Russia and Japan: Industrialization Outside the West
Holy Alliance: Alliance among Russia, Prussia, and Austria in defense of the established order;
formed by the most conservative monarchies of Europe during the Congress of Vienna.
Decembrist uprising: Unsuccessful 1825 political revolt in Russia by mid-level army officers
Crimean War (1854 -1856): Began with a Russian attack on the Ottoman Empire; France and
Britain joined on the Ottoman side; resulted in a Russian defeat because of Western industrial
might; led to Russian reforms under Alexander II.
Emancipation of the serfs: Alexander II in 1861 ended serfdom in Russia; serfs did not obtain
political rights and had to pay the aristocracy for lands gained.
Zemstvoes: Local political councils created as part of Alexander II’s reforms; gave the middle
class professional experience in government but did not influence national policy.
Trans-Siberian railroad: Constructed during the 1870s and 1880s to connect European Russia
with the Pacific; increased the Russian role in Asia.
Count Sergei Witte: Russian minister of finance (1892-1903); economic modernizer
responsible for high tariffs, improved banking system; encouraged Western investment in
Intelligentsia: Russian term for articulate intellectuals as a class; desired radical change in the
Russian political and economic systems; wished to maintain a Russian culture distinct from that
of the West.
Anarchists: Political groups that thought the abolition of formal government was a first step to
creating a better society; became important in Russia and was the modern world’s first large
Lenin: Russian Marxist leader; insisted on the importance of disciplined revolutionary cells.
Bolsheviks: Literally “majority” party, but actually a political group backed by a minority of the
population; the most radical branch of the Russian Marxist movement; led by Lenin.
Russian Revolution of 1905: Defeat by Japan resulted in strikes by urban workers and
insurrections among the peasantry; resulted in temporary reforms.
Duma: Russian national assembly created as one of the reforms after the Revolution of 1905;
progressively stripped of power during the reign of Nicholas II.
Stolypin reforms: Russian minister who introduced reforms intended to placate the peasantry
after the Revolution of 1905; included reduction of land redemption payments and an attempt to
create a market-oriented peasantry.
Kulaks: Agricultural entrepreneurs who used the Stolypin reforms to buy more land and
Terakoya: Commoner schools founded during the Tokugawa shogunate to teach reading,
writing, and Confucian rudiments; by the middle of the 19th century resulted in the highest
literacy rate outside of the West.
Dutch studies: Studies of Western science and technology beginning during the 18th century;
based on texts available at the Dutch Nagasaki trading center.
Matthew Perry: American naval officer; in 1853 insisted under threat of bombardment on the
opening of ports to American trade.
Meiji restoration: Power of the emperor restored with Emperor Mutsuhito in 1868; took name
of Meiji, the Enlightened One; ended shogunate and began a reform period.
Diet: Japanese parliament established as part of the constitution of 1889; able to advise
government but not control it.
Zaibatsu: Huge industrial combines created in Japan during the 1890s.
Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895): Fought in Korea between Japan and China; Japanese victory
demonstrated its arrival as new industrial power.
Yellow Peril: Western term for perceived threat from Japanese imperialism.
CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Compare Japan and Russia during the process of industrialization.
Both Japan and Russia were late entrants into the industrial movement. They both followed
similar patterns, state-supported transportation systems, banking, factories, and individual land
ownerships. The differences came in the embracement of Western ideals. While the Russian
aristocracy remained skeptical of the West, Japan embraced and adopted many Western ideas.
Describe Russian reform and industrialization from 1861 to 1900.
A move to industrialization was part of the process of change. In Russia, state support was vital,
because it lacked a middle class and capital. A railway system was created in the 1870s; it
reached the Pacific in the 1880s. The railways stimulated the iron and coal sectors, as well as the
export of grain to the West. Siberia was opened to development and increased Russian
involvement in Asia. Factories appeared in Russian and Polish cities by the 1880s, and the
government quickly acted to protect them from foreign competition. Under Count Witte, from
1892 to 1903, the government passed high tariffs, improved the banking system, and encouraged
Western investment. By 1900, about half of industry was foreign-owned. Russia became a
debtor nation, but the industries did not produce economic autonomy. Even though by 1900
some Russian industries were challenging world leaders, the Russian industrial revolution was in
its early stages.
Describe the forces leading to revolution in Russia by 1905.
Russia had continued imperialist expansion through the 19th and into the 20th century. Russia
encountered the similarly expanding Japanese and was defeated in the Russo-Japanese War of
1904-1905. The loss unleashed protests in Russia. Urban workers and peasants joined liberal
groups in the Revolution of 1905.
Describe Japanese reform and industrialization from 1853 to 1900.
Japan adopted a Western-style army and navy. New banks were established to fund trade and
provide investment capital. Railways and steam vessels improved national communications.
Many old restrictions on commerce, such as guilds and internal tariffs, were removed. Land
reform cleared the way for individual ownership and stimulated production. Government
initiative dominated manufacturing because of lack of capital and unfamiliar technology. A
ministry of industry was created in 1870 to establish overall economic policy and operate certain
industries. Model factories were created to provide industrial experience, and an expanded
education system offered technical training. Private enterprise was involved in the growing
economy, especially in textiles. Entrepreneurs came from all social ranks. By the 1890s, huge
industrial combines (zaibatsu) had been formed. By 1900, Japan was fully engaged in an
Trace the social and economic changes that took place in Japan as a result of industrialization.
Labor organization efforts were repressed. Industrialization and other changes went along with a
massive population increase that supplied cheap labor but strained resources and stability. The
government introduced a universal education system stressing science, technology, and loyalty to
the nation. Western fashions in dress and personal care were adopted, along with the calendar
and metric system. Christianity gained few converts, while Shintoism found new believers. The
birth rate dropped as population growth forced movement from the land and factory labor made
children less useful. Family instability showed in a high divorce rate. The traditional view of the
inferiority of women in the household continued; formality of manners and diet were maintained.
Industrialization gave the displaced samurai class a role as captains of industry.