Chinese Politics Reading Notes.docx

Japan was able to develop a strong state and to

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Japan was able to develop a strong state and to launch a successful industrialization program just when China was collapsing because of political disintegration and economic decay Only ¼ of China’s land is arable Half of that depends on irrigation Irrigation also gave rise to an intensive mode of agricultural production which emphasizes the use of human labor as a means of increasing crop yield and is most evident in the rice fields of southern china The west had an emphasis on grain and livestock, traditionally practiced an extensive mode of agriculture like with cowboys which relies on territorial expansion rather than human labor as a means of increasing yield The attempt by the European countries to expand their frontiers both inside and outside European engendered national rivalry. This rivalry necessitated constant efforts to prepare for war and thus the organization of a powerful army and arms industry. War financing and war fighting helped to create a tradition of strong states in europe. Although China did undergo periods of fragmentation and disorder, it did not face the same kind of pressure for constant military preparation and the consequent stimulus to develop a strong state. There was a great deal of local autonomy in the enforcement of imperial edicts and the collection of taxes Chinese emperors customarily reigned rather than ruled Japan was different cause daimyos and such Upward social mobility was not possible for ordinary Japanese merchants China’s open social system brought about completely different results. In Imperial China, successful merchants could convert their wealth into social respectability they could purchase land and thereby join the rural gentry class. They could also invest in their sons’ education in the hope that the latter would successful pass the imperial examination and become officers. They could buy official titles and literary degrees from the government Capitalist development was hampered in traditional China by the absence of primogeniture-the custom according to which the eldest son inherits all his father’s property. Instead, in traditional china all sons were entitled to a share of the father’s property. Caused a fragmentation of the family’s financial resources. Chinese peasants had very small and scattered plots, a situation hardly conductive to agricultural mechanization Traditional Japan practiced primogeniture. This custom tended to preserve family fortunes and promote capital accumulation essential for economic modernization. The import of tea and the poor market for british goods in China led to an unfavorable balance of trade for London, and thus the outflow of specie to China So they started the opium epidemic The outflow of silver from China to pay for the illicit opium imports undermined its economy.
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