Russia And Japanese Imperialism Essay

1226 Words 5 Pages
The nineteenth century was a huge turning point in global powers in Europe and Asia. The smaller countries grew larger in power whereas the bigger countries grew smaller in power, Russia, Japan, and China being the greatest examples. While Japan thrived in many aspects, Russia and China were on the verge of falling apart. The different approaches to nationalism by the three countries affected their political, social, and economic transformation and modernization while Japan mostly benefitted in comparison to Russia and China.
Japan followed China to open their gates to trade “under pressure from the west” (Valentini 1). Both these countries were “technologically” and militarily behind the west so they were forced to “sign unequal treaties”
…show more content…
They wanted to thrive as a traditional nation without any influence from the west, but centuries later, when asked to open ports by westerners, “China welcomed foreign trade” for the reason that they benefitted from the silver income that Britain provided. They took Britain’s silver, but did not take Britain’s new ideas and innovations for technology whereas when Japan was confronted by western powers, they wanted to replicate the technology so they could modernize. The Japanese were intrigued by the new innovations and began industrializing. China looked at the new western technology as if they were toys and decided not to industrialize neither did they make reforms. The Chinese had the capacity to industrialize, but they chose not to because they believed they were still the greatest power in the world. China wanted to stay in its traditional state while Japan overthrew their feudal shogunate so they could create a government more like the Westerners. The Japanese government wanted to “very rapidly Westernize the nation, in terms of technology and in things like clothing and eating habits” so they could persuade the westerners to believe that the Japanese were their “equals” (Itoh …show more content…
These goals for their country allowed them to understand the importance of making reforms and industrializing. Both nations had a history of imitating the cultures of other nations. For example, Russia imitated the Byzantine Empire in architecture and religion while Japan imitated China through Korea, the cultural landbridge. Japan even avoided being taken over by western empires by observing what happened to China. Japan’s nationalism helped them to create a strong military to protect itself against western powers. They used their code of Bushido to create a strong, vast, and loyal army. “It took defeat in the Crimean War to expose the empire’s lack of development and the urgent need for Russian industrialization. Russian factories were unable to produce sufficient amounts of weapons, munitions or machinery. There was very little technical innovation; most of Russia’s new technologies were imported from the West. And the empire’s railway system was woefully inadequate, with insufficient rail lines and rolling stock to move men or equipment in large amounts” (Llewellyn, Rae, and Thompson 1). Russia knew that they needed to make reforms. They began industrializing and like Japan, they industrialized in a rapid rate. In 30 years, Russia was able to make 30, 000 miles of railway track. “New railways allowed transport into remote parts of the empire, allowing the construction and

Related Documents