首页 > 美国 > 为何19世纪末20世纪初中国如此虚弱,轻易的被英国和西方击败?(兼论印度) [美国网评]

为何19世纪末20世纪初中国如此虚弱,轻易的被英国和西方击败?(兼论印度) [美国网评]

五毛网 美国 2017年09月10日 来源:龙腾网


Why was China so weak during the 19th century and early 20th centurythat they were humiliated so badly by the British during the Opium War anddefeated so thoroughly by the Western nations during the Boxer Rebellion?


1.   Dave CosbyDave Cosby, teacher and student, reader and father
Answered Jan 3, 2015
It was the disparity of technology, specifically military technology aswell as modern military tactics that gave the British a clear advantage.Britain had a professional army of veterans (the army was fighting non-stoparound the world at the time) armed with the best weapons.


But I disagree with some of the premise of the question. Britain mostcertainly did not want to colonise China and actively avoided it at times,seeking only bases through which to trade, as money was the blood of theEmpire. Also, skilled diplomacy backed by the use of force was a major tool ofthe British. Of course, the main object of trade was opium. Dreadful stuff.


Also consider that the Chinese leadership and system of governance inthe 19th C was dreadful. The absolute worst. It was, in the language of theday, a plum ripe for picking, as well as (described by Napoleon) a sleepinggiant.So while tactically I may not agree with some of the current Chineseadministration's actions on some minor points, strategically they are pursing avery long term plan to almost perfection. How does China prevent a repeat ofthe 19th C? By doing almost exactly what it is currently doing. 


2.   Gwydion Madawc WilliamsGwydion Madawc Williams, Read a lot about history, and note some generalpatterns.
Answered May 11
China in the 19th century was much the same as it had been for the past2000 years. Though the Manchu Dynasty had a racist policy of putting Manchuabove Han and discouraging mixing. It was hard to break asuccessful culture.See also Traditional China Resisted Modernisation, for someof the other reasons.


3.   Joseph BoyleAnswered Jun 6, 2016
These were completely separate periods. In between, QingChina was allied with Britain, recovered territory from Russia, and had thelargest modern navy in Asia.Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1881) , Beiyang Fleet Estimatesof Qing China abruptly changed from major power to helpless giant with itssurprise defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95, just as theGerman-fueled New Imperialism finished dividing Africa in the Scramble forAfrica of the 1880s and turned to Asia-Pacific.


German colonization of the Kiautschou Bay concession in 1898 andpenetration of Shandong stimulated creation of the Boxer movement in Shandongwhich then spread to other areas of North China. 


However the Boxers and their counterproductive tactics of killingforeigners did not have the support of much of the Chinese military. 


The lesson is not to let irrational nationalist or anti-foreign fanaticslead national policy and overextend themselves with unnecessary conflicts thatmost Chinese will not actually support.


4.   Ze KhongZe Khong, studied Medicine and Healthcare at University of Medicine 2,Yangon (2004)
Updated Dec 10, 2016
Due to decline of Qing /manchus power.Qing china was essentially manchuschina.Not all Han china may have a will to fight for.Moreover Qing dynastybelieve on military rather than economy .In fact the real power of china waseconomy.


If you claim the losses were due to technologies,why Qing china lost toBurma with 4 millions of populations and more or may be less technologicallyinferior at that time?


5.   Thomas MusselmanThomas Musselman
Answered May 11
Non-industrialized countries are at a serious disadvantage in most waysother than total manpower and China was no exception. China’s age as aninventor had long past and it had turned in almost non-stop from the banning offurther explorations. It’s population had crept up over time but peasantryisn’t much use against gunboats.

除了人数更多,中国几乎没有任何优势。非工业化的国家与工业化国家相比,力量是严重失衡的。中国作为创新者的时代已经远去,中国不断的颁布禁止海洋探索的命令。  随着时间推移,中国人口一直都在增长,但是农民在对抗炮舰方面并没有太大的作用。

It hadn’t undergone the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the ScientificRevolution, the Industrial Revolution, all of which were painful in the westbut which entrenched European power from 1492 through WWII; only Japan joinedthe Western club by massive effort and focused choice. 


Emperors and mandarin classes focused on ancient literature was notwell-suited to taking on modern life and the challenges of aggressive,trade-hungry foreign powers.You can look at the number of miles of railroadtrack, steel production, or whatever measure you like to look at relativepower. The Qing court thought railroads "clever but useless". 


Add to the lack of material development such backward ideas and you geta country ripe for being pushed around.


6.   John MilneJohn Milne
Answered May 12
In 1793 there was a famous diplomatic meeting between the British andthe Chinese. George MacCartney was sent as an envoy to the Emperor, with theobjective of opening up China to world trade. (At this early stage, opium wasnot the product, just general goods)MacCartney brought with him examples ofBritish manufactures as part of a trade mission.


Famously, the Emperor rejected his approach with these words: “OurCelestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks noproduct within its borders. There is therefore no need to import themanufactures of outside barbarians in exchange for our own produce.”


This has been celebrated by Chinese nationalists ever since as anexample of splendid defiance, and of how sophisticated Chinese culture was atthat time.Nothing could be further from the truth.


The Emperor’s rejection of outside influence condemned the country tothe humiliation that followed. Manifestly, China was already a long way behindEurope. The British ships sitting in the harbour were evidence enough of that.One day they would demonstrate their massive superiority, following theoutbreak of war.


Some scholars argue that the Emperor understood China’s weaknessperfectly well. That his answer was a strategy, deliberately putting on a braveface. But he still kept China closed from the rest of the world - and this wasa terminal error.


Today’s China has reversed that mistake and opened up to the world, withenormous benefit to the country.


7.   Banson ChongBanson Chong, Passionate about Dr Suns "Three Principals for thePeople".
Answered Jun 11, 2016
A succession of events resulted in China being so “weak” during thatperiod.
China, started to decline since the early 1800s, due primarily itsfailure to catch up to westerners’ modernized weaponry, and instead followingQianlong Emperor’s inward looking policy initiated in the late 1790s.Japan -went the other way - modernized during the Meiji reformation era.


The ascension of Cixi in the mid nineteenth century accelerated thedecline, as she was a stop and go and stop ruler in terms of adopting policiesto adopt the essential acts of modernization - of which there were plentyopportunities to do so, with the readiness of western powers to trade with China,and the long presence of Jesuits in China, long before the 1850s.


Manchu nobles dominating the palace has long grown lethargic,complacent, corrupt and long lost their former warrior edge, the samecharacteristics that enable their minority race to conquer the much larger andnumerous Han race China.


Cixi, in order to placate the various competing interests, did not ruledecisively, instead ruled with hesitancy - and in numerous cases, spentlavishly on personal aggrandized projects, instead of priority uses such as themodernization of China’s military.
Numerous internal mutineering did not help, the most serious one beingthe Taiping uprising which was eventually put down  by a Han administrator Zheng Guofang.


Its a bit far fetched to blame the British to force opium down theChinese nostrils. Chinese had by then massively got addicted to the terribledrug. The British at no time forced the Chinese to use the drug by gun point.


Successive western invasion of China happened simply due to itsinability to defend its interest, even when the invaders were far fewer innumbers, but with far superior military organization and weaponry.


The lesson in my humble opinion is never to make the same inwardarrogant mistakes of the Qing rulers - the false sense of superiority ofChina’s past glories .


The westerners did a small favour to the nation, as the decline was onlyfor a piddly 150 years or so. Many great nations and civilizations have longfaded and never recovered.


China in the interim, should take note. “China Characteristics”, ifcarried to its full arrogance, just may push it back to the past, as the rapidpace of technology needs openness for all vested nations to fully takeadvantage of.Mr Xi and his advisors seems to think otherwise.


8.   AnonymousAnswered May 27
As a Chinese I would rather see the Opium War as the enlightenment stageof ancient China. In the late Qing dynasty, China is filled with huge population,widespread poverty and illiteracy, fragile military force and very bad womenrights — a scenario more or less similar to some third-world countriesnowadays. It is always convenient to derive assistance from historical photos:



As you may have observed, the ancient China in late Qing dynasty wasreally a place full of despair and misery. Can you ever imagine that such animpoverish country with an ignorant government can really win the foreignwars?Compare it with Europe at the same era to see the distinctions:




Also, compare the China in Qing dynasty with modern days:


Hong Kong:香港
Therefore, I indeed view the Opium war and the military invasion ofWestern Countries as a revolutionary point in Chinese history. It transformedChina from ancient, weak and poor kingdom to a modernized and powerful country.The lesson is that we must build a strong and rich China to defend ourselvesfrom foreign invasions and also to bring prosperity and well-being to allChinese people. Besides, we must adopt a liberal attitude and learn from theWestern world.