Westernization in China and Japan Essay

1307 Words 6 Pages
In the middle of the 19th century, despite a few similarities between the initial responses of China and Japan to the West, they later diverged; which ultimately affected and influenced the modernizing development of both countries. At first, both of the Asian nations rejected the ideas which the West had brought upon them, and therefore went through a time period of self-imposed isolation. However, the demands that were soon set by Western imperialism forced them, though in different ways, to reconsider. And, by the end of the 19th century both China and Japan had introduced ‘westernizing’ reforms. China’s aim was to use modern means to retain and preserve their traditional Confucian culture. Whereas Japan, on the other hand, began to …show more content…
Due to this sudden population increase, many people faced starvation and famine, and the peasants rebelled as there was a shortage of food production. In the meantime, the industrial revolution took place in many countries in Europe. Soon enough, steam and electrical power had been invented. The King of England, George the third, then sent an ambassador to the emperor of China to create a trading agreement. Although at the first, the emperor disagreed, he eventually said yes, and China began trading their porcelain and tea in return for silver from European merchants. When the European merchants found that the silver was too expensive, they introduced the sale of cotton. China tried to resist all foreign, economic and political penetrations by inhibiting foreign trade. However, though China tried to seal itself off from the rest of the world, it also invited an even more devastating penetration: the Opium War. In 1820, european merchants bought opium from India, and began trading it to the Chinese. The opium trade was very successful as the European merchants made large profits. Soon enough, almost all men under 40 smoked opium. Due to this, China began to struggle balancing its trade. It had difficulty exporting enough tea and porcelain to receive the large quantities of opium which it requested. China then began exporting silver to balance out the trade,

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