Reflection of Modern East Asia

887 WordsJun 23, 20184 Pages
From covering Japan’s perilous imperial rule to analyzing Korea’s ambivalent adoption of democratic governance, Modern East Asia explored a broad range of subjects important for one who aspires to understand Asia holistically. Much time was even spent examining China’s horrid history at the hands of foreign meddling, giving insight into a nation feared as the future #1 economic power of the world. Although we covered a broad range of topics, each was given particular attention, never skipping major events or characters which shaped Asia’s history over the last several hundred years. Essentially, this class provided an open atmosphere for students to learn the intricate history of major Asian countries in addition to sharing ideas on the…show more content…
Our next series of classes involved examining China’s early dynastic system and subsequent tumultuous political events which brought about its downfall. Initially, however, we learned that China’s dynastic system, although quite strict on liberal governance, saw intermittent periods of political stability, economic expansion and cultural/ethnic integration. Unfortunately, this would not last, as we soon learned that as China’s wealth of resources became more prominent, so too did the need foreign powers to acquire it. This lead to encounters involving foreign merchants during the late 1700’s to 1800’s which, although was initially viewed as charitable commerce prompted by China, turned out act as solely a means of tension between China’s Empire and Britain’s Monarchy. This tautness soon resulted in two major trade disputes, colloquially known as the Opium Wars, which subsequent to the defeats dealt by Britain, led to years of unequal occupation by foreign nations. It would take some time, unfortunately, before China acquired honest independence from foreign colonization. However, internal struggles during the 1900’s led to Mao Zedong, one of the most recognizable figures in modern Chinese society, acquiring power and shifting the state away from dynastic rule to a communist republic. Finally, we received a somewhat brief, yet important overview of Korea during the time of China and Japan’s rise to prominence. We learned of Korea’s struggle to
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