The Development of Imperialism in East Asia
In the 18th-Century, Britain used its power to subdue India and use it in establishing mercantile ties with China. They sold Indian opium and Cotton to China and got Chinese tea in return. However, the Chinese government realized that its citizens were developing addiction to the opium and destroyed lots of it in 1839.1 Britain felt offended and went to war with China. The war ended in 1842 as a result of the Nanking Treaty, which gave the Britons unconditional rights to trade with China. By the end of the century, China had entered into war with Russia, France, Germany and Japan. The wars allowed these countries control over different spheres of influence in China. However, the US opposed the idea of spheres of influence in 1899 and advocated the open market system, where every Western power had the right to the Chinese market.
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The dominance of European powers in china led to a state of lawlessness because the Europeans did not observe any of the Chinese laws.2 This state in turn led to the Boxer Revolution in 1900. The boxers killed many Europeans and took over Beijing from them. However, an international force countered them and threw out the imperial Chinese from Beijing.
The imperial forces used China as a stepping stone into other countries.3 For example, the British easily crossed over to Hong Kong in 1842, Kowloon in 1898 and Burma in 1886 while France conquered Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
The Republican Revolution in 1911 helped end the Qing Dynasty and introduced nationalism, which started after the formation of the Nationalist Party and the Communist party. The Nationalist party staged a revolution in 1926, which helped them capture and control the Nanking region until Japan overthrew them in a fierce battle in 1937. In the same period, the Communist Party organized the Long March, between 1934 and 1935 and settled in the rural part of China to reorganize their forces.4 During this period, the European forces were unable to control the Japanese military. Consequently, Japan also decided to conquer other parts of East Asia. They conquered Manchuria from 1931 to 1945, when America defeated them in the WW II.
In Korea, Japan ruled them from 1910 to 1945. They were always very prompt at crushing any signs of dissent. In 1919, the natives organized a national protest, which softened the Japanese. In 1937, the Japanese reintroduced harsh measures in their rule: they made the Koreans work in their industries and fight for them in the war. They also drafted Korean women as Comfort women.
Western and Japanese Powers in the Asia Pacific
Many western countries established their powers in Asia Pacific because of trade and the search for raw materials. For example, the British government went into China with the purpose of selling wool, Cotton and opium to the locals. In return, they wanted tea from the Chinese. Western forces isolated Japan in their conquest of the Asian Pacific. 5Therefore, Japan also had to colonize some parts of the region.
The Extent of the Empires
The Japanese Empire included Korea, the Nanking and Manchuria regions of China. By 1942, Japan occupied a total of 7, 400, 000 square kilometers.6 On the other hand, France controlled Vietnam, Indochina, Laos and Cochinchina while the Britons held China, Hong Kong, Burma, and Kowloon. 7 These empires were always competing for resources and regions. In fact, Japan conquered Manchuria because of feeling segregated.
Nationalism is a political ideology that makes people identify with their nations. Nationalism is critical to the community because it makes members of the community stand up in defense of their community’s interests.8 For example, the Nationalist and Communist parties in China stood up against the imperialists.
Factors that Precluded the Formation of a Modern Nation-state
The factors that precluded the establishment of a Modern Japanese state include protests against their conquest in China and Korea, constant fights European forces and the bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They spent lots of money and time reconstructing. In response to these impediments, they relaxed their treatment of the Koreans in 1919 and later came up with harsh rules in 1937 to make the Koreans work for them.9 The Japanese surrendered to the allied forces and allowed the US to control them up to 1952.
Imperialism and the Empire of Bases
- Both aim at expanding the conquest of individualism Nations and suppressing the natives
- The masters in both of them look for markets for their products and raw materials for their industries.
- Imperialism mostly involved direct rule over nations while the Empire of Bases involves imposing rules and policies on countries.
- Americans always disguise their intentions in “humanitarian support” to suppress and take over resources from countries, but imperialism was always forceful.
Social Revolution and other Transformative Processes
Social revolutions involve people from the low-class fighting against the ruling class.10 The revolutions do not involve the use of weapons. The main participants are, usually, denied political power. On the other hand, conflict-related revolutions are often violent and involve two groups of people from the political class fighting for leadership. Most of the time, people organize revolutions when they experience discontent in their leaders. Other forms of transformation involve passage of laws and constitutional amendments. Such forms of change use only dialog.
The 1911 Revolution
The 1911 Revolution is crucial in the history of China. It helped end the 4000-year Manchu rule. At the same time, the revolution ended a dynasty rule and paved way for the democracy that exists up to today.11 The Republic of China took over from the Qing Dynasty, which entailed the minority Manchu and allowed the Han majority to lead. This revolution was a social revolution since it did not involve much violence, and it gave power to people who deserved it but had been denied it for 4000 years.
Crises of Modern China
The communist Revolution fought against regional imbalance and the loss of culture among many other issues.12 European powers had introduced their culture and were selling opium to their youths, making them think only about it at the expense of their culture. They also protested against the marginalization of peasants in the rural area.13 These problems still exist today in China. For example, many people have abandoned Confucianism for Western ways of life. Worse still, the government has concentrated on developing urban centers at the expense of rural areas.
Grievances and National Aspirations
The Chinese wanted to save their culture from encroachment by foreign culture. At the same time, they wanted to get rid of the dynasty and the imperial rule and replace it with a national government. They preferred a government system they could identify with their origin.
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Mao’s Continuous Revolution
Mao justified his intentions by claiming that the government had taken over bourgeois ideologies. He claimed that he wanted to bring the power to the people and help industrialize the nation. He justified his continuous revolution with the belief that there was need to cleanse such governments of all the bourgeois elements.
The social, political and economic aspects of the Chinese society have been not changed for a long time. For example, women have not yet gained a respectable position as Mao wanted. In addition, the Chinese society still experience divisions along classes and the gap between the wealthy urban dwellers and the poor village dwellers is always enlarging. Hence, there is need for adopting Mao’s continuous Revolution.
Chen, Ping. 1999. Modern Chinese. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
Chow, Kai-wing, Kevin Michael Doak, and Poshek Fu. 2001. Constructing Nationhood in Modern East Asia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Karl, Rebecca E. 2010. Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World. Durham [NC]: Duke University Press.
Lockard, Craig A. 2009. Southeast Asia in World History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wilkinson, Endymion Porter. 2000. Chinese History. Cambridge, Mass.: Published by the Harvard University Asia Centre for the Harvard-Yenching Institute.
1 Chow, Kai-wing, Kevin Michael Doak, and Poshek Fu. Constructing Nationhood in Modern East Asia. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001), 10.
2 Wilkinson, Endymion Porter. Chinese History. (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Centre for the Harvard-Yenching Institute, 2000), 24.
3 Chen, Ping. Modern Chinese. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 32.
4 Lockard, Craig A. Southeast Asia in World History. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 21.
5 Lockard, Craig A. Southeast Asia in World History. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 25.
6 Lockard, Craig A. Southeast Asia in World History. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 21
7 Lockard, Craig A. Southeast Asia in World History. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 24.
8 Chow, Kai-wing, Kevin Michael Doak, and Poshek Fu. Constructing Nationhood in Modern East Asia. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001), 19.
9 Chow, Kai-wing, Kevin Michael Doak, and Poshek Fu. Constructing Nationhood in Modern East Asia. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001), 21.
10 Karl, Rebecca E.. Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World.( Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 18.
11 Lockard, Craig A. Southeast Asia in World History. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 21
12 Karl, Rebecca E.. Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World.( Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 14.
13 Karl, Rebecca E.. Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World.( Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 17.