Introduction to Asian history
Asian history is unique and interesting to study. These is because it is a collective history of the distinct peripheral regions which include; South Asia, East Asia and middle Asia. Asia is home to world’s earliest civilization with the three regions developing simultaneously through agriculture within the fertile rivers and valleys. The agricultural sector was also instrumental in spurring of the technologies that were shared across the regions. In Mesopotamia and China there were numerous similarities and exchanges in technologies and ideologies such as wheel and mathematics. Advancement in agriculture and technology led to the development of cities and empires.
The development of these regions, however, had their own perspectives with specific different themes of culture and history provided different important events. These happened as they experienced cultural developments, politics, social and economic developments. But all these developments contributed to the Asia history as a whole.
Asian history has been marked by numerous events ranging from economics to politics and other aspects of culture. Asian history is, therefore, very wide and diverse especially due to the division of the regions. This paper will focus more on the East Asian history more and look into the timelines and events that the region experienced in history until the time they became a civilized world. Among the most influential countries of the East Asia with a deep history includes the following countries; China, Korea and Japan. These countries have shared similar ideologies like communism but also have different cultural and historical experiences. Overtime these countries have risen to become powerful nations in the world despite having numerous political struggles for independence in history.
Some of the greatest events that characterize the Asian history include the following; the quantitative growth, qualitative standstill in Chinas economic situation. Between the periods of mid 1360s to 1800s, the Chinese economy expanded immensely. These was marked by a steady growth in population which is attributed to be the cause for growth in industries, agriculture and increased trade. But despite all these achievements its per capita growth stagnated. However, increase in sea trade with Europe changed the situation gradually.
The Chinese revolution and Communism
These is probably one of the greatest events in the Asian history that explains the exact aspects of the global Asian history. It encompasses the different dynamics and dimensions that were experienced in most Asian regions during the historic times.
China achieved its independence on October 1949, despite having the communist ideologies for along time. As a matter of fact, the communist ideologies were known to have shaped the country in becoming the Peoples Republic of China in 1949. The leadership of Mao Zedong was remarkable in ensuring the strong spirit of communism and its continuity. He was able to establish together with his colleagues- party members a foundation in early Chinese communism in the years 1928-1934. He managed to develop an ideology, created the proper structures that made it strong which included; military and political strategies. These eventually helped them achieve the civil wars and eventually won the fight in the year 1949. This success culminated to him molding the communist china and became a powerful leader who ruled the country until his death in the year 1976. But, his ruling was criticized by some people who thought that he was an extremist in enforcing his policies. After his death Xiaoping who took after was focused in ensuring that he pushed the country into the path of economic reforms. The concern was, however, that the new leader was very much determined to preserve the party’s power that did not go along well with people who believed in democracy.
Going back to the 19th century, China was in a semi colonial status whereby the foreign powers had firmly established concessions in almost all the major coastal cities. These put them in an advantage because they were in a position to gain economic and political privileges. For example, the great port city of Shanghai. This was, however, a major obstacle to the Chinese political movement which was determined to liberate the people of China.
In the social aspect of the semi colonial status of China, first the social structure was obsolete the rich were dominating the poor who were the majority of the population. The peasants were faced with many challenges and majority died especially due to harsh environmental conditions such as famines. Merchants operating in the sea coast cities were the only people, who had the opportunity to deliberate the country, but most of them lacked a vision, while, at the same time, the people who tried to develop and change things were threatened by the foreigners. Most urban workers were unskilled and lived in abject poverty despite being the high population. The few educated class had immense concern over their fellow countrymen who continued to be oppressed and face numerous hardships. They tried to introduce reforms by first seeking for the liberation of women and started revolutions through forming alliances. These revolutions protested against the unfair treatment of china in various areas especially the peace treaties of the World War 1. The revolutions eventually managed to make radical and strong demands that changed the social, economic and political systems that were discriminating.
The Civil War
At the center of the civil war was the issue of treaties over Manchuria and North China. The soviets involvement in the tassel was never going to make the issue any easier. The soviets allowed the communist troops to take over the contentious regions together with weapons of the Japanese who were defeated. They went ahead to loot other things, and this led to a formation of alliances. In 1946, war broke out as the KMT army which was as a result of an alliance faced off with the communist army. The communist army was defeated these led to an introduction to the formation of new land reforms to be implemented over all the regions and was under the control of The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). The Peoples Liberation Army gained popularity and many people especially the peasants joined the movement. These strengthened the Army and out of this they were eventually able to overpower the KMT.
The Peoples Liberation Army became so strong that, in 1948, they had strong roots in the region this culminated to Chiang who was the president resigning in the year 1949. Chiang had been controversial with his leadership and had compromised his promise to the people through external forces. Although, he still had power in October of 1949 the people’s republic of China became proclaimed in Beijing the capital of China. These led to the remnants of the Chiang loyalists fleeing to places like Taiwan where they set up a government. This development was a surprise to United States on the rise of the communist victory. This is because overtime the rumors had portrayed Chiang as the strong and heroic leader of China. United States who were strong allies saw these as an establishment from Russia and sort to seek an explanation for this. At the same time, the Eastern Europe was also being dominated by the soviets and this led to the beginning of the cold war.
After the long of period civil war and the leadership of Mao who died in 1976 the Cultural Revolution which was part of Mao strategies also came to end. In the year 1980, the reformer Xiaoping came to power and introduced an open economic to the society. These also led to the abandonment of the radical Maoist ideas which, advocated on communal economy. The new ideology would be socialism. The new approach integrated socialism ideas with a few capitalist principles which the people found not easy to accept (Upendra 172). People’s communes were eventually dissolved, and a new system dubbed as “household responsibility” was established in the rural areas. New land reforms required that the land be re-divided under renewable contracts. These, however, led to the sidelining of various productions such as that of animals and fruits. The strategy was effective and focused first in the rural areas and later introduced in the cities where youths got a chance to establish form small private businesses. On a larger scale, joint ventures were allowed and formed between companies owned by the government and foreign companies. The government was able to establish this ambitious projects by forming pilot projects that if successful would later be implemented in other places. Owing to the fast and rapid changes expectations by the Chinese rose faster. These was realized through unrest and demonstrations. For example, students in campuses who were idealistic staged protests in major cities urging the government to stop corruption and embrace modernization.
The events experienced in China were more or less the same with other Asian countries. The only difference was on the cultural differences and geographical locations. Notably, the historical experience of the Asian countries revolved so much on the ideological differences with other parts of the world. These would have been attributed to the fact that they embraced and believed so much to the communist ideologies.
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