The East Asian World - Essay Example

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Soon, most of the Chinese and their leaders accepted the Manchus who did not abolish their deeply-held political and spiritual…
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Chapter 17: The East Asian World The Manchus were successful at creating a foreign dynasty in China because they adopted, rather than changed, the Chinese Ming political system. Soon, most of the Chinese and their leaders accepted the Manchus who did not abolish their deeply-held political and spiritual beliefs. In addition, the Manchus also had strong early leaders who attained peace, order, and development. Kangxi was argued as the greatest ruler in China because he pacified the warring peoples in the western and northern frontiers and practiced religious tolerance (e.g rise of Christianity through Jesuit missionaries). Yongzheng and Qianlong continued Kangxi’s support for the arts and culture and maintained peace and order. The first signs of internal problems began under Qianlong, however (e.g. corruption and expenses of military campaigns). The main characteristics of the Manchu rule were their ability to adapt to new environments without losing their distinct identity and their concern for equality (to some extent) between the Manchus and the Chinese. The Manchus implemented diarchy, for instance, where important administrative positions were shared among the Manchus and the Chinese.
The economy and society changed during the Ming and Qing eras when China opened more to trade and Western influence, particularly during the Ming era. China also witnessed an expansion in population, trade, commerce, and territories. The population increased from 70 to 80 million in 1390 to more than 300 million at the end of the eighteenth century. China also exported tea, porcelain, and silk to England and traded with Russia and other nations. The Chinese, however, limited contact with the Europeans, who increasingly demanded access to other Chinese markets. These changes seem to be leading toward an industrial revolution on the European model to the degree that China was ripe for industrialization because of its access to people and resources, but it lacked dedication to technological developments because of its emphasis on moral principles than scientific knowledge.
The society and economy of Japan changed during the Tokugawa era through trading with the West and manufacturing developments. These changes promoted rising standards of living. The Japanese culture reflected these changes by widened social class differences (i.e. social stratification of four classes: warriors, artisans, peasants, and merchants).
The developments in Korea during this period reflected conditions in China and Japan to the extent that it modeled its political system after the Chinese model at first and adopted the social stratification system of Japan. The unique aspects of Vietnamese civilization are its little contact with the spice trade of the West and practice of its own imperial government. Read More
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