3. The New Imperialism: China and Japan


I. China

    A. Forcible Opening of China by the West

            1. Opium War

                 - unable to expand trade with China, the British

                            began to import opium grown in India into

                            China to offset the trade imbalance caused

                            by the rising demand for tea in Britain

                 - opium was highly addictive for the Chinese and

                           the trade highly profitable for the British

                - when Chinese authorities attempted to put an

                           end to this trade, the British sent a naval

                            expedition to force China to open its doors

                            to foreign trade

                 - the conflict demonstrated British naval and

                           technological superiority

                 - Treaty of Nanking

                        > five ports opened to the British

                        > limited tariffs on British imports

                        > granted the British extraterritoriality rights

                        > the British received a large indemnity and

                                  the island of Hong Kong


            2. Scramble for China

                 -  unable to effectively resist their demands,

                        China was forced to cede territory and rights

                              similar to those granted the British to other

                              Western powers

                 - 1860 the opium trade was legalized


            3. Open Door Policy (1899-1900)

                 - a “gentlemen’s agreement” negotiated by U. S.

                          Secretary of State John Hay with Britain,

                          France, Germany, Russia, Italy and Japan

                          that guaranteed “equal and impartial trade

                          with all parts of the Chinese Empire” and

                          preservation of  “Chinese territorial and

                          administrative” integrity


    B. Internal Problems

            1. Taiping Rebellion (1853-1864)

                 -  a peasant revolt against the inefficient and

                         corrupt administration of the state

                 - goal > to establish a “Heavenly Kingdom of

                         Supreme Peace in China”

                 - movement lost momentum and was suppressed

            2. The Boxer Rebellion

                 - a religious, secret society (“Righteous and

                         Harmonious Fists”) that was anti-foreigner

                                 and anti-Christian

                 - primarily a reaction to economic hardship due

                         to drought and high unemployment caused

                         in part by foreign steamships and railroads

                 - attacked foreign residences and legates in


                 - suppressed by an international force

                 - China was charged to pay a large indemnity

                         and foreign troops remained in Beijing


     C. Attempts at Reform

            1. Decline of the Qing Dynasty

                 - the Emperor was under the control of his

                        mother, the powerful Empress Dowager Cixi,

                        who feared reform would lead to the loss of

                        their throne

                 - because the regime was unable to oppose

                          foreign intervention and deal effectively

                          with internal concerns, nationalist sentiments

                          that were fostered by Western imperialism were

                          directed against the Manchu rulers

                 - the weakness of the Chinese state contributed to a

                          loss of confidence in traditional Confucian values

                          that were the basis of political authority


            2. Reforms

                 - initial reforms aimed at obtaining Western

                         technology without making fundamental changes

                 - popular uprisings led to reforms in education,

                         military and government culminating in the

                         1908 constitution

                 - significant reform was difficult to achieve


     D. Revolution of 1911

            1. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925)

                 - created the United League bringing together

                        groups that opposed the government

                 - advocated the Three Principles of the People:

                        nationalism, democracy and livelihood

                        (improvement in economic and social conditions)

            2. Outbreak of Revolution

                 - discontent peaked over a plan to nationalize

                          the railroads on terms that favored foreigners

                          despite protests from the elected assemblies

                 - 15 provinces declared their independence and

                          provincial military forces overthrew the Qing

                          regime which was abandoned by Imperial forces

                 - the Chinese Republic was established with

                          Sun Yat-sen as provisional president

                 - February 1912 Emperor Puyi, who had ascended

                          to the throne in 1908 at the age of 3, abdicated


            3. Aftermath of the Revolution

                 - the Union League became the People’s  

                        National Party > Nationalists

                 - Sun Yat-sen was unable to gain control over

                         much of the country which was dominated

                          by local “war lords”

                 - to avoid a civil war in 1913, Sun Yat-sen gave

                          up the presidency to General Yűan Shih- k’ai,

                          former commander of the Imperial forces

                 - but Yűan’s imperial ambitions led to his fall and

                          Sun Yat-sen returned to power in 1916


II. Japan

    A. The Opening of Japan

            1. U. S. Commodore Perry arrived in Edo in 1853

                   with a fleet of “Black Ships”


            2. 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa (Treaty of Peace and

                        Amity) and 1858 Treaty

                 - gave U. S. several ports, allowed the

                        establishment of a U. S. Consulate and

                         exchange of ministers, and granted

                         extraterritoriality rights

                 - similar rights were later give to several

                         European states


     B. The Meiji Restoration (1867-1912)

            1. The forcible opening of Japan to the West

                  resulted in a loss on confidence in the

                  Tokugawa Shogunate which was overthrown

                  and Emperor Meiji was given authority over

                  the state


            2. A program of modernization was undertaken

                 a) political reorganization

                        - Daimyo lost their lands, but were given

                                   positions as governors over their former


                        - Samurai received a monetary compensation

                                   and were forbidden to wear a sword

                        - a modern army and navy was created

                        - Charter Oath of 1868 reorganized the state

                                    and brought local administration under

                                    the authority of a Council of State

                        - Constitution of 1889:

                             > gave the Emperor supreme authority

                             > established a two house Parliament

                             > allowed for an independent military authority


                 b) economic development

                        - agriculture

                             > lands were redistributed to those who

                                    farmed them and the taxes raised

                                    from agriculture were used to support

                                    industrial development

                        - industry

                             > developed without foreign loans or

                                    investment and with close cooperation

                                    between the public and private sectors

                             > women left their homes to work in the

                                   new factories


                 c) education

                        - restructured along the American model, though

                                  emphasized traditional Japanese Confucian


                        - bright students were sent abroad to study

                                  and specialists were imported


     C. Foreign Policy > Imperialistic Expansion

            1. Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895)

                 - fought over conflicting interests in Korea

                 - Japan acquired Taiwan, Rijukyu Islands,

                          Kwangtung Peninsula


            2. Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)

                 - fought against Russian expansion in Manchuria


            3. Korea annexed in 1908


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