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3. The Self-Strengthening Movement – Phase I, 1861-72
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the first phase of the Self-Strengthening Movement (1861-72), focusing in particular on: (i) the threats faced by the Qing dynasty in 1860 – large-scale rebellions in northern and southern China, and an increasingly belligerent France and Britain; (ii) the increased power and status of provincial leaders such as Zuo Zongtang, Li Hongzhang, and Zeng Guofan; (iii) the evolution in the the military administration of the Qing Empire in this period; (iv) the three phases of the so-called ‘Self-Strengthening Movement’ – 1861-72, 1872-85 and 1885-95; (v) the introduction of the likin (or lijin) tax; and (vi) the authorisation, for the first time, of the growing of opium in China.
In this course, Dr Lars Laaman (SOAS, University of London) explores the history of China between the end of the First Opium War (1839-42) to the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911. In the first module, we think about the immediate aftermath of the First Opium War and the growing influence of the western powers up to the sweeping changes introduced by the Treaty of Tianjin in 1858. After that, in the second module, we shift our focus to two huge rebellions that took place almost simultaneously in different parts of the country – the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64) and the Nian Rebellion (1851-68) – before turning in the third, fourth and fifth modules to explore the three phases of the Self-Strengthening Movement (1861-72, 1872-85, 1885-95). In the sixth module, we think about the Hundred Day’s Reform – an abortive attempt to introduce sweeping cultural, political and educational reforms to the Qing Empire – before turning in the seventh module the causes, course and consequences of the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1900). Finally, in the eighth module, we look at the final decade of Qing rule, in which the Qing administration made one last attempt at reform before its final collapse in 1911.
Dr Lars Laamann is a Lecturer in the History of China at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. He specialises in the history of imperial China, including popular religion, medicine, drugs and healing and Manchu culture in the Qing empire. His publications include Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China (co-authored with Frank Dikotter and Xun Zhou, 2004) and Christian Heretics in Late Imperial China (2006).
Cite this Lecture
Laamann, L. (2021, January 25). China – The End of the Qing Dynasty, 1842-1911 - The Self-Strengthening Movement – Phase I, 1861-72 [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/china-the-end-of-the-qing-dynasty-1842-1911/the-self-strengthening-movement-phase-i-1861-72
Laamann, Lars. "China – The End of the Qing Dynasty, 1842-1911 – The Self-Strengthening Movement – Phase I, 1861-72." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 25 Jan 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/china-the-end-of-the-qing-dynasty-1842-1911/the-self-strengthening-movement-phase-i-1861-72