• Unit 6: Imperialism and Industrialization in Asia

    The Industrial Revolution came late to East Asia. By many accounts, China was more industrially developed than Western Europe before 1800, but England and the rest of Western Europe soon surged ahead with the aid of cheap coal, steam power, and the vast natural resources and markets provided by the Americas. Industrialized European states forced their way into traditionally limited markets in both China and Japan during the mid-19th century, flooding both countries with manufactured goods. Chinese officials bitterly resisted European imperial encroachments and lost a losing battle against economic and military imperialism, and Japanese leaders only grudgingly granted limited concessions to foreign interests. While China buckled under the weight of imperialism and domestic insurrection, Japan's government adopted the military and industrial technology of the West to build a strong, centralized state. By the end of the 19th century, Japan was an industrialized, imperialistic power able to successfully resist foreign pressure.

    In this unit, we will examine the factors that contributed to two very different outcomes in China and Japan as the forces of industrialization began to affect them in the 19th century.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.