Analysis Of The Three I 's Of 19th Century East Asia Essay

1525 Words7 Pages
Jonah Noel
December 3, 2016 / EALC-E100-3069/70
Imperialism, Isolationism, and Industrialization; The Three I’s of 19th Century East Asia

When Japan and China enacted isolationist policies in the 16th century, Japan and China were among the most advanced countries in the world. Both nations felt that they did not need to nor desired to interact with the rest of the world, or intervene in disputes between “barbarians” (Aizawa 348.) As a consequence, throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, neither country advanced much technologically. On the other hand, over that same period the west experienced and reaped the benefits of an industrial revolution that saw dramatic advances in mathematics, science, and technology. The west subsequently experienced significant economic growth, and western powers then began building empires in pursuit of further growth. As a result, when western powers finally started pressuring East Asian countries in the 19th century to open their markets, the Chinese and Japanese weren’t in a position to resist. Both countries responded differently, yet because Japan reluctantly accepted imperial power and industrialized avidly while the Chinese initially rejected imperial power and industrialized slowly and begrudgingly, Japan became a global power far more quickly than China. First, it is important to remember that throughout history, dozens of countries have adopted isolationist policies on countless different occasions. For example, in the United
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