Darwin's law of natural selection reveals that the natural world is indeed a brutal place, where those unfit for their environment will be supplanted by the better adapted. Just as the Galapagos Islands showcased the process of evolution within the natural world, the island of Taiwan has been a petri dish for natural selection of the political sphere even as the first western powers showed interest in the island. This early pre 1750s period of Taiwanese history had the factions of the Taiwanese Aborigines, Chinese and Dutch all striving for control over the island. As in early Taiwan along with the rest of the world, typically the actuality of who will have de facto rule is often dictated by military might rather than modern ethical ideal of who morally has the right to govern but this strength to grasp power is not the sole aspect of legitimacy to rule. There must also be additional attributes to gain power and keep it, such as the will to claim the title of ruler and a level of political competency to govern the land and its people. Looking back in hindsight the Taiwanese Aborigines, in comparison to the Dutch and Chinese, fulfill the requirements of political legitimacy, through military strength, governing prowess, drive for ownership and modern ethical views, answering the historical question, that has seeped into current political issues, of what faction had the right to rule early Taiwan.
Mearsheimer, John. “Say Goodbye to Taiwan” The National Interest, 25 February 2014. Web. 25 March 2014.
Before these different interpretations of the actions that transgressed on February 28 are discussed the initial expectations for the future of Taiwan after WWII held by the Taiwanese and KMT must be understood as they were the fuel and foundation for the countering interpretations. When it was known that the KMT would hold jurisdiction of Taiwan, the Taiwanese had “euphorically optimistic expectations” of returning to Chinese rule, believing that the Sate building of Taiwan would be an “immediate success, if not perfection” (Myers, 168, 169). This delusion stemmed from their fifty year experience of the highly efficient Japanese government, and they naturally expected the KMT administration to perform with a “similar efficient system, cum democracy” (Mye...
“What Taiwan Wants; Premier Lien on China, Trade and Confucianism.” Asiaweek. http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe/document?_ansset=GeHauKO-EZYRMsSEZYRUUARA December 15, 1995.
Edwin K. Snyder, A. James Gregor and Maria Hsia Chang, The Taiwan Relations Act and the Defense of the Republic of China, p69.
Chiang Kai Shek, who started out as military leader, built an enormous legacy that is tied around both China and Taiwan. Chiang was born on October 31, 1887, in a small town in Zhejiang province, China. Though his father died when he was at a young age, it never affected him, he continued to pursue in the military career. While in Japan attending the Imperial Japanese Army Academy, he devoted most of his time studying the work of Sun Yat Sen who was the leader of the nationalist party (Kuomintang) in China. After finishing his military training he joined the Kuomintang, where he worked under Sun. Sun sent Chiang to Moscow for further military training and appointed him to lead the Whampoa Military Academy. Soon after Sun died in 1925, Chiang took over and became the leader and president of the party. Chiang and the nationalist party continued to rule Mainland China until 1949, when they lost to the communist party in the Chinese civil war. Some historians may see Chiang’s legacy as a failure to create democracy in China and himself as dictator after taking full control over the leadership and presidency in Taiwan. However, other scholars see Chiang as the leader of democracy, as he attempted to unify and modernize China while in power. He unfortunately was defeated during the Chinese civil war and fled to Taiwan, where he brought democracy to the country. Chiang is an impressive figure that was able to reunify and lead a country that was recognized to be almost ungovernable, he had an extremely knowledgeable military mindset that was practically able to overthrow the communist party if the United States had continued to support, and most significantly he brought the system of democracy to Taiwan and modernized the country.
There were many problems with the system of trade in China; even before opium trading began. China, believing herself to be the most civilized and advanced country, did not feel the need to satisfy Britain, a “barbarian” country’s request for freer trade and were concerned the British wanted land. Britain however, had no desire for land and only wished to trade, believing it was their right to do so. These misunderstandings and differing opinions were only the start of more to come. They set the foundations to the British and Chinese hostilities.
Despite the vast geographical differences throughout the area that makes up China, once the various tribes and clans were unified under a consolidated ruler, China’s empires were able to grow in size and sophistication that rivaled any civilization in the west. However, while the western civilizations saw empires rise and fall due to conquering armies from different regions, creeds, and ethnic groups, China’s political change came from within. Whereas the disenfranchised social classes in the west were made up of conquered people from differing nations, the uprisings in China came from different clans that were successful in ousting the previous ruling dynasty. While the empires that surrounded the Mediterranean Sea were restricted by language and cultural differences that had to be assimilated, the Chinese were able to build each subsequent empire on the bones of the previous one, which made the transition of leadership less cumbersome.
European countries were the global leaders of trade during the development, growth, and advancement of countries on basically every continent of the world including Africa, the newly founded Americas, and all across Asia. A variety of goods traveled across oceans, deserts, seas, and plains to cause the “European way of life” to be something countries aspired for. The numerous goods included cotton, rum, guns, sugar, tobacco, gold, silver, liquor, cloths, and even slaves. While some nations saw interactions with European culture as salvation, others distinguished European influence as a threat. The Kongo and the Qing Dynasty were exceedingly dissimilar countries who surprisingly had comparable trade issues with the European countries they once had no problems trading with. At first, the Kongo under King Afonso I’s rule believed the Portuguese were fine people to trade with. But in 1526, King Afonso wrote to the kings of Portugal demanding their obedience to his request that they gain permission of a council before taking his people to be sold for slavery (554). King Afonso announced that his nation should not approve of the kings’ factors just stealing away their people without having checked through Afonso’s assembly (554). Over 200 some years later, Emperor Qianlong of Qing China spelled out his commands to England to only attempt to trade with the port he has allotted for England or to not even try coming back (581). Qianlong wanted absolutely nothing to do with European customs or missionaries and undeniably made it clear to King George III of England that there would be zero toleration for any extra effort to advance into China than was already permissible (581). Even though the Europeans obviously pushed their limits towards...
By the late 19th century, 60 years had passed from China’s loss in the Opium Wars and the Treaty of Nanking was passed that opened trade with Great Britain. This treaty held economic bond but also eventually begot many sociological pressures from the strong, Christian nation that did not go unseen by Chinese who were keen to resist any change from their already advanced culture.