USF's WebQuest 

Imperialism in China:

The Open-Door Policy and Nationalist Rebellion

In this French cartoon, Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and Japan carve up China.

A WebQuest by Jennifer Berringer

Introduction Task Process Resources Conclusion Evaluation

Introduction  Back to Top

By 1800, China was a prosperous country with a highly developed agricultural system. China was not industrialized, but workers in small workshops were able to produce most of the goods the Chinese needed. Because China was practically self-sufficient, its emperors had little interest in trading with Europeans. For decades, Europeans could do business only at the port of Canton. Despite pleas from Britain and other nations, China refused to open other ports to foreigners. The Chinese regarded European goods as inferior to their own and bought few goods from the European merchants at Canton. 

                                                                                   

European merchants were determined to find a product the Chinese would buy in large quantities. Eventually, the British East India company discovered such a product - opium. Opium is a habit forming narcotic made from the poppy plant. The Chinese government tried to stop the opium trade by appealing to British royalty. When those pleas went unanswered, the quarrel over opium grew into a war.

 

The Opium War and the peace that followed led to increased trading rights for Europeans in China. For a time it looked as though a scramble for China might follow the one for Africa...

 

This WebQuest will lead you though the major events and policies that effected life in China during the 1800s. After completing this project, you should have a complete understanding of the European-Chinese conflict of interest that shaped Chinese history during the 19th Century.

Task Back to Top

Your group has just traveled back in time to the year 1900. You have arrived in China during a time of great turmoil. The United States has just proposed a policy that will allow equal access to China for all foreign merchants. As a result, a group of Chinese nationalists have taken to the streets and have pledged to rid the country of "foreign devils."

You and your colleagues have been invited to a conference being held at the Chinese Imperial Palace. At this conference, European merchants and Chinese citizens will have the opportunity to present their visions for the future of China.

Members of your group will be participating on both sides of the debate. After completing background research on China's recent history, you will be split up and  asked to write a speech arguing either on the side of the European merchants or the Chinese nationalists. Your speeches will help the  Empress Dowager Tsu Hsi decide whether the Chinese government should support trade with foreign nations or aid in the fight to again isolate China from foreign influence.

        Empress Dowager Tsu Hsi

Process Back to Top

In groups of four, you will research each of the following topics relating to events in China in the 1800s:

    ▪ the Opium War, ▪ the Treaty of Nanking, ▪ the Taiping Rebellion, ▪ the Open-Door Policy, and ▪ the Boxer Rebellion.

The group of four will then be split into two groups of two.

    Group A will focus on the European (specifically British) perspective on the events in China during the 1800s and will write a speech from the point- of-view of a British merchant arguing for extended trading rights in China.

    Group B will focus on the Chinese (nationalist) perspective on the events in China during the 1800s and will write a speech from the point-of-view of a Boxer nationalist arguing for the expulsion of foreign merchants from China.

*Each group should cite specific examples from their research supporting their argument for or against European trade in China.

Once the speeches are complete, both Group A and Group B will design a visual aid to complement their speech.

On the final day of the project, members of each group will dress in costume and present their speeches in front of the class (with visual).

Resources Back to Top

[PSD]= Primary Source Document, [BI] = Background Information

Note: If any of the links listed below are found to be inactive, please request hard copies of  the documents from your instructor.

The Opium Wars  

           

          

           

Naval Battle During the First Opium War

 

 "Trade War: Britain Acquires 'a Barren Rock'"   [BI]

 "Ch'ing China: The Opium Wars" [BI]

  "The Opium Wars and Foreign Encroachment" [BI]

 "Letter of Advice to Queen Victoria" [PSD]

The Treaty of Nanking   
   "The Anglo-Chinese Treaty of Nanking (1842)" [PSD]  

 "The Treaty of Nanking" [BI]

"The Opium Wars: The Treaty of Nanking/Consequences" [BI]

The Taiping Rebellion   
  "The Taiping Rebellion: 1861-1864" [BI]

 "Ch'ing China: The Taiping Rebellion" [BI]

"Proclamation to the People of Nanking by Taiping Rebels, 1853" [PSD]

The Open-Door Policy

 

John Hay  "Map - Spheres of Influence in China" [BI]

"The Open-Door Notes" [BI]

"The Open-Door Policy: 1899" [BI]

"John Hay's First Open-Door Note" [PSD]

The Boxer Rebellion   
A 'Boxer' - 1900 "The Boxer Rebellion" [BI]                                                             

"Ch'ing China: The Boxer Rebellion" [BI]

"Fei Ch'i-hao's: The Boxer Rebellion, 1900" [PSD]

 

Evaluation Back to Top

Your written speech and performance (including appropriate visual) will be graded based on the criteria provided for in the following rubric:

Speech Rubric

Taking Sides: European Imperialism in China

Speakerís Name: ________________________________________

Group Member Names:__________________________________________________

Criteria Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
content uses content inappropriate to the purpose, audience, and topic uses content somewhat appropriate to the purpose, audience, and topic uses content appropriate to the purpose, audience, and topic effectively uses content appropriate to the purpose, audience, and topic
organization uses unclear structure or inappropriate patterns to organize the speech uses clear structure and appropriate patterns to organize the speech somewhat uses clear structure and appropriate patterns to organize the speech uses clear structure and appropriate patterns to organize the speech effectively
opening and closing opens and closes the speech ineffectively opens or closes the speech effectively opens and closes the speech effectively opens and closes the speech creatively
transitions uses few clear transitions uses some clear transitions uses a variety of clear transitions uses a variety of clear transitions effectively
summary restates and summarizes key points rarely restates and summarizes key points often restates and summarizes key points effectively restates and summarizes key points creatively
language and style uses language and style inappropriate to the intended audience uses language and style appropriate to the intended audience

inconsistently

uses language and style appropriate to the intended audience uses language and style appropriate to the intended audience

effectively

speaking techniques

(verbal: volume, tone, pace)

(non-verbal: gesture, facial expression, posture, movement)

uses few verbal and nonverbal techniques appropriate to the purpose, audience, and content uses some verbal and nonverbal techniques appropriate to the purpose, audience, and content uses verbal and nonverbal techniques appropriate to the purpose, audience, and content adjusts verbal and nonverbal techniques to achieve a special effect or for impact
visual aids or technology uses visual aids or technology inappropriately uses some visual aids or technology to reinforce the content uses visual aids or technology to reinforce the content uses visual aids or technology effectively

Level: ___________

Group Score:____________

Comments:_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

You may open this rubric as a World Document and print it for your reference.

Each member of your group will evaluate each other member using the following Group Evaluation:

Group Evaluation

Rate each member of your group (including yourself) from 1 to 5 in each of the following categories.

1 = Never, 2 = Seldom, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Often, 5 = Always

Make sure to total the number of points awarded in the TOTAL column (20 possible).

Group Member Name

Participated Actively in Group Work

Thoroughly Completed Assigned Tasks

Stayed on Task

Listened Attentively to Others

 

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Please open this group evaluation and print a copy for each member of your group.

Conclusion Back to Top

Congratulations! You have completed the Imperialism in China: The Open-Door Policy and Nationalist Rebellions WebQuest. You should  now have a better understanding of the policies and events that shaped China in the 19th Century. This information should further help you to construct a complete view of world events during the Age of Imperialism (1870-1914).