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Impact of Imperialism in China

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Western imperialism or expansion ignored a country’s sovereign right to self-rule and independence from dominant foreign powers. Using the premise of colonization or Manifest Destiny, the search for trade routes, raw goods and materials, and cheap sources of labor legitimized imperialism.


  1. Technicians and experts in fields from architecture to technology to brought to China to facilitate economic development.

The Bund locates on the bank of HuangPu River in downtown Shanghai. It was leased to Britain from 1844, and it was the starting point of the old Shanghai transformed into modern Shanghai. With the emergence of many banks between 1854 and 1941, it became the financial center of Shanghai, and was thus dubbed the "Wall Street in the East";  The Bund is home to a number of architectural examples built in different periods and reflecting the different architectural styles of different countries, it has a reputation as a museum of international architecture.

  1. When Britain colonized a region, she not only sent businessmen and soldiers, she also sent Christian missionaries.
  • Medical: Western medical missionaries established the first modern clinics and hospitals in China. They provided the first training for nurses, and opened the first medical schools in China. In 1839, there were only two missionary physicians in China, but after the 50 years during which many unequal treaties were signed, there were more than 60 hospitals, 100 male and 26 female physicians, with trained native assistants.
  • Educational: The first universities were also established by Christian missionaries. Yenching University (now home to Beijing University) was established by missionary educator John Leighton Stuart. He purposely developed the Yenching campus in traditional Chinese architecture styles, because he wanted the university become Chinese' own institution instead of being viewed as an imposition of cultural imperialism.
  • British missionary Samuel Pollard who lived with the Big Flowery Miao tribe in Guizhou, China for 27 years, created a writing system for the tribe and it is still in use today. He also established over 40 churches and 120 schools for the Miaos. He found the first hospital for leprosy.



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