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Lecture 18

HIST 1055 Lecture 18: Lecture 18 East Asian States: Renovation 1620s-1740s
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Department
History
Course
HIST 1055
Professor
Farber
Semester
Fall

Description
Why should we understand China and Japan to be “renovating,” not “stagnating,” during the age of European expansion? China and Japan: States Under Renovation ● The West vs. The Rest ● East Asian States c. 1620s-1740s: Renovation, Not Stagnation ○ “There have been … two parallel developments of the human race, one on the west of Europe-Asia, the other on the east …At the start, the Chinese seem to have been fairly equal to the Westerners … Whence the decay on the east, the increasing vigour on the west?” ■ The old narrative: ● While Europe expanded and developed, the previously powerful states of Japan and China were stagnating, turning inward, closing themselves off from the world. ■ A new narrative: ● From the 1620s through the 1740s, China and Japan were carrying out important and productive internal reforms. ● Their rulers were focused on an era of productive internal reforms. ○ China and Japan: Upheaval to Renovation ■ Both had civil war/political upheaval in 1600s ● Qing and Manchu dynasty established ● Tokugawa Japan established ● Both in sensitive political situations ● Looking to strengthen and stabilize their regimes ■ As a result of this they limit their contact with West/ideas/commerce that were seen as possible sources of destabilization of these new regimes ● Decided to focus on internal development instead ■ Preside for over 750 years ● Over rapid population growth, agricultural development, strengthened political empires, increased internal economic systems ○ Qing
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