Medical Encounters and Divergences


in Hygienic Modernity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780520240018
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930605 | DOI:
Medical Encounters and Divergences

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This chapter investigates just what exactly constituted the “Western medicine” that first arrived in Tianjin aboard British warships in the 1860s, and compares it with mid-century Chinese approaches to health and healing. Britain had its revenge on the Qing in the summer of 1860 for the 1859 defeat at Taku. The British had failed to realize that the moat was an essential part of the walled city's drainage system. The birth of the clinic in Tianjin is described. The chapter also reports the impact of Drs. David Rennie, Chang, and Lamprey. The Tianjin Massacre was used as evidence to confirm what many nineteenth-century European and American observers had already suspected: China was a place of superstition, confusion, and benightedness, unwilling to accept the advances of Western civilization, whether in the form of religion or medicine.

Keywords: Western medicine; Tianjin; British warships; Taku; religion; medicine; Dr. David Rennie; Dr. Chang; Dr. Lamprey; health

Chapter.  12346 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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