Essay: Why are France and Britain small and strong

18 Oct

Essay: Why are France and Britain small and strong

Sample Essay

According to the text, “it was important for china to strengthen itself.” As Zeng asks, “Why are France and Britain [they] small but strong? … The answer lay…in four main areas, utilizing all their manpower resource, exploiting their soil to the full, maintaining close bonds between rulers and subjects, and ensuring ‘the necessary accord of word with deed” (Spence, p. 58). The Manchu Prince Gong “emerge[d] as a reformer in the Tongzhi Restoration period,” becoming an important part of the entrance of the influence of the Western world, its technology and education (Spence et al., p. 60).

In relation to China’s relations with the rest of the world, the Treaty of Nerchinsk, penned down in 1689, was one of the most historic agreements that were made between China and Russia (Spence, p. 49). Apart from being one of the primary agreements made by China and the rest of the Western world, putting into place semi-permanent borders between the various colonial regions of the country as well as reuniting the two warring groups of the Mongol regime. Of most importance, the treaty was of great significance to the rule of the Chinese rather than the European colonial rule. After the treaty was signed, Li Hongzhang heavily encouraged the Chinese people to invest in education and building and developing their own factories, greatly reducing the rate of imports the country was making from the western world. The practice and use of the western technological advancements definitely improved the economy of china, further solidifying and strengthening the regime of the Qing.

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