#History 391 question 3:

To what extent did the acquisition and acceptance of western learning and technology contribute to the social, political, and economic changes in both China and Japan during the transition to Meiji period in Japan and the fall of the Qing in China?

Before the mid- to late 19th Century, both China and Japan had had some contact with the West. For China, that contact went back over a thousand years, primarily through trade along the Silk Road. That trade increased especially after about the 13th century, when we know that Italian traders like Marco Polo were able to travel to the Yuan Court. In contrast, the first real western contact with Japan came in the 16th century when traders and Jesuit missionaries first began to visit Japan. At the same time, those Jesuit missionaries, had managed to establish relations with the Ming Emperors. Neither Japan nor China, however, fully embraced these westerners nor their ideals and values. Instead they tended to see the westerners and their technology as somewhat inferior, if occasionally useful. Those relationships changed in the 19th C., when both China and Japan were forcibly opened to the west. Both countries reacted to this opening differently.
When comparing the acquisition of western structuring of economy, politics, education, and technology, in both China and Japan, at first glance it appears that China reluctantly accepted these influences, while Japan embraced them. China’s hesitation led to the fall of the Qing while Japan’s acceptance led to the success of the Meiji period. The reality, however, is not that simple. In both countries there were efforst to both adopt/adapt and reject thw West and its stuff.

Both China and Japan saw the intrusion of the west as a threat to their own customs, traditions, and values. Socially, these were the most important reasons for rejection of the west. Economically, China wished to continue to control its own economy and the terms of trade with Western Countries. Japan, which had been closed off to the West since early Tokugawa shoguns had issued the so-called “Closed Country Edict” in the early 17th c. These edicts were in part a reaction to the involvement of missionaries in Japanese politics, especially in terms of supplying arms to some daimyo.

General attitudes towards western learning in Japan and China? General methods/levels of acceptance for adopting western learning?

China: Wanted to do things and Tried - last resort
Japan: Did them, took action and implemented and accepted most new Western ideas/changes

China:
*1870’s- Chinese students studying more western things like:

Japan:
1860’s -
* hiring westerners to come in and teach Japanese schools things like language, military, economics, government and other subjects.
*sent students to Europe and the United States to learn about the government and subjects
students sent to learn military systems in other military schools (AD)

Specific political changes in China

Before: Imperial rulers were in place for thousands of years. The Qing dynasty was in place from 1644-1911, and was ran as an absolute monarchy. Emperors were not elected, and that’s probably the biggest difference that happened after the fall of the Qing; parliamentary elections. (NP)

After: Slavery was abolished in 1910. New government inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Sun Yat-sen (NP).
After the fall of the Qing, China went to the first Republic of China. The Republic was founded in 1912 and was in effect until 1949. (MH)
Song Jiaoren won the parliamentary election in Dec 1912. (MH)
President Yuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang clique, retained control of the central government even after Song Jiaoren won the election. (NP)

Very General Political Changes — before/after defining dates/marker events helps

Specific political changes in Japan

Before:

Political reform- Tenpo reform era- These were forms to restore the feudal agricultural society. It emphasized frugality in government and personal affairs. It was trying to consolidate the shogun’s land to help unify but there were too many opposers like the landowning class that caused the reforms to fail. They were proved ineffective which showed that the economy was too down to try and be restored by simple things (AD)

Feudal Shogunate, Bakumatsu (final years of Edo period)
closed to foreign influence — ban on christianity
(ST)

After:
-The Meiji Period started with the formation of a new government
The first reform was to create a Five Charter Oath in 1868, which was a general statement of the aims of the Meiji leaders. Theses five charters stated that there would be an establishment of deliberative assembilies, involvement of all classes in carrying out state affairs, takes away the class restrictions on employment , replaces certain customs and searches for knowledge.

Very General Economic Changes — before/after

Specific Economic changes in Japan

Before:
Economic distress: in the 19th century there was a large gap in the economy between the “ideal” and ambitious young men from the poor families.

ECONOMIC GROWTH
Emphasis on agricultural production: rice, sesame oil, indigo, sugar cane, mulberry, tobacco and cotton (Producing for market and not just own sustenance)
Manufacturing industry expands
Wealthy merchant class
Urbanization
Daimyo collected taxes in form of rice
Final 30 years saw financial hardship
*(agriculture couldn’t keep up with other sectors of the economy) (ST)

After:
Industrial Revolution of Japan
Imported raw materials, exported finished product

Free enterprise capitalism
One currency based on Yen
Foreign trade (ST)

After:
Japan employed over 3,000 foreign teachers to help the people learn English, science, engineering, army and navy.

Japan’s Industrial revolution was in 1870
(AD)

Specific Economic Changes in China

Before: After the Boxer Rebellion, many Western countries saw China as a good target for railway building and investment. Countries such as the United Kingdom and France built numerous railways despite protest by the Qing. Germany began building lines in Shandong, the British in Yangtze Valley, French in Kunming, Russians in Heilongjiang and the Japanese had the Southern Manchuria Railway company. (NP)

Before: Growing demand in Europe and America for Chinese goods (teas, porcelain, silks, etc.) was not being matched by Chinese demand for Western goods. West paying mainly in silver, brings prosperity (by 1780s, silver flow in China was over 16 million taels). British began using opium as payment method (ST)

After: By 1820s, enough opium was coming into China to supply around 1 million users. Opium was one cause for Taiping Rebellion. Qing could not handle massive flow of opium (MH)

Social Changes — What was society like before? what about after?

China - wanted to do things (tried)
During the fall of the Qing:

After: During the fall of the Qing:

What are examples of China’s acquisition and/or acceptance of western learning and technology?

  1. [1865-1875- Movement led by scholars, etc.]
    `What was this movement called? You will need to be more specific. (JAH)
    Self-Strengthening Movement (NP)
  2. Taiping Rebellion (Sam)
  3. Adoption of weaponry and military technology/Tactics (MH)

    a. In rebellions, etc.
    b. as part of general attempts to catch up and modernize

Concerning [1865-1875- Movement led by scholars, etc.]: Self-Strengthening Movement (NP)

  1. what people were involved, and how were they involved?
    (Li Hongzhang; most important leader of of reform movement, over 90 percent of the modernization projects were launched under his aegis.) (NP)
  2. who were the supporters and why? what did they think they would achieve?
    (Prince Gong, Li Hongzhang, Feng Guifen, Zeng Guofan… NP) and Princess Cuxi (Sam)

what did they fear/distrust/want to keep from losing, etc.? (Princess Cixi, I Ho Ch’uan “Boxers”, among others. The people wanted to uphold Chinese sovereignty, tradition, ethics, etc. against the invasion of foreign culture (MH)

+ What were the causes of Self Strengthening Movement? (NP) 

Foreign influence and the thought of combining Western culture and technology with Chinese beliefs (Confucianism) and institutions

  1. What were the effects of [Self Strengthening Movement]?
    • on society/social culture/social structure?
    • on political structures, relationships, power dynamics, foreign/domestic relations, etc?+ on China’s economy/economic structure/economic/foreign/domestic, etc.?

1865-1875- Self-Strengthening (NP) Movement led by scholars, etc., such as Feng Guifen and politicians like Zeng Guofen, Li Honzhang. China could only excel with Chinese belief being base but Western beliefs being used (technology and science)
this is one of those places where someone needs to add more detail by answering there questions at left (JAH)

  1. Effects of the Self Strengthening Movement

*It caused China to have to rapidly transition from the agriculturally based country that it had been, to a more modern and industrialized nation, just to be able to keep up with western civilization. (ST)

  1. Causes of the Self Strengthening Movement

*Impact from foreign aggression and invasion:
-lost in both Opium Wars
-tributary system ended
-unequal treaties effected China’s sovereignty
-population decrease
-missionaries spreading quickly

*Taiping Rebellion
-Confucian values threatened Qing Dynasty
-Desire to preserve traditional Chinese values, didn’t want western reforms
-Chinese began to value Western military technology

*Tongzhi Restoration
-tried to have limited western reform

(ST)

Taiping Rebellion:

  1. what people were involved, and how were they involved? Hong XuiquanTaiping vs. Qing government (Sam)
    ~ Hong Xiuquan = leader of the rebellion - Also claimed to be the brother of Jesus Christ (MH)
    ~Anti-Taiping forces were ultimately under the control of Zeng Goufan (MH)
  2. who were the supporters and why? what did they think they would achieve?
    Not set type of people (pawnbrokers, miners, clerks, militias, etc.) (Sam)
    They believed they could take over China. After winning the cities of Wuchang and Anqing the Taiping invaded Nanjing and won the city in March 1853. However, poor leadership, little initiative, no support from foreign or internal powers, along with the collective failures of Taiping military against the Qing, and the death of Xiuquan, the Taiping faltered and the Qing took back the city in July, 1864 (Sam)
    • South China is finally out of governmental control (MH)
    • who were the main opponents and why? The Qing, Taiping practiced Christianity and challenged Qing for power (Sam)
      what did they fear/distrust/want to keep from losing, etc.? They feared foreign influence (religion, technology, etc.) and its effect on the people and wanted to keep their power and authority (Sam)
      ~ Taiping “Christian” ideology was a new concept that caught on quickly in South China (Sam)
    • What were the causes of Taiping Rebellion?
    • Social conditions: The increased nationwide use of opium (by 1820s enough opium for over 1 million addicts was coming into China)
    • from political conditions/events: The constant plunders of the Qing government: Ineffective revenue systems, corruption, and internal strife
    • from economic conditions/events: Increased foreign importation (ex. opium) and influence was harming the Chinese economy (Sam)
  3. What were the effects of Taiping Rebelloion?
    • on society/social culture/social structure: The Qing had asked for foreign help and opened their gates, Western influence quickly became stronger and more widely accepted. (Sam)
    • on political structures, relationships, power dynamics, foreign/domestic relations, etc: Qing government lost power internally and externally. Treaty of Tianjin—free travel throughout China by foreigners with passports, permanent British ambassador with home in Peking, treaty ports, and increased taxes (Sam)
    • on China’s economy/economic structure/economic relationships foreign and domestic, etc.: Government was in a “restoration” state. Qing officials begin policies to improve China and its economy, western technology and science (weapons, ships, etc.) became accepted and sought after (Sam)

What are examples of Japan’s acquisition and/or acceptance of western learning and technology?

  1. Building of railroads, improving roads, and inaugurated land reform to help prepare for future development. (NP)
  2. Adapted Western-based education system for young people; sent youngsters to U.S. & Europe and hired Westerners to teach modern science, math, foreign language, and technology in Japan. (NP)
    3.Western Style military training.(DT)

    Gas lighting and Western style factories (DT and NP)

Concerning Adaptation of Weaponry/Military Technology/Tactics: gunpowder weapons, guns/cannons (MH)

1) What people were involved and how were they involved? Military leaders from the Qing Dynasty:

After the Taiping, Chinese scholars tried to stay true to the old Confucian virtues. However, they also tried to incorporate Western technology. This was important because they were in a difficult position and needed to control the Western “barbarians”. (MH)

2) Who were the supporters and why? What did they think they would achieve?
The Chinese reformers built many factories that produced weapons, ammunition, steamships, and textiles. They also built railroads and telegraph lines and the Chinese government even bought one railroad. Problems lied with the peasants who destroyed the railroads and telegraph lines because they thought it was in the way of the purity of nature. (MH)

3) Who were the main opponents and why? What did they fear/distrust/want to keep from losing, etc.?

The Chinese loyalists had a hard time supporting the new technologies, but knew that they would have to in order to stay competitive. I was important that they were able to stick to their original virtues. )MH)

4) What were the causes of [example]?

From an economic standpoint, this industrialization caused China to fall further into debt - thus making it more difficult for the Chinese to fund any modernization programs. (MH)

5) What were the effects of [example]?

China saw little progress toward modernization even though it was necessary. (MH)

The rise to power of the dowager empress, Cixi, ran China’s policies from 1875-1908. This resulted in China being more vulnerable to foreign powers. This is because Cixi was more concerned with government spending on palaces and other frivolous things. (MH)

Concerning [example one]:

  1. what people were involved, and how were they involved?
  2. who were the supporters and why? what did they think they would achieve?
    • who were the main opponents and why? what did they fear/distrust/want to keep from losing, etc.?
    • What were the causes of [example one]?
    • from social conditions?
    • from political conditions/events?
    • from economic conditions/events?
  3. What were the effects of [example one]?
    • on society/social culture/social structure?
    • on political structures, relationships, power dynamics, foreign/domestic relations, etc?
    • on Japan’s economy/economic structure/economic relationships foreign and domestic, etc.?
  1. Westerners like Yevfimy Putyatin and Mathew Perry. Japanese like Inoue Masaru. These people supported the railroad system(DT)
  2. Effects of Japan’s interest in railroads lead to 1892 railway construction act which allowed 33 railways to be constructed by government or private entities.(DT)

education system

  1. Curiosity started Western Learning, but seeing education in the western world spurred the need to reform their learning methods. This started around the 1850s
    2.Dutch learning was appreciated by daimyo Shimazu Nariakira of Satsuma domain. Matsudaira Shungaku of Echizen mentions 1858 that schools for various arts and crafts must be established. (DT)
  2. 1871 ministry of education was established.(DT)
  1. Shimazu Nariakira of Satsuma domain started system of western factories. (DT)
  2. Other daimyo such as Echizen, Hizen, and Tosa, also started their own westernized programs. (DT)

Concerning [example two]:

  1. what people were involved, and how were they involved?
  2. who were the supporters and why? what did they think they would achieve?
    • who were the main opponents and why? what did they fear/distrust/want to keep from losing, etc.?
    • What were the causes of [example one]?
    • from social conditions?
    • from political conditions/events?
    • from economic conditions/events?
  3. What were the effects of [example one]?
    • on society/social culture/social structure?
    • on political structures, relationships, power dynamics, foreign/domestic relations, etc?
    • on Japan’s economy/economic structure/economic relationships foreign and domestic, etc.?
  1. Fukuzawa Yukichi was involved with education. He learned of the importance of western style education and started schools in Japan.
  2. People who saw western learning first hand knew that they must change Japan’s system.
    Disgruntled samurai opposed these changes.
  3. schools in Japan taught Dutch, math, and sciences. English was more important for trading so Fukuzawa Yukichi wrote the first English to Japanese dictionary.
    Something important was called “the spirit of civilization.” It couldn’t be bought, it must be learned.(DT)

Concerning [Gas Lighting/Western style factories]:

  1. what people were involved, and how were they involved?
    -who were the supporters and why? what did they think they would achieve?
    -who were the main opponents and why? what did they fear/distrust/want to keep from losing, etc.?
    -What were the causes of [example one]?
    from social conditions?
    from political conditions/events?
    from economic conditions/events?
    -What were the effects of [example one]?
    on society/social culture/social structure?
    on political structures, relationships, power dynamics, foreign/domestic relations, etc?
    on Japan’s economy/economic structure/economic relationships foreign and domestic, etc.?

Military Technology:
Before: In 1854- Japan reformers were trying to modernize the military and technology after the treaty of Kanagawa but Tokugawa shogunate didn’t want the modernization and would imprision anyone who voiced views on military reforms