Harvey Nelsen, Ph.D.
Raymond Arsenault, Ph.D.
Wallace Witham, Ph.D.
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
China has been working for nearly a century to bring about the modernization of what has been considered the world's oldest continuous major world civilization. The initial call for reform came from the late Emperor Guangxu in the late 1890s after he realized that China seriously lagged behind the world on most fronts. Europe and America had undergone the pains of modernization through the industrial revolution, a phenomenon that China chose to ignore, and were now reaping the benefits. Japan, a nation more closely related to China, had prospered by imitating the West and taking advantage of its technology and some aspects of its culture. To its detriment, China felt that its superiority over other nations was irrefutable and permanent and chose to ignore the events that were taking place around the world. Subsequently, the events of the early twentieth century brought China to her knees forcing her to acknowledge her weaknesses and submit to reforms.
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