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China and CapitalismA History of Business Enterprise in Modern China$
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David Faure

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9789622097834

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622097834.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2021. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Why Did the Chinese Economy Lag Behind?

Why Did the Chinese Economy Lag Behind?

Chapter:
(p.26) (p.27) 3 Why Did the Chinese Economy Lag Behind?
Source:
China and Capitalism
Author(s):

David Faure

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789622097834.003.0003

This chapter discusses why the Chinese economy lagged behind in the nineteenth century. One of the major reasons was China's difficulty in acquiring steam technology due to its state of traditional technology and nineteenth-century politics. China did learn about steam engines, but too little and too late. By the 1880s, breath-taking advances were coming on in the science of stream in Western technology: the Second Industrial Revolution was supported by research in the laboratory and it was sustained by mathematics. In 1800, China might have acquired some of the industrial advances of the West with the minimum change to the traditional curriculum, but to do so in the 1880s meant reforming school education to put a premium on a new mathematics and the forever elusive superiority of Western technology. China was doomed, therefore by the impossibility of timing.

Keywords:   Chinese economy, nineteenth century, steam technology, Second Industrial Revolution, Western technology

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