Age of Revolution
By: Shane Sampson
Qing Dynasty, Tokugawa, & Meiji
1. What were the causes of the Opium War? Within the provisions of the Treaty of Nanjing, what territorial changes were made?
2. Describe the internal dissent and approach to reform of the late Qing rulers. (reaction to reforms)
3. Describe the decline of Tokugawa Japan and how they dealt with foreign pressures. (Reasons for reforms)
4. Analyze the Meiji Restoration. (Describe the reforms instituted)
Despite the widespread nature of colonial domination over South and Southeast Asia there were surprisingly few major revolts and little organized opposition to foreign rule in the period. Candidates need to consider why opposition to colonial rule essentially failed in the chosen countries. Answers may focus on the military strengths and the technological advancement of the colonizers. Candidates may also refer to: the policies of divide and rule used by the imperialists; the agricultural nature of many indigenous societies; the colonizers’ focus on commerce; and the relative popularity of the rule of the imperialist powers in some sectors of the indigenous population. Collaborators played a part because they stood to gain more than they lost. Answers may refer to the heterogeneity of Asian society such as religious and ethnic differences, which made unified resistance more difficult. The calibre of some of the officials who ran the colonial administration may also be discussed.
India may be a popular choice for one of the countries chosen where there was opposition to British rule, but candidates must look at opposition to colonial rule in two countries of the region. Examples of other countries where there were revolts and resistance include: Burma which fought three wars against the British (1824–1826, 1852 and 1885–1886); Afghanistan (1842); resistance to the Dutch in Java (1825). In the Philippines there had been steady resistance on a small scale ever since the arrival of the Spanish. The Palaris Revolt of 1762–1765 was the largest revolt, followed by the Ambaristo Revolt in 1807. Spanish policies of repression both helped cause as well as curb resistance in the Philippines. In New Zealand, Maori resistance led to local wars against the British despite the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Conflicts over land led to the First Maori War (1843–1848) and the Second Maori War (1860–1870).