Societies at crossroads
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Societies at Crossroads. Before We Get Started. As the modern age progressed, some societies adapted to modernization and dominant European values better than others. This chapter and the next set the scenes for the winners and losers in the two upcoming world wars.

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Societies at Crossroads

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Societies at crossroads

Societies at Crossroads


Before we get started

Before We Get Started

  • As the modern age progressed, some societies adapted to modernization and dominant European values better than others.

  • This chapter and the next set the scenes for the winners and losers in the two upcoming world wars.

  • Japan and Europe modernize quickly

  • Russia and China flounder through modernization

  • The Ottomans continue their slide into powerlessness.


The ottoman empire in decline

The Ottoman Empire in Decline

  • If you recall from chapter 28, the Ottomans suffered military reversals in the nineteenth century so they began to only respond to European challenges rather than direct their interactions with Europeans.

  • As they lost power to Europe, their provinces began to break away and their own population began to demand reforms.

  • The diverse nature of the conquered regions contributed to a desire for independence from the Ottomans.


The ottoman empire in decline1

The Ottoman Empire in Decline

  • The Nature of Decline

    • By the mid 1840s the Ottomans began to lose their territories as Russia nibbled away at the Black Sea regions and the Austro-Hungarians carved away at the Balkans.

    • Nationalistic movements removed Greece and Serbia from the Ottoman Empire

    • Egypt fell from their control following the Napoleonic wars

    • As Europeans bypassed Mediterranean trade routes controlled by the Ottomans financial problems set in.

    • By the twentieth century the Ottomans could not even maintain their own bureaucracy.

    • Had to lower wages for bureaucrats as they increased taxes on the peasants.


The ottoman empire in decline2

The Ottoman Empire in Decline

  • Reform and Reorganization

    • The Ottoman response to their troubles was repeated attempts at reforms starting in the seventeenth century

    • Tanzimat – The reorganization period of the mid eighteenth century.

      • Focus was on military, legal, and educational reform.

      • Attempt shift control from old traditional religious authorities to a broader range of people.

        • This drew wide spread criticism from devout Muslims.


The ottoman empire in decline3

The Ottoman Empire in Decline

  • The Young Turk Era

    • Young Turk Party

      • An exile group that pushed for universal suffrage, free public education, equal treatment under the law, secularization of the state, and emancipation of women.

      • Also extremely nationalistic so they attempted to institute Turkish as the national language which backfired and make the subject peoples (like those of Iraq and Syria) resent the Ottomans even more


The russian empire under pressure

The Russian Empire Under Pressure

  • Like the Ottomans, the Russians suffered military defeats to western European armies.

  • It became evident that the Russian military was backwards and needed to invest in reforms.

  • Keystone to reform was the emancipation of the serfs (similar to slaves in other societies).

  • Social reform then paved the way to the industrial reforms.

  • Tsars still held tightly to autocratic power

  • Not until the twentieth century did he Russians experience radical political change.


The russian empire under pressure1

The Russian Empire Under Pressure

  • Military Defeat and Social Reform

    • Military Defeat

      • Russia took on Britain in the Crimean War and found that the European militaries were much more advanced

    • Social Reform

      • Russia’s economy based on serfs (almost slaves and could be bought and sold as slaves were and were tied to the land)

      • Became apparent that emancipation of the serfs was necessary.

      • Alexander II (1855-1881) was known as the reformist tsar and freed the serfs

        • Implemented other political reforms as well such as the reformed legal system that was more like European systems, incorporating principles such as trial by jury.


The russian empire under pressure2

The Russian Empire Under Pressure

  • Industrialization

    • Although industrialization had many successes in Russia, it was ultimately marred by worker discontent with poor working conditions and low standards of living.


The russian empire under pressure3

The Russian Empire Under Pressure

  • Repression and Revolution

    • Anti-government protests increased in the last 30 years of the nineteenth century

    • Mostly led by peasants, urban workers, and students

    • Russian government reacted with harsh persecution and repression, rounding up hundreds of reformers in the 1870s.

    • 1876 – Alexander II was assassinated, and Nicholas II (1894-1917) and his father brought an end to reforms

      • Set the stage for the Russian Revolution and an end to the Romanov dynasty.


The chinese empire under siege

The Chinese Empire Under Siege

  • The Qing empire had even more problems than the Ottoman and the Romanovs.

  • The Opium War and the Unequal Treaties

    • The Opium War (1839-1842)

    • When European forces defeated the Chinese in the Opium Wars, the Qing rulers had to agree to treaties that carved their empire into European spheres of influence.

      • Demonstrated how far behind Europeans the Chinese military had fallen.

      • China lost a significant amount of previously owned territories.

      • While they were technically independent, the Qing no longer controlled their economy.


The chinese empire under siege1

The Chinese Empire Under Siege

  • Internal disruptions and rebellions further weakened the central government so that the ruling elites were forced to make reforms that came too little and too late.

  • The Taiping Rebellion (1850)

    • Called for the destruction of the Qing dynasty and multiple radical reforms.

      • Abolition of private property, equality of men and women, shared wealth, free public education, etc.

    • Taiping rebellion was eventually put down, but only after a significant loss of life occurred (estimates range from 20 to 30 million)


The chinese empire under siege2

The Chinese Empire Under Siege

  • Reform Frustrated

    • Multiple reform movements were implemented in China following the Taiping rebellion, but none occurred fast enough or made significant enough gains to make a true difference.

      • Self-Strengthening Movement

      • Hundred Days Reform

      • Boxer rebellion


The transformation of japan

The Transformation of Japan

  • Tokugawa

    • Responded to foreign pressure in the late 1700s and early 1800s by attempting to close off Japan from foreigners

    • 1853 – Admiral Matthew Perry took a fleet of U.S. gunships and forced Japan to open their trade ports.

    • Led to a series of humiliating and unequal treaties for the Tokugawa

  • Meiji

    • Became Emperor in 1868 after the Tokugawa fall from power and brought Japan into the modern era through the Meiji Restoration reforms

    • Japan became the leading power in Asia as a result


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