The Opium War in 1839 marked the end of China's status as an independent civilization. The Opium War introduced the power of western armies and technology that the Chinese lacked. The war resulted in foreign intervention and control of Chinese provinces and cities, but it was not until the Taiping rebellion (1850-1864), the most disastrous civil war in human history, that the Ching government and its people realized that reform was necessary. The "self-strengthening" movement, one
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showed last 75 words of 1181 total
schools need to be reformed to promote western learning. However, Wang T'ao believes in people's rights and the need for a strong government and military. Chang Chih-tung on the other hand emphasizes the importance of following traditions and order. According to these two philosophers, some western influence is obviously needed and some traditions need to be kept but to what extent is the debate among not only these two but many other scholars as well.