Posts Categorized: Chapter 2

Wei’s Retirement and Legacy

Wei finally passed the highest levels of the imperial examination in 1843. As a result, new official duties limited his work as an independent, reform-minded scholar. Unfortunately for Wei, life as a high level mandarin was difficult. With the Taiping Rebellion raging, the erstwhile reformer Wei took the very conservative step of retiring to spend… Read more »

Wei Turns His Attention to Naval Matters

Wei’s fourth and final major work focused on the maritime powers that were encroaching upon China. In Illustrated Treatise on Sea Powers, the Hai guo tu zhi (海国图志), Wei begins to look at what can be learned from the Western seafaring nations. Drawing from work by Lin Zexu and from conversations with Peter Anstruther, a British POW whom Wei… Read more »

Wei’s Records of the Conquest

Immediately following the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing, Wei Yuan released his second major piece of writing, the Sheng wu ji (圣武记), or Records of the Conquest, a paean to the rise of the Qing Dynasty. Again, Wei looked to themes of wealth and power, and this time the Legalist influences were clear. Here is Wei, as…