NEW(02/05) Revolutionary Japan: Diplomatic Change and the Collapse of Dynastic Rule in East Asia2020-01-29
Speaker: Professor Robert Eskildsen (ICU)
Time: 15:10 - 17:40, Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Venue: Alumni House, 2F (ICU)
At the beginning of the nineteenth century China, Korea, and Japan all were reasonably wellgoverned states ruled by dynastic houses that had held power for several centuries. By the beginning of the twentieth century the ruling families had all been driven from power and dynastic rule as a form of government had completely collapsed. Japan, after a revolution in 1868, soon managed to join the ranks of Western powers, Korea lost its independence when it was colonized by Japan in 1910, and China fell into a protracted civil war after a revolution in 1911. The systematic collapse of dynastic rule had multiple causes, but the three states all faced a common threat from Western imperialism, and they all engaged in broadly similar diplomatic responses to the threat. This paper will assess the different responses to Western imperialism in East Asia and it will argue that the Japanese response fatally destabilized the diplomatic status quo in East Asia in a way that accelerated the regional collapse of dynastic power.