Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 31: Societies at Crossroads

Chapter Outline

  1. Introduction: Ottoman empire, Russia, China, and Japan
    1. Common problems
      1. Military weakness, vulnerability to foreign threats
      2. Internal weakness due to economic problems, financial difficulties, and corruption
    2. Reform efforts
      1. Attempts at political and educational reform and at industrialization
      2. Turned to western models
    3. Different results of reforms
      1. Ottoman empire, Russia, and China unsuccessful; societies on the verge of collapse
      2. Reform in Japan was more thorough; Japan emerged as an industrial power

  2. The Ottoman empire in decline
    1. The nature of decline
      1. Military decline since the late seventeenth century
        1. Ottoman forces behind European armies in strategy, tactics, weaponry, training
        2. Janissary corps politically corrupt, undisciplined
        3. Provincial governors gained power, private armies
      2. Extensive territorial losses in nineteenth century
        1. Lost Caucasus and central Asia to Russia; western frontiers to Austria; Balkan provinces to Greece and Serbia
        2. Egypt gained autonomy after Napoleon's failed campaign in 1798
          (a) Egyptian general Muhammad Ali built a powerful, modern army
          (b) Ali's army threatened Ottomans, made Egypt an autonomous province
      3. Economic difficulties began in seventeenth century
        1. Less trade through empire as Europeans shifted to the Atlantic Ocean basin
        2. Exported raw materials, imported European manufactured goods
        3. Heavily depended on foreign loans, half of the revenues paid to loan interest
        4. Foreigners began to administer the debts of the Ottoman state by 1882
      4. The "capitulations": European domination of Ottoman economy
        1. Extraterritoriality: Europeans exempt from Ottoman law within the empire
        2. Could operate tax-free, levy their own duties in Ottoman ports
        3. Deprived empire of desperately needed income
    2. Reform and reorganization
      1. Attempt to reform military led to violent Janissary revolt (1807-1808)
      2. Reformer Mahmud II (1808-1839) became sultan after revolt
        1. When Janissaries resisted, Mahmud had them killed; cleared the way for reforms
        2. He built an European-style army, academies, schools, roads, and telegraph
      3. Legal and educational reforms of the Tanzimat ("reorganization") era (1839-1876)
        1. Ruling class sought sweeping restructuring to strengthen state
        2. Broad legal reforms, modeled after Napoleon's civic code
        3. State reform of education (1846), free and compulsory primary education (1869)
        4. Undermined authority of the ulama, enhanced the state authority
      4. Opposition to Tanzimat reforms
        1. Religious conservatives critical of attack on Islamic law and tradition
        2. Legal equality for minorities resented by some, even a few minority leaders
        3. Young Ottomans wanted more reform: freedom, autonomy, decentralization
        4. High-level bureaucrats wanted more power, checks on the sultan's power
    3. The Young Turk era
      1. Cycles of reform and repression
        1. 1876, coup staged by bureaucrats who demanded a constitutional government
        2. New sultan Abd al-Hamid II (1876-1909) proved an autocrat: suspended constitution, dissolved parliament, and punished liberals
        3. Reformed army and administration: became source of the new opposition
      2. The Young Turks, after 1889, an active body of opposition
        1. Called for universal suffrage, equality, freedom, secularization, women's rights
        2. Forced Abd al-Hamid to restore constitution, dethroned him (1909)
        3. Nationalistic: favored Turkish dominance within empire, led to Arab resistance
        4. The empire survived only because of distrust among European powers

  3. The Russian empire under pressure
    1. Military defeat and social reform
      1. The Crimean War (1853-1856)
        1. Nineteenth-century Russia expanded from Manchuria, across Asia to Baltic Sea
        2. Sought access to Mediterranean Sea, moved on Balkans controlled by Ottomans
        3. European coalition supported Ottomans against Russia in Crimea
        4. Crushing defeat forced tsars to take radical steps to modernize army, industry
      2. Emancipation of serfs in 1861 by Alexander II
        1. Serfdom supported landed nobility, an obstacle to economic development
        2. Serfs gained right to land, but no political rights; had to pay a redemption tax
        3. Emancipation did not increase agricultural production
      3. Political and legal reforms followed
        1. 1864, creation of zemstvos, local assemblies with representatives from all classes
        2. A weak system: nobles dominated, tsar held veto power
        3. Legal reform more successful: juries, independent judges, professional attorneys
    2. Industrialization
      1. The Witte system: developed by Sergei Witte, minister of finance, 1892-1903
        1. Railway construction stimulated other industries; trans-Siberian railway
        2. Remodeled the state bank, protected infant industries, secured foreign loans
        3. Top-down industrialization effective; steel, coal, and oil industries grew
      2. Industrial discontent intensified
        1. Rapid industrialization fell hardest on working classes
        2. Government outlawed unions, strikes; workers increasingly radical
        3. Business class supported autocracy, not reform
    3. Repression and revolution
      1. Cycles of protest and repression
        1. Peasants landless, no political power, frustrated by lack of meaningful reform
        2. Antigovernment protest and revolutionary activity increased in 1870s
        3. Intelligentsia advocated socialism and anarchism, recruited in countryside
        4. Repression by tsarist authorities: secret police, censorship
        5. Russification: sparked ethnic nationalism, attacks on Jews tolerated
      2. Terrorism emerges as a tool of opposition
        1. Alexander II, the reforming tsar, assassinated by a bomb in 1881
        2. Nicholas II (1894-1917), more oppressive, conservative ruler
      3. Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05: Russian expansion to east leads to conflict with Japan
      4. Revolution of 1905: triggered by costly Russian defeat by Japan
        1. Bloody Sunday massacre: unarmed workers shot down by government troops
        2. Peasants seized landlords' property; workers formed soviets
        3. Tsar forced to accept elected legislature, the Duma; did not end conflict

  4. The Chinese empire under siege
    1. The Opium War and the unequal treaties
      1. Opium trade a serious threat to Qing dynasty by nineteenth century
        1. Chinese cohong system restricted foreign merchants to one port city
        2. China had much to offer, but little demand for European products
        3. East India Company cultivated opium to exchange for Chinese goods
        4. About forty thousand chests of opium shipped to China yearly by 1838
      2. The Opium War (1839-1842)
        1. Commissioner Lin Zexu directed to stop opium trade
        2. British refused; Lin confiscated and destroyed twenty thousand chests of opium
        3. British retaliated, easily crushed Chinese forces, destroyed Grand Canal
      3. Unequal treaties forced trade concessions from Qing dynasty
        1. Treaty of Nanjing, 1842: Britain gained right to opium trade, most-favored-nation status, Hong Kong, open trade ports, exemptions from Chinese laws
        2. Similar unequal treaties made to other western countries and Japan
        3. By 1900, China lost control of economy, ninety ports to foreign powers
    2. The Taiping rebellion
      1. Internal turmoil in China in the later nineteenth century
        1. Population grew by 50 percent; land and food more slowly; poverty strained resources
        2. Other problems: official corruption, drug addiction
        3. Four major rebellions in 1850s and 1860s; the most dangerous was the Taiping
      2. The Taiping ("Great Peace") program proposed by Hong Xiuquan
        1. Called for end of Qing dynasty; resented Manchu rule
        2. Radical social change: no private property, footbinding, concubinage
        3. Popular in southeast China; seized Nanjing (1853), moved on Beijing
      3. Taiping defeat by combined Qing and foreign troops
        1. Gentry sided with government; regional armies had European weapons
        2. Taipings defeated in 1864; the war claimed twenty to thirty million lives
    3. Reform frustrated
      1. The Self-Strengthening Movement (1860-1895)
        1. Sought to blend Chinese cultural traditions with European industrial technology
        2. Built shipyards, railroads, weapon industries, steel foundries, academies
        3. Not enough industry to make a significant change
        4. Powerful empress dowager Cixi opposed changes
      2. Spheres of influence eroded Chinese power
        1. Foreign powers seized Chinese tribute states of Vietnam, Burma, Korea, Taiwan
        2. 1898, they carved China into spheres of economic influence, each a different province
      3. The hundred-days reforms (1898)
        1. Two Confucian scholars advised radical changes in imperial system
        2. Young emperor Guangxu inspired to launch wide-range reforms
        3. Movement crushed by Cixi and supporters; emperor imprisoned; reformers killed
      4. The Boxer rebellion (the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists), 1899-1900
        1. Local militia attacked foreigners, Chinese Christians
        2. Crushed by European and Japanese troops
        3. Collapse of Qing dynasty in 1912

  5. The Transformation of Japan
    1. From Tokugawa to Meiji
      1. Crisis and reform in early nineteenth century
        1. Crisis: crop failure, high taxes, rising rice prices all led to protests and rebellions
        2. Tokugawa bakufu tried conservative reforms, met with resistance
      2. Foreign pressure for Japan to reverse long-standing closed door policy
        1. 1844 requests by British, French, and United States for the right of entry rebuffed
        2. 1853, U.S. Commodore Perry sailed U.S. fleet to Tokyo Bay, demanded entry
        3. Japan forced to accept unequal treaties with United States and other western countries
      3. The end of Tokugawa rule followed these humiliations
        1. Widespread opposition to shogun rule, especially in provinces
        2. Dissidents rallied around emperor in Kyoto
      4. The Meiji restoration, 1868
        1. After brief civil war, Tokugawa armies defeated by dissident militia
        2. The boy emperor Mutsuhito, or Meiji, regained authority
        3. End of almost seven centuries of military rule in Japan
    2. Meiji reforms
      1. Meiji government welcomed foreign expertise
        1. Fukuzawa Yukichi studied western constitutions and education
        2. Ito Hirobumi helped build Japanese constitutional government
      2. Abolition of the feudal order essential to new government
        1. Daimyo and samurai lost status and privileges
        2. Districts reorganized to break up old feudal domains
        3. New conscript army ended power of samurai; rebelled in 1877 but lost
      3. Revamping tax system
        1. Converted grain taxes to a fixed money tax: more reliable income for state
        2. Assessed taxes on potential productivity of arable land
      4. Constitutional government, the emperor's "gift" to the people in 1889
        1. Emperor remained supreme, limited the rights of the people
        2. Less than 5 percent of adult males could vote
        3. Legislature, the Diet, was an opportunity for debate and dissent
      5. Remodeling the economy and infrastructure
        1. Transportation: railroads, telegraph, steamships
        2. Education: universal primary and secondary; competitive universities
        3. Industry: privately owned, government controlled arms industry
        4. Zaibatsu: powerful financial cliques
      6. Costs of economic development borne by Japanese people
        1. Land tax cost peasants 40 percent to 50 percent of crop yield, provided 90 percent of state revenue
        2. Peasant uprisings crushed; little done to alleviate suffering
        3. Labor movement also crushed; Meiji law treated unions and strikes as criminal
      7. Japan became an industrial power in a single generation
        1. Ended unequal treaties in 1899
        2. Defeated China in 1895 and Russia in 1904
Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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