Font Size: a A A

Study On Zheng Guanying’s Legal Philosophies

Posted on:2015-07-12Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:S S ZhangFull Text:PDF
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Zheng Guanying is an early reformism ideologist of China, who can be referred as "a pioneer of his age". His theory shows a good integration of the essence of western culture and the age background. Extraordinary opinions distributes in multiple fields (politics, economics, diplomatics, etc.) of his works. And the breadth and depth of his reformism thoughts are relatively untouchable for other westernizers of his time. These one cannot deny while reading his works.Zheng’s legal philosophy, with less attention compared to other aspects, occupies a significant position during the modernization process of Chinese law, though. His philosophies on commercial law, international law and legislative assembly were with no doubt the most advanced ones then. This essay, therefore, focuses on Zheng Guanying’s important legal philosophies and systematically illustrates it with three chapters.Chapter one is the background and theoretical foundation of Zheng’s legal thoughts. In background part, there are two dimensions:social background and personal experience. The upheaval of modern China gives a typical times brand to Zheng’s philosophies. As a figure "born and living along with modern China", Zheng Guanying witnessed its transformation course from a feudal society into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial one. With the unique family environment and life experience, though, he, as an ideologist, owns characteristics that stands him out of the rest. Zheng was aware that barely bringing western techniques to China, without an alteration of the social context and emulating western countries at penalty and civilized intercourse patterns, cannot fundamentally lead the country to development or prosperousness. But Zheng shares bourgeois reformist’s limitations. For him, westernizers’doctrine of "Chinese body and western usage"(i.e. Chinese classics as the substance while western science and technology the instrument) was too strong to challenge. All that he can do is to attach a new but logical explanation on the "body" and "usage", serving as a preparation for introducing western penalty and civilized intercourse patterns’to China.Chapter two deals with the basic components of Zheng’s legal philosophies. This part includes Zheng’s thoughts on commercial, international and constitutional laws. Commercial law is the first dimension. Since the First Opium War in1840, capitalistic powers drew China imperiously into the world market. The latter’s own capitalistic economy, while it growing into a critical section of the market, was brutally suppressed by the former’s economic plundering through a series of unjust treaties and other devices. As there were no commercial laws, merchant’s rights were barely guaranteed. And China’s commercial development was on a tough road yet. Based on this, Zheng suggests to legislate and set up authorities for the nation’s commercial. Second is the international law. Introduced to China, the international law got its supporters among this country’s advanced intellectuals like Zheng Guanying. They believed that the law can act as a coordination with common codes which shall be followed by the globe. With the limit of time, regretfully, Zheng was too optimistic about this law’s impact. In addition to the above dimensions, Zheng’s constitutional philosophies were focused on as well. Self-strengthening movement, held by China’s westernizers during1860s to1890s, believed in the doctrine of "Chinese body and western usage" and saw barely nothing valuable from western culture and their system construction, which predestinates the movement’s failure. As a contrast, Zheng knows that political reformation is the prerequisite for China’s thriving and prosperousness. The parliamentary concept and education ideas, formulated while Zheng delving into western politics, have a far-reaching influence on the nation’s rise.Chapter three focuses on comments on Zheng’s legal philosophies. It, as an ideology of bourgeois early reformism, received high evaluation among intellectuals then, as well as among subsequent reformists represented by Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao. Nevertheless, Zheng did not carry out his remarkable thoughts--manifold and practical with a principal line of patriotism--but compromised while confronting westernizers in self-strengthening movement. The latter’s class limitation be blamed, the former’s enlightening theoretical significance shall not be denied, for it contributes greatly to China’s legislation modernization. Such as it is, certain deficiencies were left in his philosophies by time limitation then, especially for parliamentary and international ones.
Keywords/Search Tags:Zheng guanying, the late Qing Dynasty, Legal modernization
PDF Full Text Request
Related items