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China's Response to the West A Documentary Survey, 1839-1923

ISBN-10: 0674120256
ISBN-13: 9780674120259
Edition: 1982
List price: $38.00 Buy it from $0.52
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Description: The present confrontation of Communist China and the United States, on which the future of peace in Asia hinges, is merely the latest phase in a continuing historical process-the remaking of China's ancient society under the stimulus of Western  More...

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Book details

List price: $38.00
Copyright year: 1982
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 11/15/1979
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 236
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

The present confrontation of Communist China and the United States, on which the future of peace in Asia hinges, is merely the latest phase in a continuing historical process-the remaking of China's ancient society under the stimulus of Western contact. How does it happen that a century of foreign trade and missionary evangelism, of modern education and the training of Chinese students in Western ways, has now resulted in a seeming rejection of the West? What has been the real nature of "China's response to the West" during the past century of our contact? This volume gives the first inside account, on so broad a scale, of how China's leaders reacted to the invasion of Western arms and goods, persons and ideas, during the three generations from the Opium War to the rise of the Kuomintang. In 28 chapters, with translations of 65 key documents, the authors trace the stages by which the scholar-officials of the Middle Kingdom were brought to recognize successively the need for Western arms to defend their country, Western technology for making arms, modern science to support technology, its application in modern industry to strengthen the nation, and all the attendant new ideas which led them eventually into great movements for institutional reform, political revolution, and ideological reconstruction. From the famous Commissioner un's first study of Western geography during his anti. opium crusade, through the efforts of Li Hungchang and others at "self-strengthening" by industrialization, down to the critical thought of Dr. Hu Shih and the eclecticism of Sun Yat-sen in the early 20th century, the writings of China's leaders ring the changes on a central theme how to remake their heritage and create a modern nation capable of meeting the West on equal terms. The provincial viceroys, the Reformers of 1898, the Boxers in 1900, the old Empress Dowager, and the eager students studying abroad, each in their own way, all grapple with this absorbing problem. The varied Chinese responses to the West in the formative century here analyzed give us a new insight into the springs of social action among one-fifth of mankind. The companion volume, for the research specialist, provides Notes and Sources, Bibliography, and a Glossary of Chinese names and terms, essential bases for further exploration of this new field.

Born in South Dakota, John King Fairbank attended local public schools for his early education. From there he went on first to Exeter, then the University of Wisconsin, and ultimately to Harvard, from which he received his B.A. degree summa cum laude in 1929. That year he traveled to Britain as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1932 he went to China as a teacher and after extensive travel there received his Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1936. Between 1941 and 1946, he was in government service---as a member of the Office of Strategic Services, as special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to China, and finally as director of the U.S. Information Service in China. Excepting those years, beginning in 1936, Fairbank spent his entire career at Harvard University, where he served in many positions, including Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and director of Harvard's East Asian Research Center. Fairbank, who came to be considered one of the world's foremost authorities on modern Chinese history and Asian-West relations, was committed to reestablishing diplomatic and cultural relations with China. He was also committed to the idea that Americans had to become more conversant with Asian cultures and languages. In his leadership positions at Harvard and as president of the Association for Asian Studies and the American Historical Association, he sought to broaden the bases of expertise about Asia. At the same time, he wrote fluidly and accessibly, concentrating his work on the nineteenth century and emphasizing the relationship between China and the West. At the same time, his writings placed twentieth-century China within the context of a changed and changing global order. It was precisely this understanding that led him to emphasize the reestablishment of American links with China. More than anyone else, Fairbank helped create the modern fields of Chinese and Asian studies in America. His influence on American understanding of China and Asia has been profound.

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The Problem and Its Background
Introduction
Some Elements in the Chinese
Intellectual Tradition Some Early Ch'ing ""Nationalist"" Thinkers
The Early Jesuit Influence in China
The Attitude of the Ch'ing Court toward the Westerners
Recognition of China's Need to Know the West, 1839-1860
Commissioner Lin's Program for Meeting British Aggression Doc.
Lin Tse-hsu's Moral Advice to Queen Victoria, 1839 Doc.
A Letter of Lin Tse-hsu Recognizing

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