102_East Asia in the Modern Era (Week 4) RECORDING

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East Asia in the Modern Era:

East Asia in the Modern Era 18 th to 20 th Century


Terms! Shogunate – the period in Japanese history, in this context, where the descendants of Tokugawa Ieyasu ruled Japan as Shogun Meiji Restoration – The mid- to late-19 th century period in which the Emperor, Meiji, reasserted Imperial control over Japan and ended the Feudal Shogunate system Boxer – A European nickname given to Chinese nationalists who used Kung Fu in their attacks upon Western people, diplomats Nationalism – A sense of national belonging drawing from Enlightenment thinking and Liberalist ideology; superceding family, clan, ethnic loyalty in favor of a ‘national identity’


Bakumatsu The “Closing Curtain” period of Japanese history Shogunate had emphasized social stability, conformity over innovation Confucian deference to elders, superiors Limited social mobility in “ossified” Japanese society Samurai largely administrative class Important positions given to relatives Western learning disparaged as ‘corrupting’ Japan Those who insisted on modernization increasingly marginalized well into 19 th c. Attempts to modernize forbidden, Western books taboo

Japan, Late Tokugawa:

Japan, Late Tokugawa Internal restlessness The “outside” Daimyo Non-blood relations to Shogunate, “outside” the bureaucracy which ran Japan Appearance of the “Black Fleet” Brazen appearance of Americans in Edo harbor, 1852 Americans had conducted Holland’s trading under the Dutch flag during the Napoleonic Era (1798-1807)

Shogunate Response:

Shogunate Response Tokugawa Ieyoshi 1793 – 1853 Fell ill at the news of the Black Ship Armada Completely unprepared for such a brazen appearance Tried to fob Perry off with minor dignitaries Some Daimyo suggested an attack on the ships Japanese Cannons, Rifles based on adaptations of 17 th century technology American ships, cannons based on cutting edge 19 th century technology Allegedly died when Perry stepped ashore

Perry in Japan:

Perry in Japan Met by semi-official delegates Demands to deliver a letter to the Emperor Will open fire if his demands are not met Left after delivering the letter, promised to return Japanese nobles split on what to do New Shogun Tokugawa Iesada signs agreement, giving Perry (USA) what they want Perry returns with twice as many ships, early Demands answer or he will bombard Japanese coastal towns

Convention of Kanagawa, 1854:

Convention of Kanagawa, 1854 Open three new harbors for American ships to resupply Allow an American consulate to be established near Edo Establishes the “Peace and Amity” enjoyed between Japan and America Recognizes the right of the Japanese to remain closed society

Primary American Concerns:

Primary American Concerns Right to whale in Japanese waters Moby Dick by Herman Melville Right of American sailors shipwrecked in Japan to be returned home safely Coal, water, food can be purchased from Japan Setting the stage for later agreements

The Last Shoguns:

The Last Shoguns Tokugawa Iesada Agrees to Convention of Kanagawa, Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce, the Harris Treaty Allow England, America to trade with Japan Unpopular with Japanese Daimyo Dies with no heir, 1858 Tokugawa Iemochi Source of internal divisions, crises of succession Dies 1866 Tokugawa Yoshinobu Short reign, deposed in 1868

Class Questions:

Class Questions Given the history of Japan thus far [mostly ‘closed’ society, resistance to outside influence] What course should Japan take after 1850’s? What are the consequences of your course of action? Who can rally the people of Japan and rule in a credible manner?

Resistance to the Outside:

Resistance to the Outside Political statements in clothing, hair style Samurai, Daimyo loyal to the Shogunate violently oppose the Emperor Komei’s attempts to wrest control of the empire from the Tokugawa Shogunate Civil war 1862-67 European involvement Bombardment of Shiminoseki by France, England, The Netherlands and United States 1863-64 Boshin War 1868-69 The “Last Samurai” are killed in series of epic battles against a resurgent Emperor

Meiji Japan:

Meiji Japan Named after Emperor Meiji who ascended the throne in 1867 Abolition of feudal society Embrace of “Western” technology, government, social mobility Nationalist, Imperial ambitions Considering overseas colonial holdings in line with England, France, Holland, and USA War with China over control of Korea, influence in Manchuria 1895

War with Russia:

War with Russia Russo-Japanese War 1904-05 Russian army, navy larger than Japanese Desire for warm water Pacific ports, control of Manchuria, Korea Opposed by smaller Japanese army, navy maintain control of Korea, influence in Manchuria Stunning Japanese Victory Sparks A Russian Revolution in 1905 The Battleship Potemkin

The “New” Japan:

The “New” Japan Imperial Power within a generation Naval, military power makes Japan a regional power Empire of Japan, and its holdings, enter World War One on the side of England, France, USA, and Russia

Qing China:

Qing China

China & The West:

China & The West Trade imbalance between West & China Majority of silver winds up in Chinese coffers European merchants forced to bow to Emperor, pay tribute By 1800, English were using Indian lands to cultivate one product designed to penetrate Chinese markets Opium Opium was the only cash-only product in the English arsenal

Opium’s effects:

Opium’s effects Highly addictive Opiates constitute the strongest pain relievers used today; Morphine Lethargy Users of opium become lethargic, euphoric, sedated Physical dependence of user upon the substance Sudden stops can result in insanity, heart attack, stroke English smugglers protected on seas by English navy

Qing Reaction to Opium:

Qing Reaction to Opium Made illegal in 1836 Aggressively closed Opium dens, imprisoned/executed dealers, users BEI co. bribed officials to allow smuggling through Canton into China mainland 1800 – BEI smuggle 4,500 chests; 1835 – 40,000 chests Emperor appointed Lin Tse-hsu to oversee Canton Principled, incorruptable Sought out, destroyed hidden Opium caches Prosecuted British, Chinese merchants Wrote a letter directly to Queen Victoria exhorting her to stop Opium trade in China

Lin Tse-hsu’s Letter (an excerpt):

Lin Tse-hsu’s Letter (an excerpt) The kings of your honorable country by a tradition handed down from generation to generation have always been noted for their politeness and submissiveness. We have read your successive tributary memorials saying, "In general our countrymen who go to trade in China have always received His Majesty the Emperor's gracious treatment and equal justice." and so on…But after a long period of commercial intercourse, there appear among the crowd of barbarians both good persons and bad, unevenly. Consequently there are those who smuggle opium to seduce the Chinese people and so cause the spread of the poison to all provinces. Such persons who only care to profit themselves, and disregard their harm to others, are not tolerated by the laws of heaven and are unanimously hated by human beings…We trace the crime of those barbarians who through the years have been selling opium, then the deep harm they have wrought and the great profit they have usurped should fundamentally justify their execution according to law. We take into consideration, however, the fact that the various barbarians have still known how to repent their crimes and return to their allegiance to us by taking the 20,183 chests of opium from their storeships and petitioning us, through their consular officer [superintendent of trade], Elliot, to receive it. It has been entirely destroyed and this has been faithfully reported to the Throne in several memorials by this commissioner and his colleagues…

Excerpt, continued:

Excerpt, continued The goods from China carried away by your country not only supply your own consumption and use, but also can be divided up and sold to other countries, producing a triple profit…By what right do they then in return use the poisonous drug to injure the Chinese people? Even though the barbarians may not necessarily intend to do us harm, yet in coveting profit to an extreme, they have no regard for injuring others. Let us ask, where is your conscience? I have heard that the smoking of opium is very strictly forbidden by your country; that is because the harm caused by opium is clearly understood. Since it is not permitted to do harm to your own country, then even less should you let it be passed on to the harm of other countries -- how much less to China! Of all that China exports to foreign countries, there is not a single thing which is not beneficial to people: they are of benefit when eaten, or of benefit when used, or of benefit when resold: all are beneficial. Is there a single article from China which has done any harm to foreign countries? Take tea and rhubarb, for example…Suppose there were people from another country who carried opium for sale to England and seduced your people into buying and smoking it; certainly your honorable ruler would deeply hate it and be bitterly aroused. We have heard heretofore that your honorable ruler is kind and benevolent. Naturally you would not wish to give unto others what you yourself do not want.

Class Questions:

Class Questions What do you think of Lin’s letter to Queen Victoria? What elements of Chinese sense of superiority seep through in the letter? Was his request reasonable or not? Do you think Queen Victoria actually ever saw the letter? Why or why not? What do you think the English reaction should be?

English Response to Lin’s Letter:

English Response to Lin’s Letter Would not back down from opium trade Resentment at the treatment of British subjects as “barbarians” by China Resentment of the lower status accorded by Chinese Emperor, officials, to British Crown Resentment at the capture of British East India Company officials, agents in Lin’s anti-Opium raids

The Opium War:

The Opium War 1839-42 British technology outstripped Chinese Bombarding coastal towns, sinking fishing, trading vessels Treaty of Nanking, 1842 British Extraterritoriality; immune to Chinese laws No taxes for British goods Five new ports opened for British trade Repeal anti-Opium laws Ownership of Hong Kong Lin Tse-hsu must be relieved of his office

Western Reaction to Opium Wars:

Western Reaction to Opium Wars Parliament in Britain split Lord Palmerston [Foreign Secretary, Britain] nobody could say “that he honestly believed the motive of the Chinese government to have been the promotion of moral habits” but rather it was to prevent collection of China’s deficit balance of Payments William Gladstone – “A war more unjust in its origin, a war more calculated to cover this country with permanent disgrace, I do not know.” John Quincy Adams [US President] – opium “a mere incident to the dispute” “The cause of the war is the kowtow – the arrogant and insupportable pretensions of China…”


Aftermath British agreement allows France, USA to demand their own, similar agreements British later lay telegraph lines, railroad tracks through Chinese territory Chinese gov’t, citizens may not use these resources without British authority British, Americans, French kidnap Chinese “coolies” to work on plantations, in cities in Western Hemisphere “Shanghai’d” the workers Lin Tse-hsu, now posted in Turkestan, agitates for the training of modern armies, modern warfare Another official, Wei Yuan, also argues for increased Chinese military power Attempts by China to enforce Chinese laws upon criminals who kidnap Chinese citizens sparks another war with England, 1856-60 Lose again, forced to legalize Opium, allow Christian missionaries

“Self Strengthening” Movement:

“Self Strengthening ” Movement Movement combined Western military, science with Confucian, Chinese belief Divided, corrupt central government Regional governors largely independent Establish industries, coal mines, armies under their direct control Rebuild infrastructure, build telegraphs idep. of British Railroads, textile mills

Setting the Stage, 1895:

Setting the Stage, 1895 Europe “carving up the Chinese melon” Russia, Germans, Britain, France “Spheres of Influence” USA “missed the boat” on China, captures Guam, Philippines Insists on “open door” policy and “free trade” in line with Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations Empress Dowager discretely funding anti-foreigner secret societies Vanguard of the expulsion of foreigners from China

Boxer Rebellion, 1900:

Boxer Rebellion, 1900 “The Righteous and Harmonious Fist” Taught Kung Fu to peasantry Limited in scope, opposed by regional Governors Also anti-Government for the increasing poverty of Chinese people Beijing, 1900 Foreign powers threaten Empress Dowager, force her to sign the “Boxer Protocols” Military power of Europeans used to put down “Boxers” 1901 Boxer Rebellions end

The Last Emperor:

The Last Emperor Pu Yi ascends the throne in 1909 Tried to institute educational, government reforms Established the Consultative Assembly 1910 Attempted to nationalize the provincial governors’ railroads, 1911 Szechwan province in the west became the first province to openly rebel against the Emperor Sparked nation-wide revolution which ended the Imperial Chinese period Government rife with “looters and pillagers” which destabilize central government further

Nationalist China:

Nationalist China Internal frictions among the Governors General led to military confrontations A small, nationalist party, the Kuomintang (Sun Yat-sen ), wanted to restore Parliamentary rule in 1913 A powerful Governor General, Yüan Shih- kai , used his army to install himself as a dictator 1913 Kuomintang flee to Japan 1914 widescale rebellions force Yuan Shih- kai from power, he dies soon after Beginning of the “Warlord” period of China Kuomintang one of many parties

Class Discussion:

Class Discussion How does the experiences of Imperial China before, during, or after the Opium wars influence your understanding of European imperialism? What role or emphasis do you think the Opium Wars & aftermath play in British textbooks? American textbooks? Chinese textbooks?

Cusp of the Great War:

Cusp of the Great War East Asia torn between mechanized, modernized industrial powers Japan USA England Dutch Germans French Spheres of influence and Imperial power are ensuring economic prosperity for some, exploitation for others Opposition to imperial domination quashed with ruthless efficiency


Homework Chaps 21 & 26 Don’t forget Sources ! Additional resources to help you understand the period better Questions? As always, email me.

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