The Emergence Of New Imperial Powers

767 words - 4 pages

Jui-Chi Wu
8 December 2015
The Emergence of New Imperial Powers
The Qing dynasty in China was most powerful during 1683-1839 in the rules of Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors, which the Western called the “High Qing”. However, in 1840, Chinese was hardly beaten by Britain in the Opium War, followed by another failure in the second Opium War in 1858, which they were forced to sign unequal treaties. Eventually, they realized the gap between the West and China and therefore started the Self-Strengthening Movement to study Western science, technology and machine manufacturing. Around the same period, Japan, recognizing how China had been made to concede their power, started to feel ...view middle of the document...

This history background made Chinese not having senses of crisis, but instead, only strengthened their senses of superiority. On the other hand, Japan, being an island, was more sensitive to foreign powers. Moreover, dating back to the 7th century, they already had experiences of learning from foreigners, the Tang dynasty in China, a strong empire at that time. Therefore, when faced with the impact from the West industrial civilization, Japan was more willing to change and learn from others. Looking at their history background, we can see implications that led to one’s success and another’s failure.
Without an effective political, cultural and educational system, a country cannot be truly powerful even with strong militaries and armies. By comparing the measures Japan and Chinese put into their reforms, we can grasp how it led one to succeed and another to fail. Japan made changes not only materially but institutionally whereas China put no effort in adjusting their institutional system. First, materially, Japan introduced western modern industrial technology and built new railroads. Second, politically, Japan abandoned their formal system and established a new one. They gradually weaken feudal forces, cancelled and deprived the privileges of samurai and the old ruling class to further abolish the feudal system and fortify centralization. In addition, they introduced...

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