• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the 1898 reform movement fail?

Extracts from this document...


1898 REFORM MOVEMENT Why did the 1898 reform movement fail? The 1898 reform movement lasted from June 11th to September 20th, 103 days of reform was headed by Kang Youwei. The reform included changes in the education, political administration, industry and international cultural exchange. Different historians have different views on why the rebellion failed. Hsu, Fairbank and Reishaner argue that the rebellion failed mainly because of the strategy used by the reformers and the movement was too radical to be accepted by everyone. Hsu focuses on the inexperience of the reformers compared to the power and the experience of the Empress Dowager who still had much influence and power in China. He also suggests that the powerful conservative opposition was a main factor in the failure of the reform movement. , Fairbank and Reishaner focus on how the Chinese were too traditional and strong against modernization for reform to succeed. Gray claims that saying that reform failed, because it tried to push radical reforms is far too simple an argument. He focuses more on how the reform wanted to do what had already been done in the Hunan by Zhang Zhidong. ...read more.


Hsu, Fairbank and Reishaner argue that the steps taken in the reform caused much opposition. For example, as Hsu argues the abolition of the eight-legged essay caused much resentment amongst the students who had spent a lot of time preparing for the civil service examinations and then realized that the government didn't want what they had learnt. He also argues that the elimination of the sinecure offices and three government ships caused much resentment and fear of being dismissed. Fairbank and Reishaner also argue the same concepts, suggesting that rebellion also failed of the resentment from the different groups, the transformation of the monasteries into schools caused much resentment from the monks. Conversely, Gray argues that the reformers knew that there would be great resentment if the examinations were abolished because they were graduates themselves, therefore they didn't abolish the system abruptly and only abolished the eight-legged essay which many Confucian thinkers had already criticized in the past. He argues that the elimination if the sinecure offices and post were those of great waste anyways and the emperor also said that all that that were made redundant "should be maintained in Beijing on the grounds that the development of china ...read more.


Since 1961, the empress dowager had the ultimate power; she was very experienced compared to the inexperienced reformers. She was in control of the political and military affairs and the army was ready to defend her interests. The emperor and the reformers turned to Yuan Shih Kai for support but he chose to support the dowager and that was the collapse of the reform. Gray also argues that the empress dowager had the real power and the emperor's rejections of Rong Lu's recommendations were the real reason for the failure of the hundred day crisis. The 1898 reform movement failed for many different reasons. Different historians have different views on why the reform failed. Hsu, Reischauer and Fairbank view the reform as a radical movement that was not accepted by everyone. Hsu says that the empress dowager held power and was too experienced compared to the inexperienced reformers. Contrastingly Gray argues that reform was not radical and there was no real evidence of opposition against it. He argues that the reform failed because communication between the emperor and the reformers was opposed and the empress dowager held the real power. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Free essay

    Why, between 1903 and 1914, did the women's suffrage movement fail to achieve its ...

    The very fact that Asquith had to make sure that the country had to be ready before 1914 so during and before the start of the war and the years that followed, one of Asquith main aim would to supply and maintain a successful fighting force to win the war.

  2. Charlemagne Essay.

    Charles brought to a successful conclusion a line of policy that had been pursued over many decades by his father, uncle and grandfather. Charles's methods were as brutal and cynical as those of all his predecessors. Charles was also capable of modifying his tactics, if his original tactics did not work.

  1. The Sky is Gray and Mr. Parker

    For now, it will mostly likely be a long time before one would tell Janie that she is truly an adult. Aside from the similarity that both characters could not have realized that they have become adults if it weren't for their social class, there is a main disparity between James and Janie.

  2. Nell Gwyn (Playhouse Cretaures) essay

    Possibly, Nell Gwyn's father had served in the same company, and Gwyn's part - the company whore - was based on her own mother.[28] As her commitment to the king increased, though, her acting career slowed, and she had no recorded parts between January and June of 1669, when she

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work