Modern Chinese History How successful was China in developing into a modern state in the early 1900's?

Essay by saitohJunior High, 8th gradeA, April 2004

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In the early 1900's, China, was in the middle of a political turmoil as it was undergoing fundamental changes in politics as well as society due to politicians and activists, such as Sun Yet-sen, the founder of the Republic of China, pushing for China to reform from the traditional feudal system of the dynasties to a modern democracy modeled after Europe. Looking at various aspects, such as the levels of education and technology, and the strength of the central government of China at the time, one can then infer that China's development and modernization during the early 1900's was only successful to a certain extent.

The condition that China was in, politically, economically, and socially, hindered its efforts for modernization and reform, as China at that point was far too primitive, when in comparison to other European nations, for any type of reform to succeed in as short an amount of time as a few years.

From source A of the 'China 1911-90' packet, in which a Chinese peasant describes his lifestyle, and the section of the same packet titled 'the people', one can infer that there were many social problems and issues in China, such as the exponential growth of the population, lack of education, low literacy rates, and poor living and working conditions. According to source A, most of the land was owned by the 'landlord class', a small number of wealthy elites, who exploited the peasants that worked on their land, creating a situation in which a majority of the peasants struggled with a harsh lifestyle merely to survive. With such a large number of people worrying weather or not they had sufficient amounts of food to survive, it would be near impossible for the country to produce a class consisting of large amounts of well educated...