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The Emergence of Constitutional Government in China (1905-1908)

The Concept Sanctioned by the Empress Dowager Tz'u-Hsi


The purpose of this study is to describe and to analyze the steps taken by the Ch'ing government before the convening of the provincial assemblies in 1909 in order to gain insight into the court's own understanding of constitutional government. It tries to explain why the Ch'ing court decided to adopt a constitutional form of government and what the architects of the new order were aiming at.
In reviewing the beginnings of constitutional preparation the author discovered that the concept sanctioned by the Ch'ing court reflected the wish to preserve the Confucian tradition and the intention to keep the Dynasty in power.
In his opinion, the Ch'ing government tried to solve a host of problems in all earnestness; the reproach of insincerity seems invalid, the accusation of procrastination unfounded.