Unformatted text preview: China
1900-1945 Asia in the 20th Century
• During the era of European imperialism in the 19th
century Europeans wanted access to Asian products and
markets, often intervening in local political affairs or
through military conquest.
• Both China and Japan responded differently to the West,
incorporating aspects of Western culture and industry
while maintaining their own cultural identities.
• Japan adopted imperialist ambitions very similar to those
of European states in the early 20th century. They became
allies of Germany and Italy during World War II.
• China went through a series of political upheavals and
invasions by Japan. By mid century the influence of
Soviet communism had spread to Asia, and China became
the first communist state in east Asia in 1949.
the Meiji Japan
Meiji In 1876 the Meiji set its sights on the Korean
peninsula, which one
German advisor referred to
as, “the dagger pointed at
the heart of Japan.”
the Fearing an invasion of
Korea, the Chinese went to
war with Japan between
1894-1895, the Sino1894-1895,
Japanese War, in which the
Chinese suffered a
humiliating Its victory against China
increased Meiji power,
now without equal in Asia. Sino-Japanese War, 1894-95
Sino-Japanese Russo-Japanese War,
1905 After defeating China, Japan defeated
Russia in 1905 showing the world
(specifically the West) that it was a
major world power.
major Russo-Japanese War, 1905
Russo-Japanese Meiji Japan
Meiji In 1910 Japan annexed Korea and Taiwan.
In The Japanese colonial administration built transportation
networks, educational and health institutions, but kept locals
from involvement in government.
from The Japanese regarded the non-Japanese as racially inferior,
in much the same way that many Europeans regarded nonin
Europeans. After 1912, when the Meiji Emperor died, Japan underwent a
period of liberal democratic reforms based on the British
parliamentary During World War I, Japan sided with the Allied forces and
seized Germany’s territories in Asia.
seized In the aftermath of the war, however, Japan was not granted
any of the spoils and, like Germany and Italy, felt betrayed.
any The League of Nations, 1920
The Imperial Japan
• In 1926 Showa (Hirohito) became
emperor of Japan and began a period
of increased militarization.
• During the 1920s Japan increased its
industrial output through heavy
machinery and increased population of
• During this period the Japanese were
required to show loyalty to the
emperor and promote nationalist
• The economic crisis of 1929 brought
this prosperous period to an end as
Japan did not have many natural
resources required for industrialization
such as iron, coal, and oil.
such Japan Invades Manchuria, 1931
• A new group of Japanese
oligarchs made up of military
leaders, businessmen and wealthy
farmers did away with the liberal
reforms of the post-Meiji period
and brought about an era of
fascism in Japan.
• In 1931, Japanese officers
secretly set off explosives aboard a
train in Manchuria, China.
• The Japanese claimed that the
explosion was targeted against
Japanese economic interests and
used this as a pretext for invasion.
• The League of Nations
condemned the invasion, but the
Japanese public was outraged. Japan Invades China
• The invasion of Manchuria was the first act of aggression by
Japan that will lead to World War II in the Pacific.
• The Chinese government initially granted Japan the territory of
Manchuria hoping that would satisfy their ambitions to expand.
• Japan resumed its expansion and by 1937 declared war again on
China. The Rape of Nanjing, 1937
• In December 1937, the Japanese army had
captured the Chinese capital of Nanjing.
• For the next 6 weeks hundreds of
thousands of Chinese civilians, including
women and girls, were raped, tortured and
brutally killed by Japanese soldiers.
• FDR announced an embargo of resources
to Japan. But this had little effect on
Japanese expansion in the region.
Japanese The Rape of Nanjing
The Japan During World War II
• The Japanese took advantage
of the preoccupation with the
fighting in Europe to take more
• Indochina from the French
• Japan formed an alliance with
Hitler and Mussolini to form
the Axis powers.
• Japan continued to take
territory in Asia and the Pacific
encroaching upon US interests
in the Philippines and Hawaii.
• The US was a major imperial
power in the region and felt
threatened by the rapid
1940s Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
•As the Japanese continued
to expand they now
confronted the US.
• Many Japanese military
leaders were reluctant to go
to war with the US because
of the size and strength of
the US Navy.
• The Japanese decided to
strike against the US at its
naval base in Hawaii where
most of the US ships had
• The surprise attack
brought the US into the war
against the Japanese in the
Pacific. Pearl Harbor,
December 7, 1941
December Internment of Japanese Americans
• As a result of the Pearl Harbor
attack, war hysteria, and racism,
The US government ordered all
Japanese and Japanese Americans
living on the West Coast to be
relocated in detention camps
throughout the country.
• 62% of the detainees were
citizens. Most lost their property. Internment of Japanese Americans
Internment Local History: Santa Ana Naval Air Station
Local The two hangers are some of the largest unsupported wooden
structures in the world. They were built to house the airships used
to patrol the West Coast of the US looking for Japanese
submarines and ships. In August 1978, the hangers were
designated as a national historical landmark. The hangers were
built in 1942, cost of $2.5 million each, are 1,088 feet long, 178
feet high and 297 feet wide.
feet The End of the War in the Pacific, 1945
• By 1944, Japan had conquered
much of the South Pacific.
• After the end of fighting in
Europe, the British, Americans
and Russians quickly mobilized to
put an end to Japan’s empire.
• A blockade and bombing
campaign slowed Japan down.
• However, in order to put a quick
end to the fighting, to intimidate
the Soviets, and to test their
effectiveness, the US dropped two
atomic bombs, on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki killing over 140,000
Japanese civilians. Japan
surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945.
surrendered Postwar Japan
• Japan’s imperialist period, which
began in the 19th century, was an
anomaly in its history, and it had
come to end in 1945.
• The US government oversaw
much of postwar Japan.
• General Douglas MacArthur
wrote the new Japanese
constitution (based on the US
• Japan was not allowed to raise
• The US now protected Japan
and set up many military bases
on the Japanese islands.
• The effects of the atomic weapons
were devastating on Japan.
were • Many Japanese
advocated the abolition of
all atomic weapons.
• In the latter 20th century
economically, especially in
the electronics and
• Following the great upheavals in the
19th century in China, a growing trend of
anti-European imperialism swept through
• As a result of the Boxer Rebellion of
1900, the Qing government was forced to
allow greater European and Japanese
access to Chinese markets.
• As the ability of Qing government to
maintain its political power waned, a new
wave of young Chinese sought republican
reforms to replace the Qing Empire.
• The new movement adopted Western
principles of democracy, nationalism, and
socialism, while at the same time rejecting
• Sun Yat-sen, who had come from a poor
Chinese peasant family, but was educated
in the West, became the first leader of the
new The End of the Qing Empire
• The Qing Empress Dowager
Cixi died in 1908.
• After her death, there were
several attempts to reform the
• But these proved futile as
student revolts finally erupted in
revolution in 1911. Sun Yat-sen
was outside of the country at the
time, but he hurried back to take
• The Qing officially ended in
1912 and Sun Yat-sen became the
leader of the new provisional
• China was unprepared for
modern political structures and a
period of instability ensued.
period The Guomindang (KMT)
• The first president, Yaun Sh-h’ai,
eventually consolidated his power in
the hopes of transforming China
back into an empire.
• Meanwhile, China was breaking
apart into regional military
governments headed by warlords.
• Sun Yat-sen attempted to counter
the growing divergence by forming a
new national political party, the
Guomindang (KMT), intially
gaining support in Canton.
• During the 1920s the KMT were
successful at subduing the warlords
and getting the Europeans to give up
their claims on Chinese territory -except for Portuguese Macao and
British Hong Kong.
British Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi)
• Sun Yat-sen appointed Chiang KaiSun
shek to be the new leader of the KMT.
• The new Chinese constitution was
based on authoritarian principles but
designed to lead to democratic
• Traditional cultural practices were
abolished such as footbinding of young
girls--a practice which deformed their
feet. The Rise of Chinese Communism
• During Chiang Kai-shek’s rule in the
1920s Westernization increased.
• The warlords returned to power due to
Chiang’s inability to unify the country
completely, and democratic reforms
• At the same time a new communist
movement was emerging out of the
KMT and influenced by the Bolshevik
Revolution of 1917.
• Chiang was anti-communist and he was
determined to eradicate the communists
• He cornered the communist Red Army
in Jiangxi Province in 1934. The Red
Army then retreated into warlord
• Chiang thought the warlords and the
Red Army would defeat each other.
Red The Long March and the Rise of Mao
• The warlords allowed the Red
Army to pass through on their way
to the northwestern province of
• This is the famous Long March: a
yearlong trek over very mountainous
terrain covering a distance of 6,000
• Of 80,000 Chinese Red Army
soldiers who began the march, only
10,000 completed it.
• The Long March brought Mao
Zedong to power for the first time.
• The Long March came to represent
the struggle of the Chinese peasant
and the embrace of communism
against Chinese nationalism and
capitalist Japan Invades China
• Just as the the march was
underway, Japan invaded China.
• After initially allowing the
Japanese to take Manchuria, the
KMT were forced to defend China
against the Japanese onslaught. This
allowed Mao and the communists to
regroup in Yan’an.
• The Japanese were successful at
subduing the KMT and the urban
areas of eastern China. They were
unsuccessful in the Chinese
• The Japanese were brutal against
the Chinese and during World War
II, the communists and the
Guomindang joined forces to drive
the Japanese out of China, with the
assistance of the Americans and the
British. Postwar China
• By 1945 the Chinese Communist Party
had grown to over one million members;
about 100 million Chinese lived in the
communist jurisdictions of China.
• After the Japanese surrender to the
Americans in 1945, the civil war between
the American-supported KMT and the
Soviet-supported Communists resumed,
the first “proxy war” of the Cold War era.
• The communists eventually succeeded
and drove the KMT out of mainland
• In 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the
founding of the People’s Republic of
China, the first communist state in East
• Chiang Kai-shek established the
Republic of China on the island of
• Both Japan and China had complicated histories in the
early twentieth century, especially in relation to the West.
• China went through two revolutions, occupation by the
Japanese and eventually became communist.
• Japan went through a period of rapid industrialization, a
period of imperialist militarism, were the recipients of the
first and only uses of atomic weapons in wartime, and
evenutally became a economic powerhouse.
• For much of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century,
China and Japan had a similar historical development. This
will change after World War II as the influence of Europe
waned and the superpowers exerted their influence in Asia
during the Cold War.
Terms • Rape of Nanjing
• Japanese Internment
• Guomindang (KMT)
• The Long March
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