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Oct 09, 2023

Assignment Question

Select 2 of the following 4 essays and answer them thoroughly. Who were the most prominent challengers/pretenders to European modernity in the late nineteenth century? How did they fare in resisting European domination? What does their success or failure to emulate European industrialization tell us?



The late nineteenth century was a period of significant change and transformation in Europe, characterized by industrialization, colonial expansion, and the spread of Western modernity. However, several regions and countries across the world posed challenges and resisted European domination during this era. This essay will explore two prominent challengers/pretenders to European modernity in the late nineteenth century and examine their success or failure in resisting European domination.


A Successful Challenger

Japan stands out as one of the most successful challengers to European modernity during the late nineteenth century. The Meiji Restoration, which began in 1868, marked a turning point in Japanese history. Japan embarked on a rapid modernization and industrialization process, drawing inspiration from Western powers, particularly in terms of technology, industry, and military reforms (Beasley, 1995).

Japanese leaders recognized the need to adapt and learn from the West to maintain their sovereignty and independence. Consequently, they successfully modernized their economy and military, enabling Japan to resist European domination effectively. The victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) further solidified Japan’s position as a formidable global power (Jansen, 1995).

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