Compare and contrast the responses to Western Penetration in China and Japan in the 19th century. contrastments or differences: There are similarities and differences between the responses of Western penetration within China and Japan in the 19th century. The similarities of the responses of western penetration were how they were once isolationists but the westerners in Europe and the United States ended isolationist trade by force. One difference between China and Japan’s responses of western penetration was the reaction to westernization.
Other differences are the reactions are what both countries did after foreign interference along with what happened before giving up to the enemy and how they felt about themselves. The reactions of China and Japan contrasted in different ways. The response of western penetration of Japan was different in comparison to China’s response to westernization and western penetration. While China was a society that was more self centered and thought highly of itself. China was forced to trade after the Opium wars. The Opium war was a way of China resisting western control.
China lost and was forced to sign humiliating treaties that gave up their top sea port Hong Kong to the British. Japan’s response was a more positive response toward western penetration of culture. Japan went through more of an Industrial revolution. Japan was more accepting towards westernizing; Japan admired Western customs but in only the way of improving the Japanese state while in the midst of decline. After a few decades, the Japanese tried to change their previous changes to Westernization in order to preserve traditional Japanese customs. There are similarities between the responses of China and Japan.
Before foreign intervention, both empires were in decline. Both China and Japan were once isolationists in trading, but soon they were both forced into trading openly with other countries.. The foreign meddlers like the British interfering with China and the Americans interfering with Japan. The British and the Americans forced the Chinese and the Japanese to open up their trading ports. In Japan, the US Navy; led by Matthew Perry brought with him 20 American naval warships with a letter from Millard Fillmore. If the Japanese did not accept his offer to start trading, the Americans could launch a quick attack right there.
The British forced the Chinese to trade, but only after defeating them in the devastating Opium war that was caused because of the financial problems and the drug addiction to opium. One reason why the similarities of China and Japan are similar is because the western world was trying to expand itself in order for glory, goods, and gold. The Europeans and the United States could only manage their successful victory of Asian westernization in China and Japan due to the technological advancements that were made during the Industrial revolution.
The Japanese only gave in to the demands of the United States because of the advancement made in the steamship. Matthew Perry came with 20 warships into Japan so that Japan could feel threatened by their power. One reason why there are differences in reaction and response is because Japan went through an Industrial revolution. When Japan started trade with more western countries, it went through an industrial revolution of its own in order to keep up with European trade and after Japan was almost threatened by the American military to start trade with them.