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Chinese Modern History: The Qing Dynasty Last Regal Dynasty Of China (Essay Sample)


Provinces were the largest political and administrative units in the Chinese system, composed (moving down the administrative ladder) of prefectures, counties, and townships. (Provinces were roughly the size of states in the United States, and Chinese counties and townships were roughly equivalent to their U.S. counterparts.) In the ping (1644-1912), there were eighteen provinces within (i.e., south of) the Great Wall, a sporadic 2,000-mile structure huilt at various times in the Chinese past to try to keep the Other out. Provincial boundaries had largely been set in Ming times (1368— 1644); many of their names reflected their geographical situation (e.g., Hubei [north of the lake] and Hunan [south of the lake], Shandong [east of the mountains] and Shanxi [west of the mountains]). Provinces were the largest native place to which Chinese could claim residence, and thus they were still a source of connections—even though much weaker than connections formed in the village, town, county, or prefecture. As such, they were an important part of the constellation of attributes making up the Chinese identity.


Chinese Modern History
Chinese Modern History
The Qing Dynasty was the last regal dynasty of China. Formed in 1636 governing China from 1644 to 1912, the Dynasty underwent various transformation that saw the late generations depart from most of the ideals instituted by the parents. The initial Qing Dynasty was guided by Confucian teachings but the later generations departed from the initial Confucian teachings. According to Confucianism, the relationship between a child and parent was considered important in society. The obedience that a child owed to his or her parent was seen as the primary bond that brought order to the family. Confucianism believed that a well-ordered family would automatically lead to a well-ordered state and society. Even though many generations abided by their parents teachings, the later generations departed from most of their parental teachings thus posing a challenge to the parent-child relationship, which was the bond that held the Qing Dynasty together. This paper examines the parent-child relationship in the area of the roles of women in the society and the education system.
In her book titled Revolution and Its Past: Identities and Change in Modern Chinese History, author Keith Schoppa highlights some of the challenges faced by the parent-child relationship in Qing China. According to Schoppa, one of the biggest changes in this relationship was in the manner in which women were treated in the society. In the original Confucian thinking, women were not allowed to have any say in the societal matters. Instead, women were only allowed to stay at home and contribute to the teaching of their children especially in math and literature. In the Confucian way of life, this was an important arrangement as it ensured that women and men had different roles to play in the building the society. While boys from rich families were allowed private tutors, women only received education from their mothers and as such, they had very little opportunity of advancement. The later leadership in the Qing Dynasty challenged this relationship.
One of the apparent breakaway from the traditional Confucian thought took place during the mid-nineteenth century. According to Schoppa, the societal roles and place of women in the Taiping society were clearly superior to those of other women in the Qing Dynasty (p. 145). Whereas women in the traditional Confucius tradition were under the benevolence of their male relatives, the Taiping society ensured that women were allocated land in the same breath as their male counterparts. For a long time, the education system in China only favored men and excluded women. However, the Taiping society changed this rule and women were allowed to sit for the civil service examinations. The exams offered to women were based on the Bible and the diverse teachings of Hong Xiuquan. As women were allowed to take the civil service exams, a large number of them were allowed to hold office in the bureaucracy The Taiping society also allowed women to participate in military units something considered scandalous among the older generations.
In the earlier Chinese tradition, women were only allowed to appear in social functions to offer entertainment. In the earlier generation, the society was obsessed with ballerina of the court something that led most women to desire having tiny feet. Due to this obsession, girls at the ages of five to eight years had their feet bound with cloth to give them a shape that enabled them to dance ballerina with ease. While this custom of feet binding enabled women to dance to ballerina with much ease, it made it impossible for them to run and could walk with great difficulty. The traditional family system characterized by male domination encouraged this practice, but it could have impossible if...

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