The aftershocks of Japan's Meiji era transformation continued to be felt throughout East and Southeast Asia as traditional societies strove to adjust to the impact of new ideas and technologies. All the while, a stream of new religious and ideological missionaries, political idealists and new economic colonizers poured across to Pacific Asian ports from Europe and increasingly from the United States. The imperative to modernize was most keenly felt by a new generation of intellectuals whose thinking was shaped both by their traditional upbringing and their access to Western education and ideas.
The changes they contemplated were as much cultural as political or economic. They involved massive transformations even in basic language and expression, as in China, Korea, and Vietnam, where the gulf between the historic language of the intelligentsia and popular expression at the beginning of the nineteenth century was in many ways as wide as the gap between the Latin-speaking clerks of the early European Renaissance and the mass of barely literate vernacular-speakers below them. Everywhere the same questions were pondered: What can be taken from the West? How can it be used? How can it be resisted?
At the same time, the affluence produced by Western technology made more extreme the contrast with the desperate poverty of the mass of Asia/Pacific peoples—those who flocked to the new urban factories were often worse off than the peasant relatives they had left at home. Thoughtful students and young reformers came to ponder these inequities--and many blamed the West for the huge gap betweenexpectation and reality. Far-off events cast their shadows. Nowhere was the post-WorldWar I collapse of Wilsonian idealism felt more keenly than in Asia's Pacific cities. In 1919 crowds of nationalist demonstrators took to the streets in Korea and China to protest the results of the Versailles Treaty. These frustrations were but a part of the complex interaction of forces that were building in domestic and international politics. The prelude to war began in China where Japan's military leaders succeeded in thrusting their country on a path toward dominance in Asia and confrontation with the Western anti-Fascist democracies.
Video; "From the Barrel of a Gun"
After viewing the video and reading Chapter 4, you should have a basic understanding of the following concepts.
1. Nationalism grew and developed throughout Pacific Asia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
2. Communism was a powerful force in all the countries of Pacific Asia, albeit in different ways. Idealism, nationalism, and anti-iimperialism all influenced communist movements.
3. The reaction in Asia to the Treaty of Versailles demonstrated how Asian visions of Asia's future clashed with the Western, Eurocentric vision of the world.
4. The failure to implement Wilsonian ideals, in conjunction with the Versailles Treaty in 1919, contributed to militant nationalism in Asia.
5. Anti-colonial and independence movements grew in number and intensity during the early twentieth century.
6. Along with new ideologies, armed forces and militarism were instrumental in shaping modem Pacific Asia.
7. Japanese colonialism expanded in Asia in the decades before WWII.
8. Nationalist movements often required charismatic leaders such as Ho Chi Minn and Sukarno to serve as rallying points.
KEY TERMS AND NAMES
This is a list of important terms, people, and places that you should understand from reading the text.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
Dong Du Movement
Ho Chi Minh
March First Movement
Marco Polo Bridge Incident
May Fourth Movement
QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW
1. Look at the list of Key Termss and Names for this chapter. Find all place names, then locate each place on the maps in the text.
2. What was the significance of 1919 to modem Asia? What events happened in China? in Europe? in Indonesia? in Korea? What individuals were particularly prominent in this year? Why?
3. Imagine you are a Chinese university student in 1919 or 1920. If you were interviewed by a Western journalist, what would you say? What are your hopes for your country? What changes do you want?
4. What role did the Versailles Conference play in the development of Asian nationalism? Why?
5. What role did Western-style education play in decolonization? What was the purpose of such education from the Westerners' point of view? from an indigenous point of view? Compare and contrast the roles of the Filipino Ilustrados, the Dutch-educated Indonesians, and the French-educated Vietnamese.
6. What factors affected the leaders of early twentieth century Asian political movements? What traits are shared by these leaders? What traits sat them apart?
7. What was the Japanese colonial policy in Korea? How did the two countries' relationship affect Japan's economy? Korea's?
8. What role did Japan play in modernization movements elsewhere in Asia? Which future Asian leaders traveled to Japan? Why?
9. What was the connection between the KMT and the CCP? between Comintern and the CCP? between Ho Chi Minh and Comintern? between Comintern and the KMT? between Ho Chi Minh and the French Communist Party
10. Were Vietnamese leaders united in their approach to French colonialism? What routes to cultural reform were proposed?