The Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi

The Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi effectively ruled China in a period when relationships with the West, especially in the area of trade, were developing. Tzu Hsi came to power as the mother of a child Emperor who needed a Regent. Such was the force of Tzu Hsi’s personality she was able to override the regents chosen for her son by her dying ‘husband’. When this son died, she retained her position largely because she had ‘stacked’ the Chinese court and government with her own supporters. Tzu Hsi instituted what is known as the ‘Tongzhi Restoration’. This consisted of a series of moderate reforms that helped the Qing regime survive until 1911. She supported technological and military reforms and the ‘Self Strengthening Movement’ which dealt with China’s relationship with the West. Her rule survived the Boxer Rebellion and did not end until her death in 1908. Tzu Hsi’s legacy is debated by historians interested in her reign. Some see her as a strong woman and a strong advocate for her country. Others see her as a ‘stagnant’ ruler who prevented China’s governmental development. A controversial lady indeed.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Face-to-Face

SUGGESTED READING

  • Jong Chang, Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China
  • Pearl S. Buck, Imperial Woman: The Story of the Last Empress of China
  • Anchee Min, The Last Empress

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Tzu Hsi: how a 16-year-old girl who could not walk because of bound feet came to power
  • Tzu Hsi: her relationship with the West
  • Tzu Hsi: her reforms and her aims
  • Tzu His: her legacy
$39 Limited

<p>The Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi effectively ruled China in a period when relationships with the West, especially in the area of trade, were developing. Tzu Hsi came to power as the mother of a child

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22 Feb

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