Correspondingly, China’s way of handling foreign relations became useless and the West seized China by surprise. Japan, on the contrary, was interested in knowing about and from the West. The Shogunate promoted learning about the West. In 1857, a school of Western School of knowledge and language was created allowing Chinese officials to make decisions based on facts instead of prejudgement. Japan was very amenable to demands of Westerners which also contributed to the success of the nation.
After a long period of isolationism, China and Japan were pressured to open trade and have foreign relations with the West in the nineteenth century. During the late 1800’s the Industrial Revolution created a huge gap between the Western and Eastern powers, which left China and Japan in a military and technological disadvantage (Fruhstuck, Lecture). Initially, China and Japan closed their doors to the West because they were both self sustaining nations, did not like foreign influences, and believed that their society was superior to the West. They both tried to resist foreign influences by keeping their interaction with the West to a minimum, but they were no match for Western technology and eventually they each had to sign unequal treaties that favored the Western powers (Craig & Reischauer, 1978). However, China and Japan’s reactions to the treaties that forced them to open their trading ports for foreigners were very different; China rejected Westernization while Japan accepted it (Lockwood, 1956).
During the 19th Century, China and Japan each responded differently to western penetration. China was against industrializing and did not want to create an empire like those of the western empires. Japan however learned that if they wanted to survive they had to adopt the changes that the western empires were adopting. Japan began to create an industrialized society and soon became one of the major industrial powers. China went through many rebellions and finally decided to industrialize just enough to be able to fight off the western empires.
Japan, an isolated island located in the Pacific Ocean in East Asia, surprised the world when it first opened its doors to Western influence in 1854. While it had a strict policy about maintaining its isolation, it had no choice but to succumb to imperialism. When Commodore Matthew Perry visited, Japan realized that isolation had resulted in their inability to develop economically and militarily with the industrialized world. Thus from 1854 to 1914, the Japanese changed from being under the influence of imperialism to becoming an imperialist nation, as well as coming out of feudalism and going to into modern militarism. Despite all these changes in its economy and military, Japan had managed to consolidate its power under one single ruler, whether it is the shogun, the emperor, or the military general.
Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Russia was a major factor in his downfall. In 1812, Napoleon, whose alliance with Alexander I had disintegrated, launched an invasion into Russia that ended in a disastrous retreat from Moscow. Thereafter, all of Europe, including his own allies, Austria and Prussia, united against him. Although he continued to fight, the odds he faced were impossible. In April 1814, Napoleon’s own marshals refused to continue the struggle and stepped down from their positions.
Britain responded by building more advanced and modern battleships and France struggled to militarize against Germany's army that consisted more men than the population of France. After the dust settled in Versailles, several of the great empires in Europe no longer existed and the repercussions were felt in Asia. Germany lost all of its territories which were ceded to... ... middle of paper ... ...s, the decolonization process of Indochina was violent. Despite the French model of an overreaching empire with departments rather than Dominions, independence movements still festered (with the help of the Japanese) and led to an end of colonialism for them also. The World Wars severely weakened the European Empires to a point where their collapse became inevitable.
Their responses and actions to western imperialism would set a foundation for their future destiny in a world that was rapidly changing and moving forward, and leaving the traditional world behind. Both countries shared the fear of foreign influence, China continued to go against foreign influence and ultimately got taken over by western powers after being involved in four wars. On the other hand, Japan was more open to foreign influences and used it to their advantage. As a result, Japan had more technology, gained better understanding in political and moral ideas of western civilization. On the other hand China was against the new advances and couldn’t grow their nation as quick Japan did and was ultimately left behind.
During the 1890’s, the Chinese people felt that foreigners not only had brought commercial and territorial demands but also had corroded the Chinese culture. Educated Chinese felt that foreigners humiliated China and they resented even the lowliest European clerk. China then was bombarded with European religion, science, and art from the Jesuit missionaries. As time passed, the power of China grew weaker because successive emperors failed to bring China into the modern world. The Boxer Uprising of 1899-1900 was a turning point in China's history.
What the Chinese government failed to understand was the achievements of the West had been the product of deep structural changes, and that, “To modernize, it is necessary to adapt or change traditional institutions and ways of thought.” (Warren pg. 235). Therefore, modernization in China occurred only at a very superficial level. In the nineteenth century, after a long period of isolationism, China and then Japan came under pressure from the West to open to foreign trade and relations. The Industrial Revolution in Europe and the United States had
The wars demonstrated the military differential between China and Europe. The British used ships powered by steam to attack the Grand Canal, and China realizing that conquest was unavoidable, began the necessary preparations for a cease fire. As a result of these defeats, China was subjected to what came to be known as the Favorite Nation Treaties (FNT). China was forced legalize the opium trade, to surrender Hong Kong to Britain, permit the establishment of Christian missions, open ports to commerce, and not impose tariffs on imports. By 1900, the majority of Chinese sea ports were under the effective control of Western powers, foreign nations controlled much of the Chinese economy.