The spread of imperialism provoked nationalist responses in China and Japan, while imperialist impulses by the Russian tsar provoked an internal response. Imperialist European countries and the U.S. had long tried to trade with China and Japan. In 1853, the American Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Japan, which was then...
The spread of imperialism provoked nationalist responses in China and Japan, while imperialist impulses by the Russian tsar provoked an internal response. Imperialist European countries and the U.S. had long tried to trade with China and Japan. In 1853, the American Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Japan, which was then isolationist, and the Japanese eventually had to give in to American trading demands. The U.S., Russia, Britain, and other countries forced Japan to sign unequal treaties that granted them the right to have their citizens live in Japan and not to charge high tariffs on their exports. During the Meiji Restoration that followed, the Japanese emperor was restored to the throne, and Japan embarked on a period of rapid industrialization. Japan also became very militaristic, and they became an imperial power in themselves. They gained control over Taiwan in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1895 and defeated the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, fought over control over Korea and Manchuria. Hence, imperialism by western powers in Japan led to their own nationalist response and the development of Japanese imperialism over time.
China was also subject to imperialism. After the First Opium War (1839-1842) and the Second Opium War (1856-1860), European powers gained unequal trading rights in China, which had attempted to remain isolationist. Eventually, the Qing Dynasty became so weak that they were toppled in 1911, leading to the establishment of the short-lived Chinese Republic under the Nationalists. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I, in which China gave territory to Japan, led to the May Fourth Movement in 1919, an expression of Chinese nationalism against the Japanese. This nationalist sentiment would grow as Japan took over parts of China, such as Manchuria, during the 1930s. Rival factions in China, including the Nationalists and the Communists under Mao, worked together to expel the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945. In 1949, the Communists took over China and expelled all foreigners, an expression of nationalism. Hence, Japan and China adapted to imperialism by developing their own nationalist movements over time.
Russia is a different story. After their loss in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, a war that was motivated by Russian imperialism, there were revolutions against the tsar, Nicholas II. Russia fought in World War I, but the troops were so badly armed that the effort led to widespread revolt, culminating in the Russian Revolution of 1917. In addition, there were widespread food shortages and poverty. The Russian Revolution was nationalist at its core. It sought to restore Russia to greatness in a Communist system. Eventually, after defeating its internal opposition, the Russian Communists established the Soviet Union in 1922. The Soviet Union would go on to become a powerful empire in its own right during the 20th century, so the Russian Revolution led to a new form of nationalism.