2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

Technology in Taiwan’s Self-Strengthening Movement(1887-1895)A Preliminary Discussion of the Taipei Machinery Bureau, Taiwan Railway and Keelung Coal Mine

Wen-hua Kuo

General Education Center of National Yang-Ming University, Taipei

This article discusses the technological aspects of Taiwan’s Self-strengthening movement.  My main arguments are:

(1) In order to strengthen naval defense capabilites, the Ch’ing Government constructed a technological network in Taiwan during 1887-1895.

(2) This technological network was undermined by a corrupt bureaucratic system which greatty impaired the efficiency of the network.  Nevertheless, it trained many native technicians.

(3) Comparing the Self-strengthening  movement in Mainland with that in Taiwan, this technological network did not last long after the Japanese occupation began in 1895.  Moreover, the technology employed in this period also differed from the Western technological knowledge transmitted by the Protestant missionaries in Taiwan during this period.

To sum up, this article demonstrates a possible approach for studying scientific development in Taiwan before 1895. By examining the interaction among different institutions within the technological network, this paper provides a new outlook on Taiwan history from a technological perspective.


Key Words: Self-Strengthening Movement, History of Taiwan, Technology