Chau Nguyen

THESIS: From 1750-1914, both Chinese and Japanese nationalism rose from a desire to remove foreign rule out of their land to regain their culture and pride. Despite the similarity in both countries' aspirations, China and Japan had different results coming from their patriotic feelings. China was not able to gain freedom from its foreigners in a short amount of time. In fact, Japan, as small of a country as it is, was able to sweep out its foreigners and become an industrial power faster than the Chinese. In other words, China was the imperialized, while Japan was the imperialist.

  • Chinese nationalism:
    • China was unstable as European spheres of influence continued to dominate and as internal issues continued.
    • The Opium War of 1839 left China under control of Britain. By the time the war ended, 1842, Britain was able to take over China's economy through the Treaty of Nanjing. China was not able to counter British officials and was forced to allow these foreigners inside.
    • The Taiping Rebellionof 1850-1864, led by Hong Xiuquan, is undoubtedly the most dangerous upheaval in China and was probably the most important event in the 19th century.
      • Civil war fought between Chinese "Christian" rebels and the Qing dynasty; arose from discontent of the corrupt and ineffective Manchu leaders who did nothing to stop the opium trade.
      • Although it did not get rid of and replace the Qing dynasty, it altered it and was the only rebellion that came the closest to toppling the Manchus.
    • The Boxer Rebellion of 1900 was an uprising in China against Western influences; although it was supported by the government, it was not successful.
    • Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 in Beijing, China. Students protest for democratic reforms; many are killed by the Chinese army, which is sent by the government with tanks.
    • Establishment of People's Republic of China in 1949

The most dangerous rebellion: the Taiping Rebellion of 1850-1864 claimed many lives.
The most dangerous rebellion: the Taiping Rebellion of 1850-1864 claimed many lives.

  • Japanese nationalism:
    • The Tokugawa Period called for economic, social, and political reforms in the nineteenth century.
    • Similar to China, Japan had an isolation policy that was put down by foreigners, who forced the country into unfair treaties.
    • The Meiji Restoration (1868): period when Japan was ruled by the emperor Meiji Tenno, marked by the modernization and westernization of the country
      • Daimyo and samurai lost power as feudalism was taken away.
      • Constitutional government in 1889; unequal treaties ended
      • Infrastructure (zaibatsu)
      • Peasants were valued more as they provided 90% of the state revenue
      • In just a single generation, Japan became an industrial power.
    • Japan became an industrial power in a single generation and caught up to the United States; must faster than China, who was later imperialized by Japan in 1895 as well as Russia in 1904. The irony lies in the fact that Russia, a huge country, was defeated by Japan, a tiny country.

In the first Sino-Japanese War, Japan overcame China.
In the first Sino-Japanese War, Japan overcame China.



Russia experienced a humiliating defeat in the Russo-Japanese War.
Russia experienced a humiliating defeat in the Russo-Japanese War.