How Western Imperialism Affects China and Japan

Topics: First Sino-Japanese War, Japan, British Empire Pages: 3 (644 words) Published: October 8, 1999
How Western Imperialism affects China and Japan

China and Japan had very different experiences with Western Imperialism . Their reactions to western interference would lay a foundation for their destiny in a world that was rapidly progressing forward , leaving the traditional world behind .

China viewed themselves as totally self sufficient , superior , and the only truly civilized land in a barbarous world. They were inward looking and were encouraged by the conservative Confucianistic beliefs of their emperors to cling to the ancient and traditional ways of the past . They slid rapidly behind in industrial development , refusing to acknowledge the need for shipbuilding or naval development , and saw no importance in European trade .

Then in the 1800's , Europe thrust its way into the heart of the Middle Kingdom, shattering and destroying its isolation forever. China would then be involved in four wars during the nineteenth century ; Britain's opium war (1839- 1842), a second war (1856-1860) fought by British and French , the Sino-Japanese war (1894-1895) , and a final western invasion involving British , French , German , Japanese and U.S troops (1899-1900). Chinese Emperors were compelled to sign unequal treaties and were forced to open a number of ports , as well as agree to other territorial concessions . China was also forced to open its seacoasts and its rivers to Western intruders . The Europeans also exploited China's land by securing rights to build railways and develop its natural resources .

China had been unwilling to learn the ways of the West and so became the next victim to fall prey to Western Imperialism , Japan however, was more open to foreign influences , therefore its outcome to western imperialism was quite different. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries , Japan also turned inward seeking its own isolation from the larger world . Then in 1853 , Commodore Mathew Perry of the U.S arrived with a naval squadron and Japan...
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