The Trade and Administration of China

The Trade and Administration of China

The Trade and Administration of China

The Trade and Administration of China

Excerpt

This book is intended to portray the present state of the Chinese Empire, with such record of the past as will show by what process of evolution the existing state has been reached. No attempt is made to forecast the future, or even to refer to the revolution which, under the name of Reform, has been begun. The development of many centuries is to be recast, and within a year or a generation, according as the pace is forced or not, it will assume an unaccustomed garb; and the China of that future day, near or distant, will not be the China of to-day. Whether this revolution will follow the precedent of the English Revolution or of the French, whether it will proceed by logical development from step to step, or will rush on a headlong course, will depend upon the wisdom and self-restraint of the leaders in the government, and in the last resort upon the nature of that public opinion which will be created in the Chinese people. But, just as the history of the England of the Georges cannot be well understood without some knowledge of the Stuart period, and as an acquaintance with the France of the Kingdom and the Empire is necessary to a comprehension of the France of the Third Republic, so also, to understand the China which the student of the future will know, he must be able to study its past. The China of to-day is, with minor differences, the China of the past; and in this book it is hoped that the future student will find, within the limits of the dozen subjects treated, a succinct account of the foundation on which the China of the future will be erected.

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