|Omari AP World History: Snapshot #26
Compare reaction to foreign interference in two of the following regions: the Ottoman Empire, China, India, Southeast Asia, and Japan
The reaction of foreign domination varied between the nations of China and Japan during the period of 1750-1914. Both nations were similar because technologically they were behind Europe and the US, which had made great advances in industrialization. Later, Japan opened trade with the US, trading raw materials and ideas. The reaction to foreign domination worked into a sense of nationalism which had many effects in history. These nations also differed in their reaction of foreign domination because Japan took the US up on its offer to modernize, thus avoiding a military conflict, while China declined the Britain’s trade offer and was unable to avoid
a military battle that yielded detrimental consequences.
To compare the nations, they both were technologically behind compared to the US and Europe, who both had gone through the Industrial Revolution. The reason they were behind was that they both were isolated; Japan through Tokugawa law and China through Ethnocentrism. In the Tokugawa’s Closed Country Edict, Japanese law prohibited the import and export of trade, as well as entrance and exit of foreign people. If caught, the consequence was death. China’s ethnocentrism came as a result of natural barriers which isolated them from many regions . As years progressed, they became very ethnocentric and gave themselves the name of the “Middle Kingdom” to note their superiority over other ethnic groups.
During their encounter with western nations in the age of imperialism, China and Japan were both given an ultimatum to “open trade or go to war”. China decided to stay isolated and later was taken over, meanwhile Japan modernized and retained their autonomy. The US set Mathew Perry out to open trade with Japan. His ultimatum was “open trade or go to war”. Realizing they were technologically inferior to the US, Japan opened trade. They traded raw materials for finished goods and western technological ideas that helped Japan to industrialize and to develop their military capabilities. In place of the Tokugawa shogun, came the Meiji Emperor Mutsuhito—this event was known as the Meiji Restoration. In time after World War I, Japan became Imperialist. They took over Manchuria and began to commit atrocities in China. December 7th, 1941 Japan bombed Pearl Harbor; WWII for the US had begun. On the other hand, In 1793 Great Britain launched the McCartney Mission to open trade with China. China (being ethnocentric) resisted its chance to modernize, and in retaliation, Europe began the illegal distributing of Opium, a highly powered narcotic. This sparked the Opium war between Europe and China. In 1842, China was defeated due to lack of raw materials and inferior technology. As a result of the Treaty of Nanjing, China suffered from European domination. China and Japan were VERY different, due to their response to the ultimatums they were given. Simply put, China was taken over, and Japan kept its autonomy and became imperialistic.
The reaction of foreign domination varied between the nations of China and Japan during the period of 1750-1914. Distinctly, the Japanese and Chinese in this time period were mostly different due to their decision making. The different roads that were taken gives the benefit of the doubt to Japan, who in the end, was more successful and became a military and economic force to be reckoned with in the subsequent time period.