Museum of Chinese History Semi-Colonial and Semi-Feudal Society Society

Ⅳ. The Semi-Colonial and Semi-Feudal Society (1840 to 1919)
129. This section is devoted to the Opium War in 1840. Due to the constant infiltration of imperialism, China was gradually reduced to a semi-feudal society. In 1839, the army and civilians of Guangzhou, led by Lin Zexu, fought against the smuggling of opium into China by the British. In 1840, the Opium War broke out. The people of Sanyuanli rose against the enemy. These are the weapons captured by the people of Sanyuanli in Guangzhou.
130. This part displays how Hong Xiuquan led the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Revolution, China’s largest peasant uprising to fight against the Qing Dynasty. Hong Xiuquan proclaimed the uprising in 1851 at Jintian Village. Guangxi and made Nanjing its capital in 1853. The movement lasted for 14 years and 1864 saw the failure of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Revolution which was suppressed by both domestic and foreign enemies.
131. This section deals with the Sino-French War in 1884 and Sino-Japanese War in 1894.
132. This part shows how the national industry developed in the70s of the 19th century along with the emergence of the bourgeoisie. Before that the Chinese workers employed in foreign factories were al-ready part of the Chinese working class of the early period.
133. Actuated by the grave national crisis China was facing at the time, bourgeois reformists represented by Kang Youwei and LiangQichao demanded that the Qing Government resist foreign enemies, reform out-dated laws, learn from the West and develop capitalism. In modern Chinese history, this is known as the Reform Movement of1989. Feudal die-hards with Empress Dowager Cixi as the ring leader considered the movement worse than a catastrophe. They flagrantly declared that they “would rather lose the country than carry out there form,” and brutally put down the movement. During the movement, Jingshi University (today’s Peking University) was founded. This was the first university in China that offered courses of Western culture to Chinese students.
134. The caricature-map was drawn by a patriot showing China’s critical situation of the time. In the map, the bear stands for Tzarist Russia with its sphere of influence in northeast China; the tiger for Britain with its sphere of influence in central China; the frog for France in Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces; the sun for Japan in Fujian Province and Taiwan Island; the sausage for Germany with its sphere of influence in Shangdong Province; the eagle for the United States which was a late-comer because it was then busily engaged in the war over the Philippine Islands. The U.S. put for-ward a so-called “Open Door” policy. China was then facing the danger of being carved up by imperialist powers, while the Qing rulers still indulged themselves in enjoyment.
135. Yihetuan Movement or the Boxers Rebellion broke out in1900. The Allied Forces of the Eight Powers helped the Qing Dynasty to put down the boxers. Though ended in failure, the movement gave an impetus to the rising of the bourgeois democratic revolution.
136. This picture shows a group of boxers being paraded to the execution ground, dauntless before the enemy in the face of death.
137. Wuchang Uprising broke out in 1911. The bourgeois democratic revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen brought to an end the 2,000-year-old feudal system. By the end of 1911, Dr. Sun Yat-sen came back to China from abroad, and became the Provisional President of the Republic of China.
138. The fruits of this revolution were usurped by the imperialist-backed feudal warlord Yuan Shikai. The Chinese people were still under imperialist and feudal oppression.
139. This is an iron-blood flag. The dark colour represents iron and the red, blood. The 18 yellow spots stand for 18 provinces which took part in the uprising. The five colours were symbols of the Han, Mongolian, Manchu, Hui and Tibetan nationalities.
140. Influenced by the October Revolution, the May 4th Movemtn, a patriotic, anti-imperialist, anti-feudal movement, broke out in Beijing in 1919. A month later, the Chinese working class went on strike and entered the political arena as an independent force. This ushered in an entirely new historical period in the Chinese revolution.
141. The Yangtze River, the Yellow River, the Great Wall and the Himalayas . . . China is a land of enchanting beauty.

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