Chapter

The Return of the Missionaries

Michael Keevak

in The Story of a Stele

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9789622098954
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207608 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622098954.003.0005
The Return of the Missionaries

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This chapter begins in the middle of the nineteenth century, a period of greater Western presence in China than ever before. Five treaty ports had been opened to Western trade and to Western diplomats following the first Opium War in 1842, and two more were ceded by 1860. For the first time in Chinese history, the empire was home to increasingly demanding foreign settlements, and by mid-century Western missionaries were allowed to travel anywhere throughout the country. By 1879, the Xi'an area had suffered even greater devastation and the brick enclosure was gone. The Chinese government took away the monument and placed it in their most important museum of stone tablets—an appropriate end, one might imagine. Scholarly study of the stone, both in the East and the West, had reached a new age of breadth and maturity, and it was only fringe voices that continued to raise any suspicions about authenticity.

Keywords: Western missionaries; China; Western trade; Chinese history; Xi'an; Chinese government; stone

Chapter.  11258 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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