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Lecture 6

EAST 211 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Meiji Restoration, White Lotus Rebellion, Wage War

Asian Language & Literature
Course Code
EAST 211
Rebecca Doran

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The rise of Manchu
Socio-political change towards the end of Ming Dynasty
How to understand the history of Qing?
Historical Background
Historical Background
Parallel histories between the two countries; historical changes happened at about the same time,
but results are very different.
Ruling Classes:
o China: Manchus (Neo-Confucianism)
Encouraged this to seem more 'civilized'
o Japan: Takugawa Sogunates (Neo-Confucianism)
The Meiji Restoration: Japan followed European model and started to conquer colonies, first
Korea, then China. This marked the end of the self-strengthening movement in China
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o Changes power dynamics between China and Japan
Japan: tried to build own culture, but the problem was that a lot of their culture came from other
places, like China (ex Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism). So Japan went into a period of ultra-
nationalism, wanting to become the center of Eastern Asia.
Today’s Letue
Conflicts with European and Japanese colonizers
How to understand the modernization of East Asia?
Conflicts with European Colonializes
The opium war (1839-1841)
o British people started to import opium to China; rich and poor Chinese started to get
addicted to opium.
Lin Zexu destroying opium
The Qing government and the British perceived this differently.
o For Britain: trade war
When Lin Zexu started to destroy opium, this provoked the British and they sent an
army, starting the first opium war. They defeated the Qing and ended the war with
the Nanking treaty
o For the Qing Ruler: domestic affair
The Qing rulers saw this as one of the many domestic issues going on at the time.
They still saw the world through the Tianxia system so they thought the problem was
the foreign traders. So, they abolished the importation of opium.
The Nanking treaty (1842)
Treaty of Westphalia: ended religious wars in Europe
Treaty of Nanking: Opened new ports for international trade
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