Charter 08's Qing Dynasty Precursor
- Japan Focus
- Japan Focus: an Asia Pacific Journal, 2011, pp. 1 - 8
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The primary goal of the 1908 petition and the constitutional government petition movement as a whole was national salvation, preventing China from colonization. The petitioners believed that the political system of constitutional government was the source of national wealth and power; that the Qing government and the political system of imperial autocracy were outmoded as they kept China poor and weak; and that China would be as rich and powerful as the Western powers and Japan when the political system of constitutional government was adopted. The movement was a lost opportunity because the Qing court, instead of easing its legitimacy crisis through fundamental democratic reform, treated leaders of the movement as state enemies and intensified its legitimacy crisis in the years prior to its overthrow in the 1911 Revolution.
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