Causes of First Sino-Japanese War
Throughout history, warfare formed an important aspect of a country’s identity. As such, history is replete with wars, which transformed nations into what they are today. Nonetheless, some of the wars had negative and positive effects, to what would become the future of a country. One of these encounters was the First Sino-Japanese War. In this essay, we shall discuss the main causes of the war, which took place between August 1894 and April 1895.
It is important to note that China and Japan engaged in hostilities because of the future of the Korean Peninsula, as each side proved to be capable of being in charge. Notably, China’s military ability was shaken after the Opium wars, making it vulnerable to Japanese successful battles. The success of Japan showed that it was miles ahead of various Asian countries during the 19th century.
One of the causes of the First Sino-Japanese war was the Meiji Restoration. Before the conflict, Japan maintained a secluded platform and avoided trade with other nations of the world. This also saw the Asian nation experience minimal conflicts with other countries. The overthrowing of Shogunate would end this period of seclusion, leading to Meiji Restoration. With restoration of the emperor, Japan established links with the U.S, allowing its scholars to pursue studies in the West. Consequently, Japan was touted as a world power, at per with European nations and America.
The treaty of Ganghwa also led to the First Sino-Japanese War. In late 1870s, regional powers focused on acquiring Korea for the sake of territorial expansion. Japan was wary of its future security if the peninsula fell in other hands through annexation. It also addressed the fact that Korea was rich with natural minerals, which were to support Japan’s industrialization process. Thus, Japan signed the Ganghwa treaty, which declared Korea an independent state. With this development, Japan established trade ties with Meiji.
In addition, the Treaty of Chemulpo came into force after drought and famine hit Korea, leaving it helpless. Korea disliked the agreement it had with Japan, with its military planning for a coup. In 1882, the military mutinied attacked Japanese officials, triggering China to respond by dispatching 4500 army officers to capitalize on the situation. The Treaty of Chemulpo prevented full-blown war between Japan and China.
Even though the agreement at Soul was reached, troops from both sides did not leave Korea. With time, Korean troops on either side plotted a coup. Sadly, the plotters suffered heavy causalities although China and Japan withdrew their troops under the Convention of Tientsin of 1885.
The final factor that would spur the First Sino-Japanese War was the Tonghak Rebellion. This happened almost a decade later, following the assassination of Kim Ok-kyun, who was a leader of pro-Japanese Korean association on a trip to Shanghai. Upon arrival of his body in Korea, it was divided into four portions, and displayed to the public. This infuriated pro-Japanese Koreans, who launched attacks on pro-Chinese officials. In response, China responded by violating the agreement and entered the peninsula. On its side, Japan captured Soul and the entire government, setting ground for the war.
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