Study notes on Western influence and pressure in the history of China and Japan in the 19th and 20th Century

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Western influence and pressure in the history of China and Japan in the 19th and 20th Century should not be dismissed, because they are often the impetus, if not the main driving force, of important internal events. China and Japan's own situation and internal forces, then, temper how each country responds to these Western pressures and influences. China, already under the yoke of the Manchurian Jun Hsien rule, wrestled repeatedly with Western values. Japan, on the other hand, perhaps more self secure with its wholly indigenous culture, could adapt Western methods while preserving Japanese values with less violence.

Opium War (1840s, China) 1st real source of pressure.


* Before this, mutual respect caused no pressure. Start of era of disrespect. West starts to see China as barbaric.

* Foreign criminals let off lightly. Condescension.

* Top traders smuggle opium to redress balance of payments. Govts didn't intervene.

* China in turn sees this disrespect as barbaric. Sees Feng Chien West as militaristic and superstitious cos of religion (contrast to Jun Hsien)

* Lin Tse Hsu forced to retaliate. In vain.

* Led to bitter unequal treaties. Forced to open up more ports for trade they didn't need, and had to grant extrality.

* After this, continual Jun Hsien - Fen Chien value clash. Mutual disrespect.


* Perry arrives in 1853, just after Opium War.

* Japanese also Fen Chien.

* Indigenous (no struggle of nationalism)

* Fears Western control after seeing terrible defeat of China, and wants Western respect

* Inherent tradition of borrowing and copying in culture

* Allows for adapting of Western methods, not necessarily with their values.

China: Wrestling between Jun Hsien and Western values extreme. All or nothing.

Taiping Rebellion (1850s - 1860s)

* Hung Hsiu Ch'uan's Christian driving force...