BLAGODER Yu.G. The Decline of the Qing Empire: From Traditionalism to Constitutionalism (Based on Materials from the Russian Press)


Yuliya G. Blagoder

Doctor of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of History, Philosophy and Psychology, Kuban State Technological University,

Moskovskaya St, 2, 350072 Krasnodar, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The purpose of this study is to describe significant historical events that have transformed the foundations of Chinese statehood, and to emphasize the peculiarities of their reflection in the Russian periodicals. The article presents the characteristics of the Qing Empire’s last decade of existence. This topic is relevant in the study of both world and national history, since the monarchical system in Russia during this period was also experiencing a profound crisis.

Methods and materials. Based on the principle of historicism, the dialectical method of scientific knowledge was applied. The systematic and comparative methods made it possible to combine and compare various publications within one research project. Publications of Russian magazines and newspapers of various ideological orientations, aimed at mass and elite readers, are used as a historical source. Among them are magazines “Vestnik of Asia” and “News of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs” for a professionally trained reader, as well as literary and political (“Northern Notes”, “Russian Thought”, “Vestnik of Europe”) and historical and literary (“Vestnik of Foreign Literature”) publications of a moderately liberal orientation. Such popular science (with a literary and literary-political trend) magazines as “Russian wealth”, “The whole world”, “Vestnik Znaniya”, “The world” propagandized the achievements of European civilization, including the positive results of reforms held in China on the European model, among the broad strata of the Russian population. The largest amount of information about reforms in China and calls to carry out or, on the contrary, prevent such transformations in Russia, is contained in newspapers of various ideological orientations, such as “Russian Banner”, “St. Petersburg Vedomosti”, “Speech”, “Pravda” and “Neva Star”.

Analysis. The articles containing information on the reasons and content of the reform activities of the Qing dynasty were analyzed. The role of Russian periodicals in the formation of ideas of various social groups about the political, socio-economic changes taking place in China is shown. Political and socio-economic problems that have analogies in the Russian Empire are emphasized.

Results. The idealization of the Chinese culture of the past centuries is now a thing of the past. In the pages of newspapers and magazines, the image of China was quickly transformed. Despite the irregular and haphazard flow of information and the borrowing of subjective assessments of authors from foreign publications, representatives of various Russian ideological trends fought among themselves, using subjects from the life of modern China as examples. China’s movement from traditionalism to constitutionalism was of the greatest interest to the Russian progressive public. Key words: Qing Empire, reforms in China, Xinhai Revolution, Russian Empire, image of China, Russian periodicals.

Citation. Blagoder Yu.G. The Decline of the Qing Empire: From Traditionalism to Constitutionalism (Based on Materials from the Russian Press). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 72-83. (in Russian). DOI:

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The Decline of the Qing Empire: From Traditionalism to Constitutionalism (Based on Materials from the Russian Press) by Blagoder Yu.G. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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