Yang Youwei Analysis

1297 Words6 Pages
• Author Kang Youwei wrote this inscription. He was a Chinese scholar, who was well versed and officially educated in Confucian canonical texts as well as Western history and philosophy. Similar to many other scholars of his time, he was deeply concerned about the fragility and shortcomings of the Qing Empire. From his point of view, this inscription was written in order to develop China.
• Place and Time The exact date when this inscription was written isn’t available, but it was probable to be written a while before January 29, 1898. This inscription was submitted on January 29, 1898 to the Guangxu emperor. The place it was written in can be presumed to be China, as Kang Youwei lived in Guangdong, China. As this inscription was
…show more content…
• Prior Knowledge These are the events that were prior and preceding to the time period the inscription was written in. Firstly, there were the opium wars. The opium wars were two wars from 1839 to 1860. These wars were fought be China and Britain as a result of disputes over the British trade of opium. England brought China to their knees as a result of England’s powerful navy fleet and military defenses. These wars left China with the Treaty of Nanking, which the Chinese called, “unequal treaties”. It was also an important factor that led to the Taiping Rebellion. The Taiping Rebellion continued from 1851 to 1864. This rebellion also took the lives of many Chinese. As the rebellion lasted for about 14 years, the Qing dynasty’s power and control in China was very dubious. Eventually a new army organized by the dynasty and aided by other western countries overthrew this rebellion. Western countries aided this as it was essential for them to have trade relations with China and the rebellion threatened this. As a result of these wars, China was left with internal struggles and warfare, increased rate of crime, an economy downfall in Canton (a former major trading city of china). This…show more content…
Kang Youwei specifically addresses the emperor in the inscription by using words such as, “your majesty”. As a result of the chosen audience, reliability of the source may be affected as the author may try to exaggerate and embellish facts in order to convince the emperor to take action. The emperor did receive this inscription with an attitude to implement the government reforms the inscription addresses, as firstly just like many other individuals in China at that period, the emperor was also undoubtedly distressed about the situation in China. Hence, he was seeking for solutions to make the situation at hand better. Secondly, this inscription is not extremely radical, as it does not completely discard Confucian teachings, which may have made the emperor like it better. These reasons may have convinced the emperor to bring a reformation into

More about Yang Youwei Analysis

Open Document