Japan / China Response Towards Western Penetration

Topics: China, Japan, World War II Pages: 4 (1307 words) Published: March 20, 2012
Arianna Goff
Per. 4 APWH
Japan / china response towards western penetration
Although China and japan are similar when it comes to cultural independence, japan however, was interested in technological advancements influenced by the westerners causing interaction, while china stayed isolated causing a power shift, meaning Europeans were able to gain power and control over most of Asia and Africa during the nineteenth century.

For 250 years, japan stayed isolated and independent without a need for industrialization. In the 1600’s, japan closed off all connection with Europe and expelled all catholic Christians from Japan because the Japanese felt there was no need for industrialization and they wanted to keep old customs and beliefs rather than acquire new ones that originated elsewhere. Japan, however did trade with the Dutch because they were protestant and not catholic Christians. The limited contact with Europeans in the seventeenth century limited westerners to a single port in japan and zero protection for shipwrecked sailors. The centuries of peace in japan contributed to a burst in economic growth, commercialization, and urban development; meaning the Japanese were ready for industrialization. Although the Japanese were content with their isolation and found no issues with it, the merchants however; stopped benefiting from the Japanese because the middle men could no longer sell Japanese goods to Europeans for higher prices which caused a loss in business; meaning loss in profit.

Everything changed in the mid-nineteenth century. The benefits of industrialization led to such a degree of Western military superiority and dominance that Asia could be (and was) forced out of its isolation, and opened for western trade and exploitation. During this crucial period of history, the Chinese continued to underestimate the challenge posed by the West, and so met it with aggression. They were severely beaten by the British in the Opium War...
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