East Asia in the Modern World - Essay Example

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Approximately two months later on May 4th Movement developed in China. The March 1st Independence Movement of Korea and the May 4th Movement of China occurring during relatively close period of time affected each…
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East Asia in the Modern World
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East Asia in the Modern World On March 1919, the independence movement took place in Korea. Approximately two months later on May 4th Movement developed in China. The March 1st Independence Movement of Korea and the May 4th Movement of China occurring during relatively close period of time affected each other. The two movements shared fundamental similarities that fueled them; the international environment was similar and both countries had similar social and cultural background. It is however important to note because of the domestic conditions varied there were also several differences.
Chinese students staged a demonstration in Tiananmen Square protesting the terms of the Versailles Treaty, which confirmed Japan’s claims on Chinese land previously occupied by Germany. The students were imbued with Western ideas of equality; democracy, individual freedom, and the Wilsonian claim that all nations have the right to self-determination. Similarly, the young Koreans protested the terms of the Versailles Treaty and demanded freedom from Japanese colonization. It is clear that Versailles treaty was a major trigger of both movements. The fact leaders of both movements were taught abroad is quite significant.
A major difference between the two movements was how the movements were undertaken. In china, students from Beijing congregated around Tiananmen Square to demonstrate against the Versailles Conference. The students gave out fliers announcing China would reject the surrender of Chinese land to Japan. In Korea, the protestors majorly compromised of students, homemakers, farmers i.e. ordinary people in society, as well as politicians and religious leaders. The protests intent was to petition to the Japanese people, and these protests erupted randomly throughout the entire country. 
In conclusion, the trigger for both movements might have been the Versailles Treaty but the goals were different. China wanted to retain its territory while the Koreans wanted withdrawal of Japan from its territory.
Work Cited
Ebrey, Patricia Buckley, and Anne Walthall. Modern East Asia from 1600: A Cultural, Social,
and Political History, 3rd Edition. Wadsworth Cengage, 2013. Print. Read More
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