Posted On: Nov. 8, 2017
How did imperialism in Asia affect the economies of Western countries? Just as many in the Middle East during this period felt that Westernization would lead to modernization so did influential leaders in Asia. Saul Rose (1967) wrote, “There are the economic effects-no doubt beneficial on the whole to the general standard of living, but impinging on the social order by altering the distribution of wealth and changing the patterns of consumption (p. 286). While this passage is intended to outline the effects of the United States on China it can be applied throughout how the Asian peninsula. The importation of goods directly impacted quality of living the exportation of raw materials/goods changed the balance of powers between the merchants and ruling class. It also created a strategic vantage point as seen by the United States acquirement of Hawaii and the Philippines (Goff, 2010, p. 72). The industrial complexes of Western nations were fueled with the raw materials from their Asian colonies. During this period the new middle class and bourgeois tipped the balance of power throughout Western nations. The industrial revolution can be tied to many movements for independence. Is it possible for a strong country to trade with a weaker country without being in control of that weaker entity? What are some benefits for the strong country if it does not use force to control the economies of its weaker trading partners? This would create an opportunity for favorable trade and interest rates on the exportation of products and more welling to import goods from fair trading partners. Another factor that serves the weaker nation’s interest is the protection the stronger nation can provide. Richard Goff (2010) wrote, “Self-governing dominions such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand had their own armed services but relied on the British navy for overall protection and followed Great Britain’s lead in foreign policy” (p. 35). This is just one of the many other benefits that can be contributed to a positive trading relationship. I can only imagine that the British enjoyed sharply decreased tariffs with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. If a nation’s population increases, needs natural resources, or outgrows its boundaries, does it have the right to acquire resources through imperialism? Why or why not? To answer this question many will look at Western colonization throughout Asia. I will take a different approach and look at Japan’s colonization of Korea and China which directly led to the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895. Richard Goff (2010) wrote, “Imperialism was the prevailing mood of the late nineteenth century, strengthened by the teachings of social Darwinism, which glorified imperialism as a symbol of international success and racial superiority” (p. 80). I think we need to look at Goff’s opening “the prevailing mood” to understand the context of Imperialism during this time. By this theory many felt Imperialism was just another evolution of nature as the strong were meant to rule over the week. While colonization should not be considered slavery it does toss a murky dimension over the host nation. Reference Goff, R. (2010). The Twentieth Century and Beyond: A Global History. (7TH ed.). [electronic book]. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Rose, S. (1967). Asian nationalism – The second stage. International Affairs, 43(2), 282-292. Retrieved on July 14, 2014 from http://www.jstor.org The industrial complexes of western countries were hungry for raw material and resources, which they were able to obtain by exploiting the Asian countries. The effect of this was also felt by Asian countries who realized the importance of using their own resources for their benefit. Trading by strong nations with weaker nations, without having a control on them , would lead to cooperation and understanding between the two. Weaker nations can also obtain military protection from the stronger nations . Colonization is seen viewed from different perspectives by the nations. Imperialist were keen to rule the world and made extra efforts to control and exploit weaker nations for their own benefit, without any regard for the people of the weaker nations.