Friday, December 11, 2020

6 Projects of the Self-Strengthening Movement


In the 1860s with the country facing imminent collapse, the Tongzhi Restoration gave a sigh of relief for the ailing Qing Dynasty. After the Second Opium War and gains against numerous rebellions, prominent officials started the Self-Strengthening Movement aimed at developing the economy and modernizing the military. The Movement established several projects aimed to contribute to the country’s modernization.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Who was Zeng Guofan?

Zheng Guofan (November 26, 1811 – March 12, 1872) lived as an intellectual, military commander, and statesman. He fought and defeated the largest and most brutal rebellion in history. While as a statesman, he dedicated his life to his country’s revival and hoped for a better China, one capable of defending itself from imperialism.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Accounts: Yung Wing Describing Zeng Guofan

In 1863, Yung Wing or Rong Hong, the earliest known Chinese graduate of Yale College received an invitation for a meeting with Zeng Guofan, a venerable Qing official and commander of the Hunan Army fighting the Taiping rebellion in the Yangtze Valley. Yung Wing just went from a tea district under the control of the Taiping and feared an interrogation or a reprimand, but the meeting turned out to be for an assignment to purchase machines for the future Jiangnan Arsenal – part of the Self-Strengthening Movement that Zeng supported.