Download EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23 History of China and Japan (1840-1949)


Section 1 Answer each question in about 500 words.  


Question 1. Discuss the causes and significance of the Opium Wars in China.  Or

Analyse the economic, social and political programme of People’s Republic in China.  

Answer. The Opium Wars in the mid-19th century were a critical juncture in modern Chinese history. The first Opium War was fought between China and Great Britain from 1839 to 1842. In the second Opium War, from 1856 to 1860, a weakened China fought both Great Britain and France. China lost both wars. The terms of its defeat were a bitter pill to swallow:

China had to cede the territory of Hong Kong to British control, open treaty ports to trade with foreigners, and grant special rights to foreigners operating within the treaty ports. In addition, the Chinese government had to stand by as the British increased their opium sales to people in China. The British did this in the name of free trade and without regard to the consequences for the Chinese government and Chinese people.

The lesson that Chinese students learn today about the Opium Wars is that China should never again let itself become weak, ‘backward,’ and vulnerable to other countries. As one British historian says, “If you talk to many Chinese about the Opium War, a phrase you will quickly hear is ‘luohou jiu yao ai da,’ which literally means that if you are backward, you will take a beating.” EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

In the mid-19th century, western imperial powers such as Great Britain, France, and the United States were aggressively expanding their influence around the world through their economic and military strength and by spreading religion, mostly through the activities of Christian missionaries. These countries embraced the idea of free trade, and their militaries had become so powerful that they could impose such ideas on others.

In one sense, China was relatively effective in responding to this foreign encroachment; unlike its neighbours, including presentday India, Burma (now Myanmar), Malaya (now Malaysia), Indonesia, and Vietnam, China did not become a full-fledged, formal colony of the West. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

In addition, Confucianism, the system of beliefs that shaped and organized China’s culture, politics, and society for centuries, was secular (that is, not based on a religion or belief in a god) and therefore was not necessarily an obstacle to science and modernity in the ways that Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism sometimes were in other parts of the world.

But in another sense, China was not effective in responding to the “modern” West with its growing industrialism, mercantilism, and military strength. Nineteenthcentury China was a large, mostly land-based empire administered by a c. 2,000year-old bureaucracy and dominated by centuries old and conservative Confucian ideas of political, social, and economic management. All of these things made China, in some ways, dramatically different from the European powers of the day, and it struggled to deal effectively with their encroachment.  

This ineffectiveness resulted in, or at least added to, longer-term problems for China, such as unequal treaties (which will be described later), repeated foreign military invasions, massive internal rebellions, internal political fights, and social upheaval. While the first Opium War of 1839–42 did not cause the eventual collapse of China’s 5,000-year imperial dynastic system seven decades later, it did help shift the balance of power in Asia in favour of the West.

Question 2. Discuss the nature of the Meiji political system. Write in brief on the protests and revolts against the Meiji state.  


What led to the failure of political parties and the rise of militarism in Japan?  

Answer. The Meiji Restoration referred to at the time as the Honorable Restoration and also known as the Meiji Renovation, Revolution, Reform, or Renewal, was a political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

Although there were ruling emperors before the Meiji Restoration, the events restored practical abilities and consolidated the political system under the Emperor of Japan. The goals of the restored government were expressed by the new emperor in the Charter Oath. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

The Restoration led to enormous changes in Japan’s political and social structure and spanned both the late Edo period (often called the Bakumatsu) and the beginning of the Meiji era, during which time Japan rapidly industrialized and adopted Western ideas and production methods. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

The return of power from the Bauru to the Emperor in 1868 marks the Meiji Restoration. The Emperor was given the posthumous name of Meiji or enlightened government  and this came to be used to denote his period from 1868 to 1912. The abdication of Tokugawa Keiki was announced by an Imperial Edict on January 1869. This marked the formal. end of the long rule of the Tokugawa.  EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

In April the Court announced the Charter Oath which laid down the policies the new government would follow and in October, 1868 the Emperor Mutsuhito selected the Chinese characters meaning ‘”enlightened rule” or Meiji by which his reign would be known. The restoration or shin as the event is known was carried out by some sections of the nobility and particularly the Hans of Satsuma, Choke, Hizm and Tosa. It was supported by sections of the samurai and rural rich who found the constraints of the Tokugawa system increasingly restrictive.  

These groups wished to share power with the Bakufu and when foreign pressure made it difficult for the Bakufu to maintain its position these groups asserted themselves. Foreign demand to open ‘the treaty ports and the Baku Fu’s vacillation allowed these groups to rally around the Imperial Court and demand that the Tokugawa hand back power to the Emperor. In this demand they were supported by the loyalists who genuinely wished to have an active Imperial Court.  EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

The han, particularly Satsuma and Choshu had initially been at loggerheads, each leading their groups but they came together and used the court to topple the Tokugawa Bakufu . In 1854 the Treaty of Kangawa was signed and by 1859 Japan’s foreign relations were established on the basis of the unequal treaties as in China. The pressure to open treaty ports, (Algashi, Habobati, Yokohama, Nigata, mbe) created a sense of crisis in which various critics of &&i .cameJogether.  

Section 2 Answer each question in about 250 words.  

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Question 3. Analyse the nature and impact of Taiping Rebellion.  Or  

Write a note on Confucianism and Taoism.

Answer. Confucianism is largely a Western name, although the Chinese speak of King Chiao or the “Confucian Teaching” (or Religion). The designation more commonly employed by the Chinese has been Ju Chiao, or the “Teaching of the,learned M. Though there is a controversy in relation to the existence of Confucius the Chinese mention about his birth in 551 BC and he lived till 479 BC. He took up various jobs like a low ranking official managing warehouses; a private teacher and an official in charge of criminal punishment and the maintenance of social order.  

As mentioned earlier, he was associated with various literary works. His preaching’s are known as Confucius learning which later developed into the cult of Confucianism. He was respected as the cult’s greatest sage, but other teachers and scholars were honored as having shared in its development. To a certain extent Confucianism represented the totality of the Chinese philosophical thought outside such special systems as Taoism and Buddhism.  EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

Confucianism was supposed to be a bulwark of religious rites which emerged during the Chou dynasty or may be earlier-Confucius took extensive tours to propagate his views and made disciples. After his death his statements were compiled by his disciples in book form known as The Analects. The main object of his teachings was to help his disciples obtain the necessary skills for entry into politics. His teachings were antagonistic to the teachings of the official school of nobles.  

For example, he advocated that were alike in nature and this was contrary to the ideology of the slave society of his time. Similarly his preaching that good and capable should be appointed to official positions was contrary to the prevalent hereditary rule of office. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

Another school of thought which influenced the philosophical beliefs during the classical period was Taoism. The philosophers who preached Taoism felt disillusioned by the increasing warfare and despotism. Hence, it was a philosophy mainly dedicated to the ideas of protest against the despotic rulers. It championed the cause of individual whose concern was to keep fit with the surroundings of nature. They attacked the feudal society of the times.

With primitively as its ideal, Taoism attacked all kinds of knowledge with the belief that knowledge can corrupt human society. This in fact led to opposing any kind of social advancement. For example, they would praise a peasant who in spite of his knowledge about the water-whet, preferred carry water on his back. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

The main source of Taoism came from the classics Lao– and Tao  whose authors are not known but Lier was supposed to be the founder of Taoism. / Taoism never became a dominant ideology of religion. Yet its emphasis on the relationship between human beings and nature influenced the growth of athletic sense in the society. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

It was during the Tang period that royal favour was granted to Taoism : Many temples were constructed in the memory of Lier who was conferred with the title of the Supreme Emperor of the profound heavens, Taoist priests had access to imperial palaces, ‘and Taoist classics became a part of the curriculum of imperial examinations. In spite of .this Taoism could not match the popularity of Confucianism or Buddhism.  EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

Another sect that gained influence was Monism named after its founder Mo-tsu. With no emphasis on rites or music this sect preached universal love. The concept was that one should treat well the other person, his family and country. Mo-tsu believed that good was rewarded and evil was punished by heaven and the demons. This was done keeping in-view the way people behaved. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

The rulers, by invoking the heavens’ will, were to be kind for “the starving may have food, those suffering from cold may have clothes and the toilers may have some rest.” Mo-tsu was opposed to the inherited wealth of the nobility. He also stood for ability as the criteria for government office.    

Question 4. Discuss the emergence of the Chinese bourgeoisie as a social force.  


Analyse the factors that contributed to the rise of nationalism in China.

Answer. Chinese nationalism emerged in the late Qing dynasty (1636–1912) in response to the humiliating defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War and the invasion and pillaging of Beijing by the Eight-Nation Alliance. In both cases, the aftermath forced China to pay financial reparations and grant special privileges to foreigners.  EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

The nationwide image of China as a superior Celestial Empire at the center of the universe was shattered, and last-minute efforts to modernize the old system were unsuccessful. These last-minute efforts were best exemplified by Liang Qichao, a late Qing reformer who failed to reform the Qing government in 1896 and was later expelled to Japan, where he began work on his ideas of Chinese nationalism. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

The effects of World War I continually shaped Chinese nationalism. Despite joining the Allied Powers, China was again severely humiliated by the Versailles Treaty of 1919 which transferred the special privileges given to Germany to the Empire of Japan. This resulted in the May Fourth Movement of 1919, which developed into nationwide protests that saw a surge of Chinese nationalism. Large-scale military campaigns led by the Kuomintang during the Warlord Era that overpowered provincial warlords and sharply reduced special privileges for foreigners helped further strengthen and aggrandize a sense of Chinese national identity.

After the Empire of Japan was defeated in World War II, Chinese nationalism again gained tract as China recovered lost territories previously lost to Japan, including Manchuria and the island of Taiwan. However, the Chinese Civil War, (which had paused in the face of Japanese invasion) had resumed, damaging the image of a unified Chinese identity. The Communists were victorious in 1949, as the Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan. Under Mao Zedong, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to employ Chinese nationalism as a political tool.

Using Chinese nationalism, the Chinese Communist Party began to suppress separatism and secessionist attitudes in Tibet and among the Uyghurs, a Turkic minority in the farwest province of Xinjiang, an issue that persists. In modern times, especially due to changing US-China relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China often cite ideas of Chinese nationalism when responding to press questions on the topic.  EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

China’s nationalism today is shaped by its pride in its history as well as its century of humiliation at the hands of the West and Japan. China expert Peter Hays Grieswrites: “Chinese nationalists today find pride in stories about the superiority of China’s ‘5000 years’ of ‘glorious civilization.’”  EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

This yearning for lost glory is accompanied by the story of victimization in the past, a narrative central to what being Chinese today means, says Gries. China perceives itself as a victim of Western imperialism that began with the First Opium War and the British acquisition of Hong Kong in 1842 and lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, during which it suffered humiliating losses of sovereignty.

“Chinese nationalism was actually partly a creation of Western imperialism,” says Minxin Pei, a senior associate in the China program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Pei says the first surge of Chinese nationalism was seen in 1919 in what’s now widely referred to as the May 4th Movement when thousands of students demonstrated against the Treaty of Versailles’ transfer of Chinese territory to Japan. Some of these student leaders went on to form the Chinese Communist Party two years later in 1921.  

“The current Chinese communist government is more a product of nationalism than a product of ideology like Marxism and Communism,” says Liu Kang, a professor of Chinese cultural studies at Duke University. Kang says today nationalism has probably “become the most powerful legitimating ideology.” EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

Question 5. Discuss the debates on the Meiji Restoration in Japan.  Or

Explain the developments in religion and culture in Japan during the Tokugawa period.  

Answer. Meiji Restoration, in Japanese history, the political revolution in 1868 that brought about the final demise of the Tokugawa shogunate (military government)—thus ending the Edo (Tokugawa) period (1603–1867)—and, at least nominally, returned control of the country to direct imperial rule under Mutsuhito (the emperor Meiji). In a wider context, however, the Meiji Restoration of 1868 came to be identified with the subsequent era of major political, economic, and social change—the Meiji period (1868–1912)—that brought about the modernization and Westernization of the country.

The restoration event itself consisted of a coup d’état in the ancient imperial capital of Kyōto on January 3, 1868. The perpetrators announced the ouster of Tokugawa Yoshinobu (the last shogun)—who by late 1867 was no longer effectively in power—and proclaimed the young Meiji emperor to be ruler of Japan. Yoshinobu mounted a brief civil war that ended with his surrender to imperial forces in June 1869. The leaders of the restoration were mostly young samurai from feudal domains (hans) historically hostile to Tokugawa authority, notably Chōshū, in far western Honshu, and Satsuma, in southern Kyushu.  

Those men were motivated by growing domestic problems and by the threat of foreign encroachment. The latter concern had its origins in the efforts by Western powers to “open” Japan, beginning in the 1850s after more than two centuries of near isolation, and the fear that Japan could be subjected to the same imperialist pressures that they observed happening in nearby China.  EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

They believed that the West depended on constitutionalism for national unity, on industrialization for material strength, and on a well-trained military for national security. Adopting the slogan “Enrich the country, strengthen the army” (“Fukoku kyōhei”), they sought to create a nation-state capable of standing equal among Western powers. Knowledge was to be sought in the West, the goodwill of which was essential for revising the unequal treaties that had been enacted and granted foreign countries judicial and economic privileges in Japan through extraterritoriality.

The early goals of the new government were expressed in the Charter Oath (April 1868), which committed the government to establishing “deliberative assemblies” and “public discussion,” to a worldwide search for knowledge, to the abrogation of past customs, and to the pursuit by all Japanese of their individual callings. The first action, taken in 1868 while the country was still unsettled, was to relocate the imperial capital from Kyōto to the shogunal capital of Edo, which was renamed Tokyo (“Eastern Capital”). That was followed, after the end of the fighting, by the dismantling of the old feudal regime.  

The administrative reorganization had been largely accomplished by 1871, when the domains were officially abolished and replaced by a prefecture system that has remained in place to the present day. All feudal class privileges were abolished as well. Alsoin 1871 a national army was formed, which was further strengthened two years later by a universal conscription law. In addition, the new government carried out policies to unify the monetary and tax systems, with the agricultural tax reform of 1873 providing its primary source of revenue.  

Another reform was in the area of education. Japan’s first Ministry of Education was established in 1871 to develop a national system of education; it led to the promulgation of the Gakusei, or Education System Order, in 1872 and to the introduction of universal education in the country, which initially put emphasis on Western learning. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

Question 6. Analyse the impact of the First World War on the polity and economy of Japan.  Or

Explain the emergence of Japan as an imperialist power during the period 1894-1912.  

Answer. Japan participated in World War I from 1914 to 1918 in an alliance with Entente

Powers and played an important role in securing the sea lanes in the West Pacific and Indian Oceans against the Imperial German Navy as a member of the Allies. Politically, the Japanese Empire seized the opportunity to expand its sphere of influence in China, and to gain recognition as a great power in postwar geopolitics. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

Japan’s military, taking advantage of the great distances and Imperial Germany’s preoccupation with the war in Europe, seized German possessions in the Pacific and East Asia, but there was no large-scale mobilization of the economy. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

Foreign Minister Katō Takaaki and Prime Minister Ōkuma Shigenobu wanted to use the opportunity to expand Japanese influence in China. They enlisted Sun Yat-sen (1866–1925), then in exile in Japan, but they had little success. The Imperial Japanese Navy, a nearly autonomous bureaucratic institution, made its own decision to undertake expansion in the Pacific.  

It captured Germany’s Micronesian territories north of the equator, and ruled the islands until they were transitioned to civilian control in 1921. The operation gave the Navy a rationale for enlarging its budget to double the Army budget and expanding the fleet. The Navy thus gained significant political influence over national and international affairs. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

In the first week of World War I Japan proposed to the United Kingdom, that Japan would enter the war if it could take Germany’s Pacific territories. On 7 August 1914, the British government officially asked Japan for assistance in destroying the Imperial German Navy in and around Chinese waters. Japan sent Germany an ultimatum on 15 August 1914, which went unanswered; Japan then formally declared war on Germany on 23 August 1914 in the name of the Emperor Taishō. As Vienna refused to withdraw the Austro-Hungarian cruiser SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth from Tsingtao (Qingdao), Japan declared war on Austria-Hungary, too, on 25 August 1914.

Japanese forces quickly occupied German-leased territories in the Far East. On 2 September 1914, Japanese forces landed on China’s Shandong province and surrounded the German settlement at Tsingtao. During October, acting virtually independently of the civil government, the Imperial Japanese Navy seized several of Germany’s island colonies in the Pacific – the Mariana, Caroline, and Marshall Islands – with virtually no resistance as while they were part of German New Guinea the islands were administered by German colonial officers with only small police forces of local Pacific islanders to defend them.

There were small clashes between the defenders and the landing Japanese troops, but this did little to stop the Japanese takeover. The Japanese Navy conducted the world’s first naval-launched air raids against German-held land targets in Shandong province and ships in Qiaozhou Bay from the seaplane-carrier Wakamiya. On 6 September 1914 a seaplane launched by Wakamiya unsuccessfully attacked the Austro-Hungarian cruiser Kaiserin Elisabeth and the German gunboat Jaguar with bombs.

The Siege of Tsingtao concluded with the surrender of German colonial forces on 7 November 1914. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

In September 1914, by request of the Imperial Japanese Army, the Japanese Red Cross Society put together three squads, each composed of one surgeon and twenty nurses, which were dispatched to Europe on a five-month assignment. The teams left Japan between October and December 1914 and were assigned to Petrograd, Paris, and Southampton. The arrival of these nurses received wide press coverage, and their host countries subsequently asked for these teams to extend their assignment to fifteen months.

Japan also sent its battle cruiser HIJMS Ibuki to assist with the protection of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) troop convoy (which included contingents from New Zealand) as it sailed from Western Australian to Egypt on 1 November 1914. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

Section 3 Answer in about 100 words each.  


Question 7. Write short notes on any two of the following: 6 + 6  

ii) Development of workers union in Japan  

Answer.  After the Japanese surrender on 15 August 1945, allied forces, mostly American, rapidly began arriving in Japan. Almost immediately, the occupiers began an intensive program of legal changes designed to democratize Japan. One action was to ensure the creation of a Trade Union Law to allow for the first time workers to organize, strike, and bargain collectively, which was passed by the Diet of Japan on 22 December 1945.

The 1960 Miike struggle: police with helmets and batons clash with striking coal miners at the Miike coal mine, May 12, 1960 EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

While the law was created while Japan was under occupation, the law itself was largely a Japanese work. It was put together by a large legal advisory commission headed by the legal scholar Suehiro Izutaro. The commission was quite large, consisting of “three Welfare ministry bureaucrats and two scholars, a steering committee of 30 members (including the communist firebrand Kyuichi Tokuda), and an overall membership of more than 130 members representing universities, corporations, political parties, the bureaucracy, social workers, and labor.”

In addition to the Trade Union Act of 1945, the postwar constitution of Japan, which became law on 3 May 1947 includes article 28, which guarantees the right of workers to participate in a trade union. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

By 1960, Japan’s labor unions were at the height of their power, and served as the backbone of the massive 1960 Anpo protests against revision of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. However, that same year, the Japanese labor movement suffered a devastating defeat in the climactic Miike Coal Mine strike at the Mitsui Miike Coal Mine in Kyushu, marking the high-water mark of labor militancy in Japan. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

iii) The Red Army  

Answer. The Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army,[a] often shortened to the Red Army,[b] was the army and air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established in January 1918. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations (especially the various groups collectively known as the White Army) of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Starting in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of “Soviet Army”, until its dissolution in 1991.

The Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, and its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and ultimately captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. EHI-06 ASSIGNMENT 2022-23

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