons why  Western art collector – Chinese art and porcelain becomes very popular in 19 th century

15    Possible Thesis :   Europeans and Americans held mixed views of the Chinese during the nineteenth century vacillating between wanting their valuable trade, but also wanting to take advantage of them, and to exclude them from Western homelands because of racism


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