Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Keywords

China, Late Qing Dynasty, Chinese Forestry, Arboriculture, Self-Strengthening, Li Hongzhang, Chinese Cosmology, Flooding in China, The Chinese Times, Imperialism in China

Abstract

Previous examinations of Self-Strengthening in Late Qing China have focused on the movement's military and educational dimensions. Moreover, there exists a general conception of Late Qing China as being a period of decline. This paper, based on articles and official Chinese government memorials appearing in The Chinese Times, an Englishlanguage newspaper that ran from 1886-1891, examines forestry efforts in the Late Qing as an example of Self-Strengthening. Looking at the movement from this angle, several newfound dimensions of Self-Strengthening emerge, including a link to Chinese

cosmology and the ruler-subject relationship, examples of localized benefits, and a reexamination of the narrative of the Late Qing as a strictly deteriorating state. These considerations serve to remind us that, though steeped in foreign influence as it was, the Self-Strengthening movement had fundamentally Chinese roots. This paper also discusses the application of forestry in the Late Qing, including as a device for flood control, as a source of economic wealth, and as a powerful means of state-building, both structurally and ritually.

Comments

This paper was nominated by Roger Thompson, Department of History.

Type

Text

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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