Nineteenth Century American Protestant Missions to China
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Although American missionaries may have spurred social and political reforms in China, they never accomplished their desired spiritual revolution amongst the Chinese. The reasons for their failure are numerous, ranging from generally poor relations between the Americans and the Chinese to having held overly high expectation of the time and resources required to effect the desired transformation of Chinese society. In large part, they did not succeed because of their inability to attract the ruling classes to Christianity. Despite their lack of success in achieving their goals, American missionaries managed to educate those who otherwise would not have been educated, healed those who otherwise would not have been healed, and established a Christian foundation which held even after the Boxer Rebellion, all amidst great personal hardship and sacrifice. In this way they perhaps served far better than they had estimated.