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HIST 218 - Lecture: Empire and the Treaty System (Jan. 23)

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HIST 218
Gavin Walker

Jan 23 – Empire and the Treaty System Treaty system was the major driving force in relations between East Asian and Western Europe in nineteenth century. Vietnam − contemporary developments with Ming/early Qing, Tokugawa Japan, Choson Korea − relative similarity with dynamics to China, Japan, Korea at this time − relative difficulty of creating national unity out of culturally heterogenous space − involve many more diverse economic and social policies than Western historians often credit − what ties these areas together is, on one hand, the national disunity, and the other, a set of dynamics that come out of the integration of East Asia with the world economic and western markets − this phenomenon exert tremendous influence and effort on the legal and economic systems of these East Asian countries − Le Dynasty (1428 – 1788): independence from tributary rule by Ming China − at the same time, maintained very close relationship with Ming culture − continuing influence of Ming cultural and institutional norms (civil service examinations, classical Chinese learning, classical Confucian ministries of state, Confucian social hierarchy, etc.) − thus, many of the same dynamics as Choson Korea − land question: land belongs essentially to imperial household (not to state nor to individual farmers), but set by governmental ministries − Confucian orthodoxy in state planning, ministerial order − question that is salient to all East Asian societies at this time − similar to European feudalism: control of land is control of political power − yet different from Europe: not necessarily control of land is important in Vietnam (and Japan), but rather, control of taxation on land − control of rice, products grown, etc. − Le Dynasty regains control over Mac Dynasty (1527 – 1592) − 16 century dynastic struggles install complex system of co- dependence throughout Vietnam − division between North and South important − south sees influence of broader southeast Asian cultures; influence of India, of Sanskrit − north sees close relationship with Chinese culture − Le return to power via the northern Trinh lords (largely feudal domain- style alliance of small military holdings) − need to create various regional alliances between various powers − General situation of statelemate throughout Vietnam − Le imperial household in Hanoi, only functions through Trinh support, while south is held by Nguyen-aligned forces − Nguyen not just enjoying socio-economic independence from North, but also distinct cultural influences − tributary relationship to Ming (loyalists flee Qing rule to Nguyen-held areas of Vietnam) − Vietnam and Cambodia: long history of struggle − Nguyen hegemony in south forms quasi-state entity, locked in stalemate with Trinh in the north; hence Nguyen expansion towards the southwest, particularly Cambodia − 1674: entrance of Nguyen forces into Saigon (Saigon itself passes from majority Khmer to majority Vietnamese in following centuries) − separation of cultural spheres of Vietnam − south (Nguyen) = Cham culture (early premodern Champa state roughly corresponds to 1600s Nguyen sphere of influence in southern Vietnam) − Champa state cultural background also in Sanskrit language of scripture, Hinduism − North (Trinh lords, Le imperial household): Ming Chinese sphere of influence (linguistic influence, influence of Confucianism) − it is in this period that a unified space of Vietnam first emerges − again, this space has two dimensions, north-south − Tay Son uprising (1771-1820) − intense period of peasant uprisings around East Asia − factors in peasant unrest − intensification of feudal power around East Asia; social position of peasantry and taxation standards − impact of trade and increasing contact of Europe (crucial!!) − expansion of external markets − rising world prices of commodities − combination of highly despotic control of land with natural resources in larger an larger demand − rising rates of exploitation of peasantry − rising of production rates and intensity − increasing peasant unrest − Tay Son village in central south Vietnam: directed primarily against corruption of officialdom and excess taxation rates − rebellion not necessarily a grandiose endeavour, but rather one against corrupt government officials, and a sense of unfairness directed at rates of taxation − Le emperor and those in upper strata appeal to Qing to intervene to protect Le emperor and Trinh lords − Qing keen to do so, because north Vietnam is traditionally Chinese sphere of influence − geography and disunity of power throughout Vietnam prevent restoration of Le − Nguyen eventually win out through massive and widespread military assistance, including that of France − will pave way for French colonial control in Indochina − contemporary t Nguyen rule is gradual collapse of Tokugawa power, extreme stagnation of Choson dynasty, and weakening Qing state − at the same time, this is when modern imperial power (Britain and France primarily) enters East Asia power − Nguyen rule over unified Vietnam (1802-1867): need to combine cultural and institutionally the former spaces of north (Le dynasty,
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