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Chris Miller February 20 2001 Modern Asia Midterm Paper Chinas Transformation Confucianism to Communism For two thousand years China was dominated by a traditional dynastic system Living with a confuciast ideology the people of China rarely questioned the authority of the emperor It seemed that this system of government would never end until it reached the mid-19th century and was forcefully exposed to western thought and politics Chinese intellectuals both confused and curious searched for an ideology that would unite China and bring the nation to the same level as the West The end result of their work was the communist Peoples Republic of China During the period of Chinese Dynastic Rule Confucianism was the dominating ideology of the people The ruling system was a multi-tiered patriarchy and everyone was loyal to the emperor To the Chinese the outside world was barbaric and should be kept out of their territory Because China was self-sufficient they had a tributary trade relationship with the barbarians to ensure good political relations However the trade with the outside world soon became unbalanced when China began trading goods for opium and started to lose its resources In response to the growing unbalanced trade relationship with the barbarians particularly the British the Emperor selected Lin Zexu to write a letter addressed to the Royal Family of England In his letter Lin demands that England stop the trade of opium immediately This demand led to the British-Qing Dynasty war Opium War which China eventually lost For the first time China was no longer superior to the barbarians The significance of the Opium War was that it marked the beginning of the end of the Qing Dynasty the tributary system and most importantly Traditional Chinese Civilization After suffering such a great defeat to a barbaric nation the entire Chinese nation was in shock After failing several Confuciast civil service exams a citizen by the name of Hong Xiu-Quan
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