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Japan and China's Reaction Towards Western Culture

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Submitted By kakocaceres
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Joaquin Caceres
AP WORLD HISTORY ESSAY: Japan & China Between the years 1750 and 1900, China and Japan had different reactions towards the influence of western culture. Both nations had movements that incorporated Western influence and had opened a few ports in order to establish a trading connection with the western economies. However, Japan avoided a military conflict and remained powerful while China didn’t accept Western influence causing a western revolution. Also, China refused to introduce foreign influence which led to many revolts and wars while Japan continued accepting this influence. Both China and Japan had movements that introduced western ideas. In Japan, the Meji restoration was based on a German model with a democratic constitution. Some of these influences were seen in their army that incorporated western technology and in the businessmen that started to use western methods. In China during the self-strengthening movement the western influence had an impact on their society. They incorporated railroads, small scale industries, arsenal factories and they improved structure in many fields. Both nations opened ports for western trade. Japan at first had a limited interaction with western people by establishing just one port for trading. Later on the Japanese government realized that this wasn’t a smart move for their economy since trade was extremely important. The Canton System was the base on which the Chinese relied on. They set strict restrictions on foreign traders and harsh limits on the exportation and importation business. In the other hand, Japan avoided a military conflict and remained powerful while China didn’t accept Western influence causing struggle among their economy and society. Japan developed western ideas and became an industrial leader. China lost a lot of power due to several rebellions that were caused by the not acceptance of western influence. The illegal import of opium led to the Opium War which caused the economy to decline. Also, the Taiping and the Boxer rebellions made China loose territory. Also, Japan continued accepting the Western Influence, while China refused to introduce these ideas. The Meiji oligarchs in Japan, were willing to change their institutions in order to help transform their country into a world class industrial and military power. In China there wasn’t any government support to the importation of western ideas and technology during the self-strengthening movement. Within the years 1750 and 1900, China and Japan had movements that introduced Western ideas and had established few ports for Western trade. However, Japan avoided a military conflict and remained powerful while China didn’t accept Western influence causing a western revolution. Also, China refused to introduce foreign influence which led to many revolts and wars while Japan continued accepting this influence.

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