This topic focuses on developments in China and Japan up to the early 20th century. It examines the largely unsuccessful attempts at modernization and reform in China. The conservative and popular opposition to change was demonstrated by the failures of the Self-Strengthening Movement and the Hundred Days Reform and by the violence of the Boxer Rebellion. In contrast, Japan modernized rapidly and successfully during this period to emerge as a country that challenged the power of the Western nations in Asia.
http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/eastasia/eastasiasbook.asp - Huge sourcebook for primary sources on East Asian nations including China, Japan and Korea.
http://guides.lib.washington.edu/content.php?pid=61970&sid=459143 - Asian history website by the University of Washington providing links to primary and secondary sources.
http://www.hiroshige.org.uk/ - The Woodblock Prints of Ando Hiroshige: great site full of primary sources for the study of Edo/Tokugawa Japan.
http://visualisingchina.net/ - Superb site with over 8000 photographs of China 1850-1950.
http://tinyurl.com/mb7mpet - Useful overview of East Asian History.
Exam Questions - Japan
- "Japan's Self-Strengthening reform during the Meiji period was successful because it was directed from the top, but the Self-Strengthening Movement in China failed because it was not." To what extent do you agree with this statement up to 1895?
- "The national goal of the Meiji Era (1868-1890) was to become powerful enough to resist being dominated by the Western Powers." To what extent do you agree with this statement?
- Why did Japan experience rapid modernisation in the second half of the 19th century?
- To what extent had Japan become industrialised by 1912, the end of the Meiji period?
- "By 1890 Japan had been transformed by the changes introduced under the Meiji Restoration." How far do you agree with this assessment?
- Analyse the role of the Zaibatsu in Japan's industrialisation between 1868 and 1912.
- Compare and contrast the self-strengthening movements of Japan (1868-94) and China (1861-94).
- "During the Meiji period, Japan changed its clothes but not its soul." How far do you agree with this statement?
- To what extent had the changes introduced under the Meiji Restoration (1868) transformed Japan by 1890?
Exam Questions - China
- To what extent was the 1911 'Double Ten' Nationalist Revolution due to the revolutionary activities of Sun Yat-sen?
- Discuss the reasons for, and the consequences of, the Hundred Days Reform (1898) in China.
- Compare and contrast the Self-Strengthening Movement in China (1861-1894) and the reforms under the Meiji Restoration in Japan (1868-1894).
- "The new China was born in the treaty ports." How true is this of the period 1860 to 1912?
- Compare and contrast the Chinese and Japanese approaches to modernisation in the period 1860 to 1895.
- With reference to the careers of Zeng Guofan, Zuo Zongtang and Li Hongzhang, analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the Qing government of China between 1864 and 1895.
- In what ways, and to what extent, did the Boxer Uprising (1900) and the Boxer Protocol (1901) affect China's position and international relations in East Asia?
- "The Hundred Days Reforms' (1898) in China had no chance of success." How far do you agree with this statement?
- Why, and with what consequences for China, did the 100 Days reform of 1898 fail?
Exam Questions - Korea
- Why did Japan annex Korea in 1910?
- To what extent was the Tonghak Rebellion in Korea in 1894 a response to Western intrusion?
- Why did the Taewon-gun's policy of national isolation fail to protect Korea from foreign intervention in the period 1864-1910?
- Assess the impact of the Tonghak movement upon Korea up to 1895.
- Analyse the failure of the Taewon-gun's policy of national isolation to protect Korea from foreign intervention in the period 1864 to 1884.