Education and Nationalism in Late Imperial China

Modern Chinese nationalism emerged and developed in the final decades of late Qing China, being closely linked to the threat of Western imperialism. The Opium War of the 1840s gave rise to the Self-Strengthening Movement in the late 19th century and initiated a reform process in which modern nationalist ideas began to form. The defeat of China by Japan in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895 inspired calls for further reforms. It is generally understood that the war played a significant role in the early history of modern Chinese nationalism. The war activated nationalistic sentiments that had gradually taken form since the Opium War. Yan Fu’s (1854–1921) translation of Thomas Henry Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics spread the social Darwinism message and added fuel to the awakening ...

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