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A Boxer Rebel and a British Family Killed during the Boxer Rebellion  

Anonymous

A new wave of antiforeign sentiment in China, triggered by a “race for concessions” among the Western powers in the late 1890s, was increasingly centered on a group called the Society of ... More

Emperor Qianlong’s Imperial Edict to King George III  

Emperor Qianlong

The reign of Qianlong (r. 1736–1795) marked both the high point and the beginning of the decline of the Qing dynasty. Several European nations, driven by their desire to corner the market ... More

“Good-Bye Asia”  

Fukuzawa Yukichi

One of the most interesting figures of Meiji Japan was Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835–1901). Trained in western languages, Fukuzawa served as interpreter on missions taken by Meiji leaders to study ... More

Kokoro  

Natsume Soseki

Like nearly all the arts in late nineteenth-century Japan, the novel was also heavily influenced by Western examples. The culmination of this trend, in Meiji society generally, was Kokoro, ... More

Letters To George III  

The Qianlong Emperor

In 1793 the Earl of Macartney arrived in Beijing with a retinue of assistants and a baggage train of gifts carefully selected to impress the Qianlong emperor (1735–1795) with the ingenuity, ... More

Lin Zexu’s letter to Queen Victoria of Great Britain  

Lin Zexu

In March 1839, the Daoguang emperor sent Lin Zexu (1785–1850), a widely respected official with a reputation for courage and honesty, to Canton as an imperial commissioner, charged with the ... More

The Meiji Constitution of the Empire of Japan  

Meiji

The Tokugawa were forced to capitulate to the samurai of two southern domains by the end of 1867, and the new regime moved to the Tokugawa capital of Edo, renaming it Tokyo (Eastern ... More

“Memorandum to the Bakufu”  

Tokugawa Nariaki

Tokugawa Nariaki (1800–1860) was one of the leading Japanese political and military leaders of the nineteenth century. As possessor of the Mito territories, he was one of the most powerful ... More

Narrative of the British ship Nemesis during the First Opium War  

W. H. Bernard and W. D. Hall

When hostilities broke out between China and Britain in 1839, the British fleet was the most powerful in the world and in a high state of readiness. The Chinese had no real naval forces to ... More

Proclamation of the Boxers United in Righteousness  

Boxers United in Righteousness

The nineteenth century saw an accumulation of disasters for China. In two Opium Wars in the 1840s and 1850s, British invasion forced the trade concessions demanded earlier. These conflicts ... More

Reed Chart from the Marshall Islands, South Pacific  

Anonymous

Traditional Micronesian and Polynesian maps of the Pacific, such as this example from the Marshall Islands, from about 1880, show sea lanes across the ocean in the form of reeds that link ... More

“Secret Plan for Managing the Country”  

Honda Toshiaki

Drawing on the conclusions of his “Western” education, Japanese economist Honda Toshiaki (1749–1821) advocated a three-pronged plan of action to level the playing field between the Tokugawa ... More

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