Ch 28 Transformations Around the Globe, 1800–1914

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Ch 28 Transformations Around the Globe, 1800–1914

CHAPTER OVERVIEW In China, a weak government could not resist European power. In Japan, a reforming emperor modernized the country and launched imperialist expansion. The Latin American economies fell prey to European businesses, and the United States became the dominant power in the region. A revolution freed Mexico from France, but civil war raged for decades.
S1. China Resists Outside Influence

KEY IDEA Western economic pressure forced China to open to foreign trade and influence.

In the late 1700s, China was self-sufficient. It had

a strong farming economy based on growing rice.

Other crops, introduced from the Americas, helped

to feed its large population. Industry made silk, cotton,

and ceramics. Mines produced salt, tin, silver,

and iron. China needed nothing from the outside

China allowed only limited trade with European

powers, and it all had to come through one port.

Also, the trade at this port was in China’s favor. In

other words, the Chinese sold more than they

bought. Europeans, especially the British, were

eager to find something that the Chinese would

want in large quantities. In the early 1800s, they

found it—the drug opium, shipped mostly from

India. Soon millions of Chinese were addicted to

opium, and the Chinese government complained.

When the British refused to stop the trade, war

broke out. Because British ships had more powerful

guns, China lost the war. As a result, in 1842 the

British took possession of Hong Kong. Later, the

United States and European nations won the right

to trade in five ports. The Chinese resented these

treaties but could not stop them.

China had internal problems as well. The population

had grown quickly. Yet food production had

barely increased, so millions starved. The Chinese

began to rebel against their government. A leader

arose in southern China who hoped to save China.

He launched a rebellion that won control of large

parts of the south, including the city of Nanjing.

The government needed 14 years to put down the

Taiping Rebellion. The fighting resulted in the death

of millions.

In the late 1800s, European powers and Japan

each won a foothold in China—a “sphere of

influence.” This is a region in which a foreign

nation controls trade and investment. The United

States opposed these steps. It urged an Open Door

Policy, in which all powers had equal access to

Chinese markets. While the Europeans agreed, the

result had little benefit for China. Though it was

not formally carved into colonies, it was clearly

dominated by foreign powers.

The Empress Cixi ruled China in fact, even

though younger emperors ruled in name. She

supported some reforms. She backed the self-strengthening

movement, which produced new

ships for China. The program was not a complete

success, though. In 1898, the young Emperor

Guangxu tried to put in place broader reforms.

Conservatives didn’t like this. The retired Cixi had

him arrested and took back control of the government.

China had lost a chance to change.

Many Chinese grew increasingly resentful of

foreign influence. They formed the Society of

Harmonious Fists, known as the Boxers. They

wanted to get rid of all Western influence—including

any Chinese who had accepted Western culture

or the Christian religion. In early 1900, an army of

Boxers surrounded Beijing’s European section.

After many weeks, they were finally driven out by a

multinational army of soldiers.
Finally Cixi began to allow major reforms.

Change came slowly, though. In 1908, the court said

that China would become a constitutional monarchy

by 1917. However, unrest would soon return.

S2. Modernization in Japan

KEY IDEA Japan followed the model of Western powers by expanding its foreign influence.

From the early 1600s to the mid-1800s, Japan

was virtually isolated. It did have relations with

China and Korea and had limited contact with Dutch

traders. That changed in 1853 when American

steamships, with cannons, entered Japanese waters.

The next year, Japan agreed to open up trade to the

United States. Soon after, it made similar deals

with European nations.
Many Japanese were upset with the shogun, the

military dictator, who had agreed to these new

treaties. The Emperor Mutsuhito rallied their support

and managed to overthrow the shogun. For

the first time in centuries, the emperor ruled Japan

directly. He reigned for 45 years, from 1867 to

1912, in what is called the Meiji era. The name

Meiji, which he chose for his reign, means “enlightened

The emperor was determined to modernize his

country. He sent government officials to Europe

and the United States. From what they saw, they

shaped a new Japan. They modeled the government

after the strong central government of

Germany. They patterned the army after Germany’s

and a new navy after Britain’s. They adapted the

American system of schooling for all children. The

emperor also supported changes to Japan’s economy.

The country built railroads, mined coal, and

constructed factories.
These steps had results. In just a few years,

Japan’s industrial economy equaled almost any in

the world. By 1890, it was the strongest military

power in Asia. It asked foreigners to give up their

special rights in Japan. The countries agreed, and a

proud Japan felt equal to them. Now, it wanted to

demonstrate its power.
Japan began to expand its influence like the

European powers. When China broke an agreement

not to send armies into Korea, Japan went to war. It

drove China out of Korea and gained Taiwan and

some other islands as new colonies. In 1904, Japan

and Russia fought a war over China’s Manchurian

territory. Japan surprised the world by defeating a

larger power that was supposed to be stronger.

The next year, Japan attacked Korea, and by

1910 it had won complete control. The Japanese

proved to be harsh rulers. They shut down Korean

newspapers and changed schools so that only

Japanese language and history were taught. They

took away land from Korean farmers and gave it to

Japanese settlers. They built factories to be run by

Japanese only. Koreans were not allowed to start

new businesses. Koreans bitterly resented these

actions. They began a nationalist movement and

protested against Japanese rule.

S3. U.S. Economic Imperialism

KEY IDEA The United States put increasing economic and political pressure on Latin America in the 1800s.

In the early 1800s, the new nations of Latin

America had serious problems. Most people

were poor. They worked on farms for large

landowners who took advantage of them. Another

problem was political unrest. Local leaders rivaled

one another for power. Military dictators, or caudillos,

generally held power with the backing of the

landowners, because the dictators refused to give

power to the mass of poor people. Only people

with property could vote. Sometimes reformers did

take office and lead their countries. They never

lasted long, though. When their reforms upset the

power of the wealthy too much, a caudillo would

rise and remove them from office.
With Spain no longer ruling the lands, old trade

laws were gone. The new countries could now trade

with any nation. Britain and the United States

became the chief trading partners. Soon businesses

in these nations dominated Latin American


The economies of Latin America depended on

exporting goods. They shipped goods such as coffee,

beef, fruits, and vegetables. Each country

focused on producing and exporting one or two

goods. The volume of exports rose rapidly during

the 1800s. The coming of railroads and steamships

helped. The invention of refrigerated cars helped

also, allowing producers to increase food exports.

This trade mainly went to benefit other countries,

though. Latin America did not develop industries

of its own. It had to import manufactured

goods, which cost more than what was earned from

exports. Also, Latin American countries often borrowed

money to expand the facilities used to increase

those exports. They had to borrow the money from

foreign banks. When they could not repay the loans,

lenders took control of the businesses. In this way,

much of Latin American business fell into foreign

In the 1890s, the United States began to take a

more active role in Latin American affairs. The

people of Cuba were fighting for their independence

from Spain. American businesses had important

interests on the island. Also, Spain had placed

Cuban citizens in concentration camps, which out-

raged many Americans. For these reasons, the

United States joined the war. The Spanish quickly

gave up, and the United States gained several new

territories. After the war, though, the United States

put a military government in place in Cuba. This

step and others helped promote anger among many

Cubans against the United States.
The United States next set its sights on Panama.

Ships traveling from the east to the west coast had

to go around the southern tip of South America,

which took many weeks. Americans hoped to build

a canal across Panama. President Roosevelt offered

$10 million to Colombia—to which Panama

belonged—for the right to build this canal. When

Colombia asked for more money, the United States

helped the people of Panama revolt for independence.

In return, the United States won a ten-milewide

zone in Panama in which to build a canal. The

canal opened in 1914.

In 1904, Roosevelt said that the United States

had the right to act as “an international police

power” in the western hemisphere. Over the next

decades, it acted on that belief many times. When

trouble arose in various countries, the United

States sent its troops. Sometimes they stayed for

many years.
S4. Turmoil and Change in Mexico

KEY IDEA Political, economic, and social inequalities in

Mexico triggered a period of revolution and reform.

Antonio López de Santa Anna was a leading

figure in the early history of independent

Mexico. He fought to win independence from

Spain and led in another war when Spain tried to

recapture Mexico. He served as president four

times, shrewdly changing his positions in order to

retain power.

In the 1830s, though, he was unable to prevent

people in Texas from winning their freedom from

Mexico. In the 1840s, the United States annexed

Texas, which angered many Mexicans. When a border

dispute broke out, the United States invaded

Mexico. Santa Anna led his nation’s army and was

defeated. Mexico had to surrender huge amounts

of land.
Another important leader of the middle 1800s

was Benito Juárez. A Zapotec Indian, Juárez

wanted to improve conditions for the poor in

Mexico. He led a movement called La Reforma

the reform—that aimed at breaking the power of

the large landowners and giving more schooling to

the poor. He and his liberal supporters won control

of the government in the late 1850s. The conservatives

who opposed them did not give up, however.

They plotted with France to retake Mexico. In

1862, Napoleon III of France sent an army that

captured the country in 18 months. He named a

European noble as emperor. But, Juárez and his

followers kept fighting. In 1867, they drove the

French from Mexican soil and killed the emperor.

Juárez once again pressed for his reforms. He

made some progress but died in office in 1872. Soon

after, a new leader emerged. Porfirio Díaz dominated

Mexican politics for more than 30 years. Díaz

brought order to the country and encouraged economic

growth. However, he sharply limited political

In the early 1900s, calls for reform got louder.

Leaders “Pancho” Villa and Emiliano Zapata gathered

support with their demand for better lives for

the poor. They raised small armies and forced Díaz

to step down. Fighting continued, however, for

many years as several leaders struggled for power.

In the midst of this turmoil, Mexico adopted a new

constitution in 1917. It called for breaking up large

landholdings and for limits on foreign ownership of

business. It promoted the right to strike for workers

and promised some rights for women. Conflict

continued until a new political party gained control

of Mexico in 1929. The Institutional Revolutionary

Party (PRI) brought peace and political stability to

a troubled land.

1. Summarizing Describe China’s two major attempts to remain isolated from the outside world.

2. Recognizing Effects What was the result of Japan’s feelings of pride and strength in the late

3. Evaluating Courses of Action Through what method did the Japanese modernize during the Meiji era?

4. Drawing Conclusions Why did the Latin American nations not benefit from growing trade?

5. Comparing What did Juárez, Villa, and Zapata have in common?


6-10. Imperialism: Based on your study of this unit (Chapters 23-28), what do you see as the LONG TERM ROOTS and LEGACY of European Imperialism? Asian Imperialism? American Imperialism? Global Economic Imperialism?

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