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Empress Ci Xi In Chinese History History Essay

Whether Ci Xi was a good or bad person in history was very controversial. Born in a chaotic era in the Qing Dynasty, Ci Xi had no choice to be what she needed to be. While the imperialistic states were invading the territory of the Qing Dynasty, as an empress, Ci Xi commanded the officials to sign a number of unjustified as well as humiliating treaties with those imperialistic powers. Her behaviors and attitudes towards the imperialistic powers severely influenced the lives of people for a long period. From this prospect, Ci Xi was considered as one of the evilest person in Chinese history.

Born on Nov. 29th, 1835 Ci Xi’s uncommon life began. In the year 1852 she was chosen to serve for Xian Feng Emperor. Four year later she delivered a baby who was known as Tong Zhi Emperor. However, Tong Zhi Emperor was weak as well as sick. Soon he was so sick that he couldn’t write his command. Thus, he asked his mother to help him with writing and delivering his commands. From then on, Ci Xi was tightly connected with the policies of Qing Dynasty.

From the year 1860 to the end of Qing Dynasty, unjustified and humiliating treaties continually came to Qing Government. After Xian Feng Emperor passed away, the politic in Qing Dynasty was a mess. Ci Xi who was rather ambitious couldn’t tolerant any other people who against her thought. As a result, together with Yi Zheng who was quite a powerful official at that time Ci Xi launched Xin Chou Coup. Ever since then, Qing’s destiny was determined by Ci Xi. She ordered the officials to sign humiliating as well as undignified treaties with the imperialistic states. She commanded the troops to suppress people’s movements for freedom. She restricted technical innovations as well as mindset revolutions. She led the Qing Government bow to the imperialistic powers. She collected a large amount of treasures while her people were even living without shoes. Frankly speaking, Ci Xi was a sinner in front of the people who lived in Qing Dynasty.

The Treaty of Nanking was signed on August 29th, 1842 to mark the end of the First Opium War between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Qing Dynasty of China. The Treaty of Nanking was the first treaty that the Chinese considered as an unjustified treaty because the United Kingdom had no obligations in return. The treaty destroyed China’s territorial sovereignty and increased the burden of people. However, the treaty was good for the imperialistic states’ export to Qing Dynasty. Since then China had become a semi-feudal society

In 1858, Qing Government signed The Treaty of Tianjin with Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

On October 18th, 1860, the British and French army entered the Forbidden City. Because of the failure of the war, Price Gong was forced to sign The Treaty of Peking on behalf of the Qing Government with Lord Elgin and Baron Gros, who represented Britain and France respectively. Although Russia had not been a belligerent, Prince Gong also signed a treaty with Nicolay Muravyov-Amursky. The contents of the treaty were the following. First of all, they let Qing admitted the Vertrag m.von Tianjin was still effective. Secondly, the indemnity must increase to 800million silver dollars. Thirdly, operate Tianjin to be a commercial port. Fourthly, allow the recruitment of workers going abroad. The last was that Kowloon ceded to British and inland to allow the French missionaries to preach, restitution of assets confiscated by the Catholic Church.

The treaty of Shimonoseki was known as The Treaty of Ma Guan. The treaty was signed on April 17th, 1895, between the Empire of Japan and the Empire of the Qing Dynasty; the peace conference took place from March 20th to April 17th. The content was that Qing Government must cut the Liaodong Peninsula, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Japan. Secondly, pay the Japanese military 200 million silver Yuan. Thirdly, allow Japan to open factories In China. The last was that increase the quantity of the commercial ports in China. The treaty deepened the China's semi-colonial and imperialist frenzy set off to carve up China. China had an unprecedented national crisis seriously. The national bourgeoisie launched a national salvation and survival of the Reform Movement and the Revolution, the peasant class launched the Boxer Rebellion.

The Next important treaty is The Treaty of 1901, as known as The Treaty of Xin Chou. This treaty had a very serious and bad influence on Qing Dynasty; The Treaty of Xin Chou was the one that had the largest number of claims in recent history, the most serious loss of sovereignty, the lowest spirit of humiliation, which brought people the unprecedented disasters. Made sure that the Qing Government was just relying on the imperialist powers, and Qing government became the tool of imperialist power. The treaty meant that Qing Dynasty had already become the semi-feudal society completely.

After the Opium War, Qing Government was facing the danger of being divided into several parts by the imperialist states. Emperor Guang Xu looked for a way to save our country. He appointed Kang Youwei, Liang Qichqo and other people who supported innovation to carry on bourgeoisie reform. It was called Hundred Days’ Reform. Under the influence of Kang Youwei and other people, Emperor Guang Xu was trying to carry on new policies and made Qing Dynasty stronger. However, there were always some conservative officials who feared the reform would destroy their power and hurt their benefits. So they went to Empress Ci Xi and tried their best to provoke the relationship between Emperor Guang Xu and Empress Ci Xi. In addition, Empress Ci Xi also feared Emperor Guang Xu’s reform would decrease her power. So she appointed Rong Lu as the governor. At the same time, she received a secret report from Yuan Shikai that Kang and some other people would lead a coup. Then she launched the Wu Xu coup on September 21st . The reform was ended. Moreover, she ordered to arrest all the people who had been involved into the innovation. Kang Youwei left for Hong Kong with the help of an British Ambassador. Liang Qichao went to Japan. Tan Sitong and other five persons were killed. What’s more, she put Emperor Guang Xu into jail and appeal to her reigning behind the curtain in the name of Emperor Guang Xu. She governed the country again and humiliated Emperor Guang Xu several times. The hundred days’ reform brought the possibility of strengthen the country. However, the Wu Xu coup had lost the opportunity.

Then the Boxer Uprising sprung up. The Qing Government tried to put down the rebellion and summoned them to surrender. Empress Ci Xi was resentful of that foreign countries support Emperor Guang Xu. Then the Eight-Power Allied Forces intruded Beijing. They ransacked the Old Summer Palace. Empress Ci Xi, taking along with Emperor Guang Xu, ran away to Chengde Imperial Summer Resort. First, she used the faith of Boxers and led them to fight with the Eight-Power Allied Forces. Then she found they can’t beat the Eight-Power Allied Force. She began to throw herself into the lap of the foreign armies. She gave away the Boxers’ news to them and helped them annihilate the Boxers’ troop. She was like a chameleon. What’s worse, she signed the Treaty of Xinchou happily and felt grateful that the eight-power allied forces didn’t blame her. The treaty was the most unfair treaty in our history. The treaty violated our country's territorial integrity and sovereignty deeply. Our country formally became the semi-colonial and semi-feudal society from this. Our country was on the edge of being destroyed.

Ci Xi was a woman who had a very strong influence on Chinese history. Her different attitudes towards the imperialistic powers had both damaged the people’s lives and Qing Government. The ideas changed quite frequently. She had against the imperialistic powers and asked the officials to fight with them. However, for many reasons especially the grafters had many rights to get the money for the war. Many wars with the imperialistic powers were failed. The foreign ambassadors forced Qing government to give them a large sum of money and gave many places especially islands to them. They had got a lot of special rights in Qing Dynasty. Ci Xi feared the war and did not want to have battles with other countries any more. She wanted to live in a peaceful life and exchanged everything she had to the imperialistic powers.

She had signed treaties with many different countries. Such as France, Japan, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom. The war between China and Japan was not fair because there were many officials who made the money that the government gave for the war. So we failed in this war and Ci Xi ordered Li Hongzhang to sign an unjustified treaty with the Japanese. The treaty included many rules that they wanted our land and money. The money was too much for us so we borrowed from other countries and had many loans. From then on, Qing Government began to become deeply controlled by others and that was so bad for both the government and the people. There were many people who were very knowledgeable and wanted to change this situation. They made figured out some methods to suggest the government especially Ci Xi. At first, she wanted to fight against the imperialistic states with their help. They did do a lot of work to help the government to fight against the rulers. Some of them were quite effective and many people liked the methods. However, soon CI Xi found that they might destroy the government. As a result, she fired them as quickly as possible and put them into prison. After that she agreed with the imperialistic states that she would agree whatever they request and she just hoped them could keep Qing Dynasty a peaceful period of time. No matter what she wanted, she knew later that she was completely wrong.

Next, let our group tell you something about Empress’ private life. There were some rumors that two man in her private life. One man was Lee Lianying, the other man was An Dehai. The two men were all eunuch. Lee Lianying was a cunning person, he ever covered a chair which the Empress sat on with yellow cloth, when Empress saw the chair which was covered with yellow cloth, she thought Lee was a loyal person, so, Empress trusted him very much. However, An Dehai didn’t have the good luck. Empress always sat together with Lee and listened to opera. Moreover, Empress would retain all the food which Lee liked to eat. Lee was a smart person, and he treated people very friendly, so, he had been the favorite person of Empress.

As a woman, Empress was too ambitious. She began to come into contact with policy because her husband was always ill, so, Empress helped him handle affairs of state. When her husband died, her son was too young to control the country, so Empress dominated the government instead of her son. For the maintenance of the feudal autocracy, she used the “self” and “pursuit of wealth” policies to develop the military and civilian industries. But because of the Empress knew little about the western advanced science and technology, she also made a lot of stupid decisions , hindering the development of the Westernization Movement. In order to celebrate her sixth birthday, she moved the Navy funds to repair the Summer Palace. Coincides with the Jia wu war launched by Japan, in order not to affect her birthday celebration, she wanted the foreign to intervene to end the war, signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Totally, Empress signed several unequal treaties, for example, Treaty of Nanking, Treaty of Beijing and so on. Empress is unsuccessful leader, she suppressed the demotic uprising, trusted traitor, and let China become a semi-feudal society. This is a historical tragedy, but also her personal tragedy.

Empress was a greedy woman. Unlimited expansion of the conceit, so that she was not willing to fall behind Tsz, so Empress vigorously built her own tomb to show she was the unique. It took more than ten years to rebuild her tomb. The luxury of her tomb was also stunning and amazing. There were thousands of priceless treasures in Empress’ tomb, the large number of the treasures and the giant luxury of her tomb was the highest of the world. In that time, people’s life was very difficult because of the wars, the Empress also increased people’s taxes. Empress not only was a unsuccessful leader, but also was a unsuccessful woman.


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