Quing and Japanese Reforms

Opium War

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Britain wanted to increase their profits in trade with China, so they began to grow and trade Opium. This trade was illegal, but it expanded rapidly in China. By the late 1830's Chinese government officials had become aware that Opium was causing problems in China. Wealth was being drained from China, and many Chinese citizens were addicted to opium. Chinese government officials attempted to destroy the opium trade. They confiscated and destroyed large amounts of opium. This greatly angered Britain and ignited a war. Britain easily won. They forced China to sign the Treaty of Nanjing. This treaty released Korea, Vietnam, and Burma from Chinese authority. It also placed Hong Kong under British authority, opened Chinese ports to commerce, legalized the opium trade, permitted the establishment of Christian missions throughout China, compelled Qing government to extend most-favored-nation status to Britain, granted extraterritoriality to British visitors visitors in China, and prevented Qing government from levying tariffs on imports.

Qing Reform

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After the Taiping rebellion, Qing rulers recognized that they needed to make changes for the survival of their empire. Qing authorities tried to fashion an efficient Confucian government to solve social and economic problems while also adopting foreign technology to strengthen state power. Leaders sought to blend Chinese cultural traditions with European industrial technology.

Tokugawa decline

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Beginning in the 1840's British, French, and U.S. ships visited Japan seeking to establish relations. Tokugawa officials declined and stuck with the policy of excluding all foreign visitors except for a small number of Dutch merchants. This changed when a U.S. naval squadron arrived in Tokyo Bay in 1853. The U.S. demanded that the shogun open Japan to diplomatic and commercial relations. The shogun had no other choice, but to give in to these demands. The sudden intrusion of foreign powers resulted in the collapse of Tokugawa Japan and the restoration of imperial rule.

Meiji Restoration

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The Meiji restoration returned authority to the Japanese emperor and brought an end to the series of military governments that had dominated Japan for a long time. The Meiji government looked to the industrial lands of Europe and the United States to obtain knowledge to strengthen Japan. The Meiji government sent many students and officials to study everything from technology to constitutions, and it also hired foreign experts to facilitate economic development.
The Meiji Restoration