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Huang, "The Kangxi Emperor's changing attitude toward westerners: Scientific curiosity, religious toleration and strategic vigilance," 1995

USC thesis in Ancient Civilizations.
August 26, 2009
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Gu Huang, M.A.

Abstract (Summary)
Systematically re-examining the Kangxi Emperor's foreign policies, this thesis demonstrates his personal interest in western science, his emphasis practice, his friendship with the Jesuits and patronage of Christianity, all of which represent a new trend of the Manchu elite in the process of cultural re-orientation and urbanization, and the Emperor's undeniable contribution to the Sino-western relations. It also reveals the change of the Emperor's attitude toward westerners from tolerant to conservative and vigilant, when he gradually grew old, in dealing with foreign affairs, such as the frontier threat from the north, the management of maritime trade, the rise of rice prices and emigration from the southeast coast and the rites issues--a challenge from the Papacy. Making a lineage of these policies and changes in them with court politics, it interprets the reasons for the change of the Emperor's attitude in relation to his long-run goals--a strategic consideration of the whole of Asia and a deliberation of the strategic needs of the Manchu dynasty.

Advisor: Wills, John E.

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