A History of the Modern and Contemporary Far East: A Survey of Western Contacts with Eastern Asia during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

A History of the Modern and Contemporary Far East: A Survey of Western Contacts with Eastern Asia during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

A History of the Modern and Contemporary Far East: A Survey of Western Contacts with Eastern Asia during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

A History of the Modern and Contemporary Far East: A Survey of Western Contacts with Eastern Asia during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Excerpt

The following pages do not attempt to present a complete history of the Far East in modern and contemporary times. That story, told even within the briefest compass, would fill several volumes. The narrative here set forth is concerned primarily with, first, the impact of western imperialism upon the Far East in the nineteenth century and, second, the challenge to western imperialism brought about by the rise of Japan to the position of a so-called great power in the twentieth century. The scene is essentially China, which in a very true sense has been "The Middle Kingdom"--the center of the Orient.

Although this history is concerned in the main with the contacts between the West and the Far East, the author has attempted to provide enough background in the institutional life of China and Japan to make possible an understanding of the conflicts that arose.

The author is all too conscious of the limitations that are inseparable from a brief survey of this kind. For one who seeks a definitive interpretation, each chapter might well be expanded into a volume. Generalizations, of which such generous use must be made by the writer of a broad survey, frequently fail to convey the intended qualifications in meaning. This is particularly true of the years since the Washington Conference (1921-1922). The most important materials necessary for a study of this period are not yet available to the historian. The narrative therefore must be accepted as tentative.

Some of the interpretations here presented are at variance with traditional American attitudes toward the Far East in . . .

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