The Effects Of Western Imperialism On China And Japan

628 words - 3 pages

The Effects of Western Imperialism on 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
signed its first...

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