Imperialism is the practice by which powerful nations or peoples seek to extend and maintain control or influence over weaker nations or peoples. By the 1800″s, the Western powers had advantages in this process. They led the world in technological advances, giving them a dominance when conquering other countries. The European Imperialists made attempts to conquer China and Japan. In this process, they succeeded by influencing Japan greatly. However, they were not as successful with China.
At the end of the eighteenth century, China”s goods were much desired by Britain. However, the Chinese saw Europeans as savages and did not want to trade with them. During trade, there was an imbalance in China”s favor, because the Europeans were forced to buy Chinese goods using silver. The Western Imperialists began to grow opium poppies from in India, and then smuggle them into China. China soon became addicted to the drug and spent most of it”s money on the purchase of it from the Europeans and Americans. This shifted the balance of power to be in Europe”s favor.
In the early 1800″s, Japan had blocked off all trade from other countries. Foreign whaling ships could not even reload or repair their ships in Japan territory. This offended many other countries. In 1852, Matthew Perry was sent to Japan to negotiate open trade. Japan felt threatened by the United States, and gave in to their demands. Japan was frightened by their stipulations, and immediately began to reform. They developed a new education system that was similar to America and Europe”s. They also developed a Western style judiciary system.
Japan and China reacted differently to the reforms of Imperialism. When put under pressure, Japan succumbed to the power of Western Imperialist ideas. Conversely, China, resisted for a long time. As a result, Japan had more technology, while China was unenlightened of the new advances. Japan also gained more respect from other countries, that China did not have. In the long run, Japan gained more by yielding to the
Historically, states have been motivated to pursue imperialism for a variety of reasons, which may be classified broadly as economic, political, and ideological. The imperialism of China and Japan in the nineteenth century helped shape the way the countries are today. Japan”s culture, education, government, and other issues are based on the influences of America and Europe from years ago.