Essential questions for Unit II (“Slaves of a Lost Country” or Masters of a New Culture?):
Kang Youwei's Memorials
Consider the following list of edicts issued by the Guangxu emperor in 1898 as described by The Peking Gazette:
1. The establishment of a university at Beijing.
2. The sending of imperial clansmen to foreign countries to study the forms and conditions of European and American government.
3. The encouragement of the arts, sciences and modern agriculture.
4. The Emperor expressed himself as willing to hear the objections of the conservatives to progress and reform.
5. Abolished the literary essay as a prominent part of the governmental [civil service] examinations.
6. Censured those who attempted to delay the establishment of the Peking Imperial University.
7. Urged that the Lu-Han railway should be prosecuted with more vigor and expedition.
8. Advised the adoption of Western arms and drill for all the Tartar troops.
9. Ordered the establishment of agricultural schools in all the provinces to teach the farmers improved methods of agriculture.
10. Ordered the introduction of patent and copyright laws.
11. The Board of War and Foreign Office were ordered to report on the reform of the military examinations.
12. Special rewards were offered to inventors and authors.
13. The officials were ordered to encourage trade and assist merchants.
14. School boards were ordered established in every city in the empire.
15. Bureaus of Mines and Railroads were established.
16. Journalists were encouraged to write on all political subjects.
17. Naval academies and training-ships were ordered.
18. The ministers and provincial authorities were called upon to assist—nay were begged to make some effort to understand what he was trying to do and help him in his efforts at reform.
19. Schools were ordered in connection with all the Chinese legations in foreign
countries for the benefit of the children of Chinese in those places.
20. Commercial bureaus were ordered in Shanghai for the encouragement of trade.
21. Six useless Boards in Beijing were abolished.
22. The right to memorialize the throne in sealed memorials was granted to all who desired to do so.
23. Two presidents and four vice-presidents of the Board of Rites were dismissed for disobeying the emperor's orders that memorials [petitions, memorandums, etc.] should be allowed to come to him unopened.
24. The governorships of Hubei, Guangdong, and Yunnan were abolished as being a useless expense to the country.
25. Schools of instruction in the preparation of tea and silk were ordered established.
26. The slow courier posts were abolished in favor of the Imperial Customs Post.
27. A system of budgets as in Western countries was approved.
With a partner, address the following questions: