Ch'i-ch'ao has been Minister of Justice under President Yuan Shih-kai and also editor of the Yung Yen Pao ("Justice"), published in Tientsin twice a month. K'ang Yu-wei carried on reform work from Japan. All of these men had high ideals for their country—ideals which have been but partly realized owing to the condition of the masses of the people and to official opposition.
As far as the impact of outside influences is concerned, western education has been a strong factor in showing that the old ideals and techniques are inadequate, as compared with those of western countries. Students have gone to England, Germany and America, and have had ocular demonstration of the prosperous social and economic condition of the people there. They have seen democratic principles practically applied; and the fundamental principles of western civilization, as well as the scientific attitude toward the problems of life, have been acquired by them in the colleges and universities. Returning to their country, they have by example and precept promoted individualism and social justice. Some have gone to Japan and have seen what great changes are taking place under the influence of the modern movement there. Other students, upon entering schools established by Europeans and Americans under the supervision of various missionary societies, have become acquainted with western ideals for the individual and society. They, too, have taken an active part in propagating ideas that stimulate advance from custom into reflective morality. The influence of these factors, and the sad experiences of the Boxer uprising, were so pervasive that Tzu Hsi, the Empress Dowager, upon the advice of Yuan Shih-kai and Chang Chi-tung, issued a decree in 1904 abolishing the old system of examinations and making graduation at one of the modern colleges the only recognized path to official employment. The abolition of the old system of education and the introduction of new ideals in the schools throughout China was one of the principal causes of the overthrow of absolutism and the founding of the Republic. And since the founding of the Republic, the old conception of the education as an instrument for making loyal subjects of the Emperor has, according to the ministry of education, been changed into an attempt to utilize education as a means of cultivating moral and virtuous character for the purpose of qualifying both men and women for citizenship.
The commercial relations existing between China and foreign countries since the forced introduction of opium have also furthered the moral development of China. The development of commerce, industry and art affects the moral life in three important ways. (1) "It gives new interests, and opportunity for individual activity." (2) These increased opportunities bring forward the question of values. Are all the new activities good? If so, what can be done to promote them?
- Dewey and Tufts, "Ethics," p. 153.