East Asia 20th Century:

This week we discussed, read, and learned about East Asia in the 20th century. Since the Qing was now falling in China, Japan began to take over and soon was in complete control.  After being relatively isolated for the past couple centuries, they began to dominate with new ideals of westernization and nationalism. The opium wars added insult to injury as opium was forced into China. The Qing’s fall from power ultimately led to China’s initial downfall, as well as lots of embarrassment among members of the Chinese c0mmunity. This showed the weakness of imperial government which led to uprisings such as the boxer rebellion. People were not happy, and the overthrow of imperial government was a long time coming.

In contrast, Japan also made large changes around this time. Before taking over China, they adopted a western-style, industrial lifestyle that saw importance in things such as equal education. However, they still kept their identity, unlike China. Women though were now taught a variety of skills, but were mainly taught to carry on traditions. They were still nowhere near equal to men. Japan was also able to militarize very quickly and being attacks on Korea and eventually China. However, this left long-term resentment, but there was fortunately not fighting in the aftermath of these attacks. The nations rarely used violence in years following.

In conclusion, Japan was much more successful in their efforts than China. They kept their identity but at the same time were able to become a powerful force and industrialize. The Chinese were simply left embarrassed by their weak government.

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