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Why did Westernization fail? The cause and historical significance of the failure of Westernization

Westernization Movement, also known as self-help movement and self-improvement movement in the late Qing Dynasty. The movement is a movement of "self-improvement" and "seeking wealth" which was carried out by Westernization in 1860-90's to introduce western military equipment, machine production and science and technology to maintain feudal rule. The result of the Westernization Movement failed. What's the reason for the failure? Let's have a look at the reasons and historical significance of the failure of the Westernization Movement.

The historical background of Westernization Movement

Domestic background

After the failure of two Opium Wars and the attack of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, some bureaucrats of the Qing Dynasty began to realize the power of the Western hard ships and guns. In order to solve the internal and external problems, realize the prosperity of the country and the strong army, maintain the rule of the Qing Dynasty, and start to learn western culture and advanced technology, such a group of people are called Westernization. Before that, some scholars proposed to learn the advantages of western countries in order to enhance national strength. For example, Wei Yuan advocated "learning from foreigners to control them" in the atlas of the sea state, and Feng Guifen advocated "Taking China's ethics as the origin, supplemented by the skills of prosperity and strength of various countries" in the school protest.

International background

Since the 13th century, the world environment has changed. Western capitalism began to sprout. Farmers and handicraftsmen have improved their means of production through long-term labor and accumulated experience, and agriculture has developed. Textile, metallurgy and so on began to appear machines. It not only increased the output. It has changed the relationship between people and divided them into different classes. Under the promotion of the new route, the Renaissance, the religious reform movement, the bourgeois revolution and the industrial revolution, by the time the Westernization Movement took place, the capitalist world system had been preliminarily completed, and mankind had entered a new era, which was also the necessity of historical development. The main characteristics of this new era are integration and modernization. Pay attention to the unified world market, and the scattered and backward countries will inevitably be included in the whole. Modernization is capitalism replacing feudal autocracy, which is a historical necessity. This is also the reason why westernization movement tried to approach modernization. Under the trend of world integration, China was more passively involved. At that time, China did not experience long-term accumulation and bourgeois revolution, but China's westernization movement was inseparable from the general trend of the world.

1 movement faction

Westernization school

In the Westernization Movement, the central representative of Westernization Movement is aixinjuelu & middot; Yixin, and the local representatives are Li Hongzhang, Zhang Zhidong, Zeng Guofan, Zuo Zongtang and other Xianghuai groups. In addition, there are Chonghou, Shen Baozhen, Liu Kunyi, Tang Tingshu, Zhang Jian and so on. They advocated learning from the Western voice, light, electricity, chemistry, ships, trains, machines, guns, newspapers, schools, etc., and playing the banner of "self-improvement" and "seeking wealth". In order to make China prosperous and strong, we must learn from the natural science and even the social politics of the western bourgeoisie. Therefore, we should promote the revival of Western learning, the promotion of Westernization, the establishment of military factories, the production of new weapons and the establishment of new armies, so as to achieve the goal of "self-improvement". In order to solve the problems of raw materials, capital and transportation in military industry, and then vigorously set up civil industry, mining industry and transportation industry, to achieve the purpose of seeking wealth and resisting the invasion and expansion of foreign capitalism.

Die hards

The representatives of the die hards include the teachers of the Tongzhi emperor, the Minister of the Ministry of works, the scholars of the University, the Japanese benevolence and the song and Jin Dynasties in the central government, and the local officials are mainly from the mainland. The die hards, represented by the Japanese people, chanted the way of establishing the country, the etiquette and justice but not the power, the fundamental plan, and the idea that the people's heart was not in the art, that loyalty was the armor, and the etiquette and justice were the Ganlu, to resist foreign aggression. The Westernization Group opposed the Conservatives and thought that the conservatives were "Chen jugao, holding a correct view". However, it was not conducive to self-reliance and practice that they took rites and righteousness as the backbone and faithfulness as the armour. In the past twenty or thirty years, Chinese and foreign officials, who had not been able to subdue the enemy, stopped their duties with empty words, thus leading to the change of Gengshen. The Westernization Group and the die hards attacked each other and fought fiercely. The prime minister's Yamen is the central organ to promote the Westernization Movement. But the Westernization faction was not in the center of the Qing Dynasty, but in the governor and governor who controlled the local real power. Cixi understood that in the situation of domestic and foreign difficulties, to maintain the dominant position of the Qing Dynasty, we must rely on the Westernization faction with strength and the appreciation of foreign aggressors. So she adopted the strategy of supporting Westernization temporarily.

Guiding ideology of Westernization Movement

The most fundamental guiding ideology of the Westernization Movement is "self-improvement" and "seeking wealth". Its classification thought is "Master Yi to control Yi" and "Chinese style and Western style". The first four words "master to control foreigners" indicate the relationship between the Westernization Movement and foreign capitalist invaders, that is, learning the long skills of the west to resist Western aggression. The last four words "Chinese style and western use" indicate the relationship between the Westernization Movement and the feudalism traditional culture of the country, and indicate the position of the middle school and Western learning in the Westernization Movement, that is to say, the middle school is the main body and the western learning is the auxiliary. In the Westernization Movement, the Westernization faction also dealt with the relations between Chinese and Western nations and the basic principles of cultural exchanges between China and the West. In the period of Westernization Movement, from Feng Guifen's "taking Chinese Lunchang as the original, supplemented by the skills of prosperity and strength of various countries", to Xue Fucheng's "taking western people's utensils and numbers as the learning of Wei Wu Yao, Shun, Yu, Tang, Wen, Wu, Zhou and Kong as a theory, all served for the leading thought of Westernization Movement of" seeking strength "and" seeking wealth ".

The reasons for the failure of Westernization Movement

1. On the premise of not touching the decadent feudal system, the westernization movement tried to use some advantages of western capitalism to maintain the feudal autocratic rule. The contradiction between this means and the foundation made the Westernization Movement doomed to be impossible to succeed. At the same time, the Westernization Movement was obstructed and destroyed by the die hards everywhere, thus increasing the resistance of the Westernization Movement.

2. The class limitation of Westernization Group determines that they are not only the founders and operators of modern industry, but also the destroyers and destroyers. Their feudal Yamen and bureaucratic system will inevitably lead to the failure of Westernization enterprises.

3. One of the aims of the Westernization Movement was to resist foreign aggression, but the Westernization faction insisted on "foreign demands and military forces" and compromise and surrender to the outside world in its diplomatic activities. The modern enterprises they founded had the functions of resisting foreign aggression and "slightly dividing the interests of foreigners", but they could not change the status of semi colonial and semi feudal society in China.

4. Most Chinese at that time knew little about westernization, and their thoughts were still in the stage of being fettered by ignorance, superstition and feudal ethics.

Historical significance of Westernization Movement

1. The Westernization Movement promoted the development of modern China's productivity and the emergence of Chinese national capitalism

2. Westernization Group resisted the economic input of foreign capitalism to some extent

3. Westernization Movement opened the gap of feudal education system

4. The Westernization Movement promoted the modernization of national defense.

The above is the reason and historical significance of the failure of the Westernization Movement. I hope it can help you.