China and Western Technology in the Late Eighteenth Century

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The interaction between the Chinese technology and the western have been researched and published by most of the writers from both sides with different views on the chinses influence on the development of the western culture since the 15th century.  Joanna Waley-Cohen, the author of China and Western Technology in the Late Eighteenth Century, develops an argument drawn from both the “Chinese and Western archival and published source” trying to find the forcing behind the acknowledgment or acceptance of the western to the Chinese practical technology termed as Chinese ‘opposition’. The idea developed by Waley-Cohen by is that Sino-Western relations were based on the internal political matters rather that other premises presented by some Chinese archives. In addition, Waley-Cohen continues to argue that, the western had already defined itself as superpower promoting the aspect negligence of the Chinese work.

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Methodology used in this article

Waley-Cohen uses archives survey of both the Chinese and the western doctrines which have discussed the integration of the Chinese culture by the Western or rather the Chinese History in the 18th western evolution. In the introduction of the assay, Waley-Cohen starts by saying, “This essay draws on both Chinese and Western archival and published sources…” “The Essay analyzes Chinese use of Western knowledge and technical skill in the late eighteenth century…” which show that the article data is drawn from a survey of documentation published by both the Chinese and the Western historian authors who wrote the history of the interaction of the Chinese technology and the western.

The aspects of Western philosophy diffused into Chinese culture displayed in this article

Waley-Cohen in this paper analyses the argument of Qianlong’s public declaration in the influence of the Chinese governance such as awarding military officials which was among the culture that was incorporated by the Westerns. In the religion-wise, the religion of the west which was Christianity (the Catholic) were able to enter into the Chinese culture due to the “‘top down’ strategy which brought them access to the country’s elite and to the imperial court.” In the scientific inventory-wise, the need of the world geographers and cartographers to compose a world map brought the interest of the Chinese explorers to incorporate the Western ideas of the earth’s mapping with their knowledge to be able to complete their research. This contribution of the western science of exploration is evident as Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) was able to produce 1602 world map that integrated the Chinese work. In addition, most of the Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-1688), instruments that were invented during this period are still evident.

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Did you like this sample?
  1. Waley-Cohen, Joanna. “China and Western technology in the late eighteenth century.” The American Historical Review 98, no. 5 (1993): 1525-1544.
  2. Liu, Guanglin William. “The Nexus of Power: Warfare, Market, and State Formation in Late Imperial China, 1000-1600.” In presented at Panel “War and Economicc History: A Global Perspective of the Centuries before World War I World Economic History Congress. 2009.
  3. Pettegree, Andrew. “Elizabethan Foreign Policy.” The Historical Journal 31, no. 04 (1988): 965-972.
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