Donna Kwon September 20, 2007
Mrs. Hannah Social Studies
Practice DBQ #1
The statement is too broad. Non-western societies did not all respond alike.
Some were too weak, small or divided to do much to stop the West or to adapt to
change on their own. But others did adapt to change on their own terms, either by
trying to save tradition ways of life or by seeking to modernize on their own. My thesis
is evidenced by the following points.
In the 1800s, new production methods and an expanding market system gave
Great Britain and other Western nations vast new wealth and power. These industrial
nations also enormously expanded colonial empires and other kinds of control over
many non-Western societies.
Document 10 supports my opinion in that some countries were strong enough
to agree as a whole that their country should be modernized. It shows ways that Japan
rehabilitated their culture. This document was a painting of a new railway which was
built in Japan. It was created to be put in a series called, “Famous Places on the
Tokaido: a Record of the Process of Reform”. Therefore, this picture should have been
portrayed as beautiful and modernized, which was considered as elitist in those days.
This picture portrays the modern world of Japan’s railroad stations, suggesting that
Japan was proud and ecstatic of being able to reform and begin anew. The Japanese
were most likely delighted, because it was not an easy task to adapt and they were one
of the few who were able to. As I’ve stated above, this document supports the concept
that only some countries were able to quickly adapt to Western ideas.
Though the Japanese embraced the British with open arms, there were others
that denied them as well. In Document 9, you can see that China did not succumb to
the entrancing power of the West. This document was created for a cartoon called
“Punch”, and it seems to mock the young prince as he attempts to reform China. Not
only does this cartoon scorn the prince’s “absurd” new ways, it hints that they scoff at
Britain as well. Given that the prince is teased because of his want to modify China,
and this new train of thought comes from Britain, then it is only logical to deduce that
the Chinese derided Britain and their ridiculous reformations. The cartoonists were so