Posted On: Nov. 8, 2017
Identify and explain one factor other than nationalism that led to the rise of identity in the Asian nations discussed. Richard Goff (2010) wrote, “They also exposed Asians to Western science, technology, political philosophy, and cultural norms, much of which could also be turned against the conquerors” (p. 71). Asian countries used the tools and knowledge provided by Western nations to build their economic and military might that would eventually aid them in their revolts and conquest for independence. Does a country need nationalism in order to be powerful? As we look at imperialism we should remember that as Western nations stretched out across the globe they did so to feed their massive industrial complexes from the natural resources farmed/mined from their colonies. These colonies maintained the parental identity of their Imperialist nation until independence. Until then, the host country’s raw materials fueled Western Empires and defined their role in the forging global society. Richard Goff (2010) writes, “By 1900 they had organized many areas of the world into large plantations, “agricultural factories” that poured out enormous quantities of foodstuffs. As a result, citizens in western Europe and the United States could sit at their dinner tables and enjoy Honduran bananas, Brazilian coffee, East Indian spices, Cuban sugar, Hawaiian pineapple, Ceylonese tea, and many other products from around the globe” (p. 24). Each of these resources had a huge impact on the world market and made each country a powerful asset in the global economy. Natural resources and as I mentioned earlier the tools and knowledge acquired from Western nations made these former colonies a powerful adversary and at times allies. What nationalist factors are most important to a county? This is a particularly hard question to ask, because each nation has a unique blend of cultures and peoples that have their own understanding of what they believe is important. You can look at the United States over the past few Presidential elections as social issues change. Since the recession in the mid 2000’s economics has been the dominating factor in almost all political battles. Another note that Goff (2010) made is, "Indian Buddhism was accepted enthusiastically by the Chinese in the early centuries of the Christian era" (p. 73). As in the Middle East, religion and cultural identities were dominating factors in that united Asian nations. This is evident in the Opium wars between China and Britain in 1839–1842 and again in 1858–1860 as the Chinese attempted to ban the use of opium in their culture, but the British had too much wealth tied into the trade of the drug (Goff, 2010, p. 73). Another key factor that links a nation is the strong desire for national security and self preservation from outside influences as we read about Japan’s military reforms during the Meiji Restoration. The expansion of western nations took place due the necessity of availing resources for their expanding industrial complexes and rising population. This is one of the reasons why western nations tried to colonize countries so that they could have control of supply or resources to feed their own people and industries. The knowledge transferred to colonies by western nations, in turn made them powerful in terms of technology and well being of their society. There are no common factors that define nationalism as each country has different culture of its own. Sometimes it is the religion, or common language or common habits that bond people of one country to another. The desire to have national security and self preservation is one of the most common factors for nationalism.