« PreviousContinue »
just been held at Paris, at which many Americans made exhibits, some parts of which would be suited to a floating exposition such as has been suggested. A great exposition, especially intended to apply to the people of Central and South America, is to be held at Buffalo this year, and its exhibits would in many cases prove a basis for an undertaking of this kind, while another exposition, especially relating to the West Indian trade, is to be held at Charleston. Thus, in the disposition to extend our commerce, in a prosperity which warrants new business ventures, and even in the partial preparation of exhibits, the circumstances appear to be especially favorable.
But there is still another condition which seems even more opportune and advantageous. The Government is the possessor of a considerable number of safe and seaworthy merchant vessels purchased as transports during the war with Spain, for many of which it will not have active use after the close of hostilities in the Philippines. If some of these vessels could be utilized for this work the problem, as to cost, would be greatly simplified.
Congress has always dealt liberally with expositions intended to improve our commerce, either at home or abroad, and it seems not unreasonable to suppose that if applied to by a proper business organization it might loan the necessary vessels for an enterprise of this kind. The appropriations of money made by Congress in behalf of expositions at home and abroad in the past 25 years amount to over $10,000,000, and in view of this it would appear probable that an appeal from a properly organized association of business men might meet with favorable consideration.
If there could be added to this fleet of five or six merchant vessels a naval vessel or two to convoy the fleet around the world and add to its attractiveness and dignity, the success of the enterprise, in
telligently managed, should be assured. The chief expense which the ordinary exposition must undergo is the erection of buildings. The construction account of the World's Fair in 1893 was 70 per cent of the entire cost. With this expense obviated by the loan of vessels, if they could be so obtained, the cost of the undertaking would lie chiefly in the coal consumed in passing from port to port, and in the force of men necessary for the management of the vessels, and this might also be small in case Congress should accompany the loan of the vessels with a suitable detail from the military or naval force for their management.
Whether the expense should be borne solely by those participating in the exhibition in proportion to the space they might occupy, or be met in part by a small charge for admission could be determined by those guaranteeing the expense of the enterprise. In the ordinary exposition the chief receipts are from admissions, and these are drawn entirely from the population of the city where the exposition occurs and from those visiting that city for that purpose, while in the case of a floating exposition visiting great cities in various parts of the world the local population which could be appealed to would aggregate many millions.
THE ROUTE FOR A FLOATING
The route which a floating exposition might determine for itself would be bounded only by the limits of the great seas upon which it would float. Starting from the eastern coast of the United States, it would perhaps make its first stop at our new possession, Porto Rico, thence to Cuba and other of the West Indies, thence to the principal cities on the eastern coast of Central and South America, thence along the western coast of America, then to the Hawaiian Islands,
Japan, Korea, Asiatic Russia, the coast cities of China, the Philippines, Siam, the Dutch East Indies, Australia, the Malay Peninsula, India, Persia, Arabia, the eastern and then the western coast of Africa, then a tour of the Mediterranean and the cities of western Europe,
and thence back to the place of origin, occupying two or perhaps three years, and meantime carrying the American flag and American enterprise to every part of the world. Why not an Aroundthe-world American Exposition to inaugurate the twentieth century?
THE CAUSES THAT LED UP TO THE SIEGE
BY DR. W. A. P. MARTIN
HAVE been asked to give some account of the siege in Pekin, together with the causes that led up to it, and its probable outcome. No proper view of the thrilling events which have there taken place can be given without first touching upon the geographical situation. Man is moulded. by his environment, and it would not be difficult to show how the character of the Chinese-physical, moral, and intellectual has been formed by the geography of their country.
Of England a well-known poet, after satirizing the villainous climate of his country, exclaims:
""Tis thus, with rigor for his good designed, She rears her favorite man of all mankind.”
A Chinese philosopher would unquestionably adopt without objection every word of the English poet, and he would lay special emphasis on the phrase "her favorite man of all mankind." He reads in the ancient books of his own country a tradition that man was made not of dust, but of clay, the clay being of different colors. The Chinese were made first, and of yellow clay; hence they gave themselves the flattering designation of "Men of Gold." That title
we find to have been a common one among the Tatars of the north. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries a large part of northern China was subject to a body of Tatars, who bore the tribal name of "Golden Horde." The present rulers of China, called Manchus, claim them for their remote ancestors, and continue to wear the same title of "Golden Horde "-in the Manchu language "Aischin Gioro."
SEVEN CENTURIES OF FOREIGN
The relations of the Tatars to the Chinese from time immemorial have been very similar to those of the Shepherd Kings to the rich inhabitants of the Nile Valley. The Chinese depended upon agriculture, while the wandering. nomads of the northern plains subsisted on their flocks and herds without settled homes. They were always ready to make incursions into the bordering provinces of China, and oftentimes succeeded in effecting the conquest of a portion or the whole of the Chinese Empire.
It is startling to discover that one or other of these Northern tribes, Mongol or Manchu, has exercised the mastery over China for seven hundred out of the
last fifteen hundred years; nor are the troubles caused by them limited to seven centuries, for the Great Wall, so huge as to form a geographical feature on the surface of the globe, attests a perennial conflict between Tatar and Chinese, for it was erected two hundred and forty years before the Christian era for the express purpose of keeping the Tatars out. That such a conflict should exist from generation to generation is no matter of surprise. Schiller tells us that it began not far from the Garden of Eden, and has been handed down from Cain and Abel to the present time. His version of the Bible story is that Abel's sheep trespassed on the cornfields of his brother Cain.
A Chinese historian says of the Great Wall: "It required so much labor for its construction that it was the ruin of one generation, but it was the salvation of all that followed." To me this appears to be an overestimate of its benefits; for while it has undoubtedly served the purpose of a barrier against small bodies of marauders, it has never sufficed to restrain great armies like those of Jenghis Khan. The Manchus, who for two hundred and fifty-six years have held the throne in Pekin, were not under the necessity of forcing their way across this international barrier, but had its gates thrown wide open for them by a Chinese general, Wu San Kwei. He invited their assistance to suppress a body of rebels who had taken possession of the capital, and to revenge the crimes committed by them, an errand very similar to that of the eight powers now in occupation of China. The rebels were easily put to flight, but when the general offered to pay off his Tatar allies and invited them to retire to the north of the Great Wall, they respectfully declined to do so.
An old fable tells us that an ass, in danger of being driven from his pasture grounds by a horned stag, invited a primitive man to mount on his back and
drive away his enemy.
When the stag was put to flight, he asked the man to dismount; but he was an ass to imagine that the man would comply with his wishes.
China finds herself in the same predicament today. Instead of the ManchuTatars, ranged curiously enough under eight banners, she finds herself completely under the power of the eight mightiest nations of the globe. They are in the saddle, with their bit in the ass's mouth, and though that noble beast, like that of the ancient prophet, speaks with human voice, and utters an energetic protest, it remains to be seen whether some of these eight nations will not persist in keeping their place in the saddle.
The fact that China is and has been under foreign domination for two centuries and a half is essential to the comprehension of that astounding movement which has so engrossed the attention of the world.
What motives, we are asked, could prove themselves so potent in their effect on all classes in that empire as to bring about combined action of high and low for the expulsion of foreigners? I answer that there are three motives which, taken in connection with the circumstances of the age, appear to me to be sufficient to account for the phenomenon. They are: first, political jealousy, second, religious antipathy, and last, but not least, industrial competition. These have operated in different proportions on different classes, while in some instances all three have combined to produce their effect on the mind of one class. The existence of political jealousy is inseparable from a foreign domination.
The Manchu dynasty, though it has produced many able rulers, has never been free from the influence of that kind of jealousy. The Manchus have always feared, since the dawn of commercial intercourse with the great nations of the west, that some of those nations
would endeavor to supplant them in the occupation of China. They have accordingly been suspicious of everything, whether commerce, missionary enterprise, or railways and mines, which tended to increase the prestige of foreigners. Some of these undertakings they have looked upon as a preemption claim on their territory; others as a settled scheme for winning away the hearts of their people. You will naturally infer that they have never shown themselves, with one exception which I shall presently mention, very solicitous for the intellectual enlightenment of their Chinese subjects.
The old philosopher, Laotse, lays down as a maxim for easy government, in satire no doubt, that it is only necessary to fill the people's bellies and to empty their skulls. On this the present rulers of China-I mean the Empress Dowager and her clique-are acting in the suppression of schools, the interdiction of newspapers, and the attempted extirpation of Christian missions.
THE REFORMS ATTEMPTED BY EMPEROR KWANG SU.
The exception is a remarkable one. It is the young Emperor, Kwang Su, who is in no degree responsible for hostilities with foreign powers, but is rather to be regarded as the first victim on a long and sanguinary list. Nephew of the Empress Dowager, he was adopted by her at the age of three.
With a view to preparing him for his great destiny, he was provided with numerous instructors, two of whom were my own students. Their duty was to induct His Majesty into a knowledge of the English language, and, in order to be sure that the lessons which they set for him were correct, they always submitted them to me for approval. I shall not affirm, therefore, that I am entirely innocent of having exerted some influence to bias the mind of the young Emperor.
It is impossible that he should have studied English without becoming infected with progressive ideas. Still, the blame, or the honor, of having perverted the mind of the "illustrious successor " (as his name signifies) belongs to Kang Yu Wei more than to any one else. This patriotic scholar perceived the necessity of reforming the educational system of China in order to secure the permanent independence of his country. He gained the ear of the Emperor, and of that young man it is no little praise to say that he possessed the intellectual capacity to comprehend the ideas of the bold reformer and the strength of will to resolve on carrying them into effect.
He issued decree after decree, with startling rapidity, setting aside the effete system of essays and sonnets in civil service examinations, in favor of the sciences and practical arts of the modern
In order to prepare students for these new tests, a system of common schools was to be established, Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian temples being placed at their disposal. Middle schools were to be established in all the districts, and colleges in the several provinces, with a new university in the capital for the graduates of provincial institutions and for the sons of the nobility.
Nor did His Majesty stop with educational reform. He diligently sought to prune away the dead branches of the tree in order to increase the quantity and improve the quality of its fruit. Sinecures in the Mandarinate were abolished, and new bureaus inaugurated, such as those for commerce, mining, and agriculture.
More than all, he resolved to confer on his people the priceless boon of free speech, ordaining that even junior officials should have the privilege of addressing the throne without let or hindrance.
This was the rock on which his noble scheme of reform was shattered. A young man, a doctor in the Han Lin, who was well known to me, through a