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HIST242: Modern Northeast Asia

Unit 2: The Barbarians Are Coming   *Since the discovery of new sea-lanes to Asia in the sixteenth century, commerce between Asia and Europe had accelerated rapidly. Following the industrial revolution, European traders gradually expanded their commercial interests in Asia, interests later supported by their governments with political and military action, leading eventually to conquest and colonization of many Asian states and societies.

Japan, China and Korea did not become European colonies, but they were, nonetheless, profoundly impacted by the European presence in Asia. Under military pressure, they were forced to lift the tight restrictions they had formerly imposed on European traders, and to make substantial concessions to foreign interests, losing some of their political and economic autonomy in the process.

In this unit, we will study the arrival of European and US forces and their efforts to enforce ‘gunboat diplomacy’, as well as the reaction of the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans to peoples they had long considered ‘barbarians’, uncivilized and uncouth, possessing next-to-nothing that Northeast Asians could possibly want.*

Unit 2 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 8 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3:

☐    Subunit 2.4: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 2.5: 2.25 hours

☐    Subunit 2.6: 0.5 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Describe and assess the immediate impact of European imperialism on Qing China, Tokugawa Japan and Chos?n Korea - Summarize and explain the differences between the domestic threat posed by popular uprisings and the external threat posed by the European powers. - Compare Qing, Tokugawa and Chos?n reactions to such threats. - Compare different views about why, when and how the modern era in Northeast Asia began

2.1 Barbarians   - Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators: Yi Hangn?’s “On Sinifying the Western Barbarians” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators: Yi Hangn?’s “On Sinifying the Western Barbarians”  (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the introduction and the longer excerpt starting on p2 and answer the questions at the end of the reading. This is a primary source document.
 
This should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators: Aizawa Seishisai’s “The Barbarians’ Nature” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators: Excerpts from Aizawa Seishisai’s “The Barbarians’ Nature” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read the introduction and the longer excerpt, which follows the short one, and answer the questions (at the end of the short excerpt). This is a primary source document.
     
    Compare the view of barbarians described by these thinkers. Do you think their views of “Western” barbarians differ from their views of other neighboring (Asian) barbarians? If so, in what ways?
     
     The reading, questions and comparative exercise should take approximately 20 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

2.2 The First Opium War   - Reading: MIT Visualizing Cultures: Peter Perdue’s “ The Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System Part III” Link: MIT Visualizing Cultures: Peter Perdue’s “The Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System Part III”  (HTML, PDF)
 
Instructions: Select either the html or pdf version of the essay (on the right of the screen). Read the sections on “End of the Canton System” and “Hong Kong.”
 
Reading and viewing the images should take approximately 40 minutes. 

  • Lecture: Harvard Extension School’s “Opium and the Opium Wars” Link: Harvard Extension School’s “Opium and the Opium Wars” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Scroll down the page and select your preferred format (audio or video with Power Point slides) and connection type. Listen to/watch the lecture, paying attention to the “Sinocentric” world-view described and the way in which it shaped Qing foreign relations. Note the impact on the Chinese economy of the opium trade.
     
    Watching/listening to the lecture and note-taking should take approximately 1 hour.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Brooklyn College CUNY: Paul Halsall’s Version of Lin Zexu’s “Letter to Queen Victoria” Link: Brooklyn College CUNY: Paul Halsall’s Version of Lin Zexu’s “Letter to Queen Victoria” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the first primary source document, Lin Zexu’s “Letter to Queen Victoria.”
    Using the information from the Harvard lecture and this source, can you identify the attitude of the Qing regime to opium? What measures were taken to address the opium problem? What was the attitude of the regime to the British? How and why did the old patterns of dealing with foreign ‘barbarians’ fail? Comparing Lin’s letter to the primary source documents you read in unit 1.5 on the reception of the English Ambassador, Lord Macartney, and Qianlong’s letter to King George III, do you think that the Qing regime’s attitude had changed at all over this forty-year period?
     
    This reading and questions should take approximately 40 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: USC US-China Institute’s “Treaty of Nanjing” Link: USC US-China Institute’s “Treaty of Nanjing” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the terms of the Treaty of Nanjing. What were the key concessions made by the Qing to the British? How did it affect Qing sovereignty?
     
    This reading should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

2.2.1 Causes of the war   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 2.2.

2.2.2 Course of the war   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 2.2.

2.2.3 Outcome of the war   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 2.2.

2.2.4 Treaty of Nanjing   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 2.2.

2.2.5 Cession of Hong Kong   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 2.2.

2.3 More Wars with Europe   2.3.1 Unequal Treaties and the Establishment of Treaty Ports   2.3.2 The US and the ‘Open Door’ Policy   2.3.3 Missionary Inroads   2.4 Domestic Rebellions in Qing China   - Lecture: Harvard Extension School’s “Christianity and Chinese Salvation” Link: Harvard Extension School’s “Christianity and Chinese Salvation” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please watch the video lecture with accompanying PowerPoint slides in its entirety.
 
Watching/listening to the lecture and note-taking should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Brooklyn College CUNY: Paul Halsall’s version of Hong Xiuquan’s “The Land System of the Heavenly Kingdom” Link: Brooklyn College CUNY: Paul Halsall’s version of Hong Xiuquan’s “The Land System of the Heavenly Kingdom” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Drawing on the lecture and this document, analyze the origins, ideals and ideology of the uprising. What roles do you think were played by domestic and foreign factors? What domestic and foreign influences can you discern in Taiping thought? 
     
    This reading and the questions should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
     
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2.4.1 Taiping Rebellion   2.4.2 Nian Rebellion   2.4.3 Other contemporaneous uprisings   2.5 The Opening of Japan   - Reading: MIT: Visualizing Cultures: John Dower’s “Black Ships and Samurai” Link: MIT: Visualizing Cultures: John Dower’s “Black Ships and Samurai” (HTML, PDF)
 
Instructions: Select “Essay” on the right side of the screen (PDF or html). Pay particular attention to the introduction (which provides an overview) and the sections on “Facing East” and “Facing West,” which show how each side viewed the other. Also, note the items described in the section on “Gifts.” What do you think this tells us about the values and objectives of the US and Japan?

 If you wish to see a more detailed view of these images and others,
go to the menu at the top of the page and select “II-Visual
Narratives” from the drop-down menu under “Black Ships and Samurai.”
On the right, you will see “Visual Narratives” and “The Black Ship
Scroll.”  
    
 Reading the essay and viewing the images should take approximately
1.5 hours to complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the web page above
  • Reading: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of Admiral Perry’s “When we landed in Japan” Link: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of Admiral Perry’s “When we landed in Japan” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the document and think about how Perry’s first impressions compare to the images depicted by Heine shown in “Black Ships and Samurai.”
     
    This should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: Fordham University: Townsend Harris’ “The President’s Letter” Link: Fordham University: Townsend Harris’ “The President’s Letter” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the document, noting the cultural differences that strike Harris. Do you think his impression of the Japanese and their reception of him is favorable?
     
    This unit should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

2.5.1 The United States as an Asian Power   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 2.5.

2.5.2 Admiral Perry and the Black Ships   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 2.5.

2.5.3 Treaties of Kanagawa (1854) Amity and Commerce (1858)   2.6 Chos?n: ‘The Hermit Kingdom’   - Reading: The Korea Society’s “Primary Sources Related to Early Contact between Korea and the United States” Link: The Korea Society’s Primary Sources Related to Early Contact between Korea and the United States (PDF)
 
Instructions: Scroll down to “Primary Sources (Grades 8-12)” and click to download the pdf file. Read the “Background” section on pp1-2, and documents 9 and 10 on pp16-19. 
What similarities and differences can you identify with the treaties signed between a. European powers and China; b. the US and Japan; c. Japan and Korea?
OPTIONAL content. Look at the photographs and their descriptions on pp20-31 for some supplementary visual information.
 
The reading and questions should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

2.6.1 Conflict with France and US   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 2.5.

2.6.2 Unequal Treaties   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 2.5.