Shen Pao-chen and China’s Modernization in the Nineteenth by David Pong

By David Pong

The Opium Wars ushered in an period of in depth Western imperialism in China, at a time while the Ch'ing dynasty used to be already in decline, forcing a small variety of chinese language officers to come back to the realisation that China needs to defend itself via adopting a similar army expertise that had introduced it nationwide humiliation. Shen Pao-chen used to be one such reliable. leaving behind the relief of his profitable profession, Shen dedicated his existence to development China's first glossy naval dockyard and academy. His successes and screw ups shed new mild at the tale of China's efforts at modernization - a narrative that has now not come to a end. As China engages in new rounds of financial and commercial modernization within the post-Mao period, a lot of those concerns collect new meanings and value.

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Although it was not among the more prominent lineages of the empire, it had produced a long line of degree- and office-holders since Sung times. In 1734 a branch of the clan moved to Fukien and settled in Hou-kuan. Shen Pao-chen belonged to the fifth generation of this branch. 2 In an area well known for its scholars and scholar-officials, the Shens quickly established themselves as part of the local elite. The eldest son of each of the first three generations, down to Shen Pao-chen's grandfather, had served as private assistants (mu-yu) to local officials, excelling in managing granaries, the salt monopoly, and financial affairs.

46 David Pong, 'The Vocabulary of Change: Reformism in the 1860s and 1870s', Paper presented at the workshop 'China in Transformation, 1860-1949', Australian National University, 24-25 October 1981. , 1920), p. 221. 47 Cohen, Discovering History in China, p. 28. 48 However, because the Restoration began with individual and largely uncoordinated efforts, it was not recognized as a restoration until collective results were clearly discernible, in the late 1860s. Throughout this book, I use 'T'ung-chih Restoration' only when citing or paraphrasing other people's works.

42 Lu Shih-ch'iang, Ting Jih-ch'ang yu tzu-ch'iangyun-tung (Taipei, 1972); Tung Ts'ai-shih, Tso Tsung-t'ang p'ing-chuan (Peking, 1984); Lin Ch'ung-yung, Shen Pao-chen yu Fu-chou ch'uan-cheng (Taipei, 1987). 19 Shen Pao-chen that heaven was an active agent, Confucianism continued to insist, up to at least the end of the nineteenth century, that it was human actions that invited heavenly intervention. So individuals whose lives were judged to have had an impact on the sociopolitical order were awarded a central place in Chinese history and record keeping.

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