Hundred Days’ Reform of 1898

The Hundred Days’ Reform was so-called because it was an ambitious re-tooling of Chinese government policy but was snuffed out in only one hundred days. The reform was instigated by the GuangXu Emperor, Empress Cixi’s nephew, based on the advice of scholars such as Kang Youwei.

Kang Youwei

Kang Youwei

The Hundred Days’ Reform of 1898 was an attempt, perhaps premature, to implement the following reforms:

— Modernizing the traditional exam system

— Elimination of sinecures (positions that provide little or no work but give a salary)

— Creation of a modern education system (studying math and science instead of focusing mainly on Confucian texts, etc.)

— Change the government from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy with democracy.

— Apply principles of capitalism to strengthen the economy.

— Completely change the military buildup to strengthen the military.

— Rapidly industrialize all of China through manufacturing, commerce, and capitalism.

The Empress Cixi had the Emperor, her own nephew, captured and put under house arrest until his death. She stayed in power until her death in 1908.

Empress Cixi

Empress Cixi