Compare and Contrast Japan and China

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Both Japan and China were exposed to the same force driving westernization affecting them both economically and politically however their responses to western penetration in the 19th century were different.

In the beginning Japan and China isolated themselves from the rest of the world. As a result, their economies were behind compared to others and they weren’t as technologically advanced. At first, Japan and China had similar resources even though they lacked in them too, it wouldn’t be until resources were brought outside of the country that Japan would prosper. Also during this time period both countries began by isolating themselves from western influence. Japan and China lacked this outside influence since they were not involved in any foreign trade outside their boundaries. In order to resist western involvement rebellions took place. Eventually though they would be forced to trade openly with other countries although Japan would do so more willingly than China. Before imperialism the empires of both Japan and China were in decline it wasn’t until the 19th century that western influence caused both countries to respond differently.

In the 19th century Japan and China approached westernization in a different way, Japan embraced industrialization, modernization, and urbanization comparing to how China refused to let the west influence them continuing isolation. With the arrival of Commodore Perry of the United States to Japan modernization and industrialization along the western lines began to take form. During the Meiji Restoration imperial rule would be restored and Japan will learn the importance of westernization accepting the changes that would be done. Japan adopted western technology, western style banks and a western style military and navy which quickly demonstrated Japan’s growing power as they began to win battles against China and Russia. Also, a textile industry helped bring financial stability resulting in a larger middle class,...
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