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Stepping Forth into the WorldThe Chinese Educational Mission to the United States, 1872-81$
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Edward J. M. Rhoads

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028863

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028863.001.0001

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The Returned Students

The Returned Students

(p.183) 11 The Returned Students
Stepping Forth into the World

Edward J. M. Rhoads

Hong Kong University Press

When the Chinese Educational Mission (CEM) students went back to China, most of them had difficulties understanding their native language, and reading and writing posed an even greater difficulty. The country the CEM students returned to had not changed very much in their absence. The Chinese socio-political order in the 1880s and into the early 1890s was still dominated by Confucian ideology, the Confucian-based civil service examination system, and the scholar-official elite that the examinations produced. They endured a chilly reception, to judge by what happened to the forty-nine members in the second group. The Shanghai officials were hostile toward the returning students because the earlier batch set a bad example on their arrival to China by hiding themselves among the city's large foreign population. These students never regained the stature and influence that they had all too briefly during the last decade of the Manchu rule.

Keywords:   returning students, China, socio-political order, Confucian ideology, Confucian-based civil service

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