Modernization can be defined as the act of adopting new trends to counter the previous issues. It is very difficult for any individual or party to accept new trends unless they are shown its importance. Just like the African continent, Asia was also colonized by European countries. Regardless of their current state, they were once colonies of some states. Through the colonization, the European countries brought in western cultures into Eastern Asia. Ironically, these nations have capitalized on some of the cultures and in the process are far ahead of Western nations. A country like China is soon becoming a superpower. However, the colonization and modernization were not easy as it was met with massive resistance from the residents. Different regions had different responses courtesy of their leaders. Additionally, these leaders mobilized different nationalistic ideas and strategies to their people.
The office of the East Asia emperor had mixed reactions towards the establishment of European nations. To some extent, the European nations were helpful in that they invented agriculture in the area. Long before the arrival of the Europeans, it seemed like the Asians knew very little about farming. Within a short time, they had been taught on the aspect of farming not only crops but livestock and fish as well. When the Europeans arrived, they were shocked that there ever existed such a huge piece of land that has never been cultivated. To them that was a wonder of the world yet to the locals it was no big deal. They invested on the large tracts of land that they encountered in the Asian community. Large plantations of crops in the likes of maize, tea and coffee were established. However the produce was never meant for Asians. The Europeans used to ship them back to their countries for processing as they had already established industries. This idea did not anchor well with Asian authorities. After some time they began rebelling the same people that had brought to them some light. If it were not for the colonizers, they would have not have known of the idea of farming. The Europeans as well went too far by utilizing foreign land and soil without sharing of the returns with the dwellers. For this reason, the leaders mobilized the residents against them.
In as much as the emperor first welcomed the Europeans at first, his change of mind ruined his legacy. The foreigners were doing whatever they were doing just to teach the Asians how things are done in the developed world. On the other hand, the leaders saw as if the Europeans were interested in their material things. This shows that the leaders still had conservative nationalistic ideas. Conservatives are of the idea that the foreigner is always wrong no matter what they are putting on the table. They believed in their cultures and eventually, they chased away the Europeans. The Asians ganged and began destroying crops planted by the foreigners. They rejected everything else that the Europeans had to offer. Blindly, they rejected even things that would help them grow as a continent. The emperor organized militia groups that were sent out to go and fight the foreigners. The conservative nature of the emperor perhaps explains why to date a large Asian population is languishing in poverty. The Europeans were advocating for a modern way of doing things including the mechanization of the agricultural sector. They also advocated for education to children as a way of eradicating poverty and achieving industrialization. Equality was also on the cards for the Europeans. On the other hand, the Asians under the leadership of the emperor perceived women to be inferior. In the long run, the Asians were misguided. Instead of collaborating and reaping the benefits, they resisted and had to suffer the wrath.
It is in records that China was unable to overcome the European invasion. They hence had to try their best and prevent the dominance of foreign powers into their nation. Though some movements within the Chinese community collaborated and accepted that the western countries to control most of their regions, others and mostly the communist completely refuted the ideas. They could not understand the logic behind that. These nationalistic movements in China did not want to chase away the Europeans but at the same time did not want them to dominate the region. That must have been a very brilliant idea. For that reason, China went on developing. Years later, the nationalistic movements in China removed the dynasties that had ruled China for decades. From that point up to date, China has remained a sovereign state with its own democratically elected leaders.
Japan story was somehow different from that of the Chinese. Earlier during the invasion, the Japanese were able to overcome the Europeans. Only a few of them were allowed into the nation just because of trade. Japan did not associate itself so much with other Asian nations. It stayed on its own until a time when America decided to send a ship with soldiers to the Japan sea. The Japanese sensed danger and from there began signing treaties with foreign nations with the aim of securing their oil. The treaties brought about global outcry, but eventually, Japan had done it. In the process, Japan was able to set up more and more industries both in weapons, machinery and food items. All these industries were a result of nationalistic movements.
Nationalism in India appeared to be a bit complicated. Reasonable nationalistic movements were evident after the world war. The war brought more harm than good to the Indians. The taxes were raise and hence there was public outcry. India suffered from very many issues some of them including diseases epidemics and death due to hunger. The Indians started taking into the streets as way of saying no to the British rule. The European rule generally was characterized by victimization of natives and mistreatment of women. Over time, the British became ruthless and they began punishing the Indian citizens regardless of their status in the society, age and sex. This in turn intensified the liberation movements against the colonial rule. Civil disobedience was the primary approach applied by the nationalist. They defied to pay taxes and thus it became very hard for the Europeans to rule without funds. Alongside the civil disobedience, the Indians began destroying all symbols of authority of the British rule among them their flag, the courts of law and the police. A large number of the citizens lost their lives during the struggle. With time, the Europeans had to grant the Indians their full independence. This could not have been possible without the struggle of the nationalistic movements in India.
Vietnam has well has had its side of nationalism. The small state was initially under the control of the French. In short, it was their colony. The French rule in Vietnam was characterized by multiple resistance. This is to show that nationalistic movements existed long before the real revolutionary nationalism was found. As a result of the movements, the French had to give in to the demands of the locals and immediately after World War 1; they had to sign treaties. The struggle went on until the time of the 2nd World War where the Germans defeated the French. As a result, Japan established its base in the land and began leading some kind of nationalistic movements. The locals were however misguided by the Americans, and in the process, they chased away the Japanese who were well-wishers. With time, the French were back into the land, and that called for more revolutionary nationalistic movements. A national movement was formed, and it helped the people of Vietnam achieve their full independence.
The westernization of the Asian continent was never an easy task. A majority of the Asian nations were against the western cultures. However, there existed the nationalistic idea that for the Asian nations to achieve reasonable independence, they were to remain more western. Although mistreatments characterized westernization, some good things came along with westernization. Some of these are education, agriculture, forms of national revenue, industrialization and trading activities. Remaining more western did not mean that they had to abandon their culture. It simply meant to embrace reasonable measures of sustaining themselves as independent nations. Unlike the European nations that lively independent of one another, the Asian nations existed as a group of nations. This by itself hindered the development in the region and thus the call for westernization as the first step towards reasonable warranted. Westernization advocated not only for education but also gender equality.
Different East Asia nations had different ways of approaching the invasion by European nations. Some resisted from the world go. Others collaborated soonest the invaders were into their land. Other collaborated but later began resisting after the European rule became oppressive. The journey to the modernization of Asia was such a difficult task. In fact to the level that they are in today, this nations should be saying thank you to the European colonizers. The only way to modernize them was first to colonize them provoking the nationality in them and eventually development took its course. China, for example, is one of the nations that has undergone radical modernization. Up to date, they are a hot cake regarding agricultural production, industrialization and soon they are the next superpowers.
Duiker, William J. The Rise of Nationalism in Vietnam, 1900-1941, 315-400. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006.
Du, Weiming. 2002. "Multiple Modernities: Implications of the Rise of 'Confucian' East Asia." Chinese Ethics in a Global Context.. 55-77.
Family, Community, and Modernization in Asian Societies: Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand, 200-250. Fukuoka: Asian-Pacific Center, 2000.
Seal, Anil. 1973. "Imperialism Nationalism in India". Modern Asian Studies 7., 3rd ed., 321-347. 2007.
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