Since the beginning of the First World War to the present, nationalist ideology within China has caused change and continuity in several aspects of this nation’s society. One major change in China from the First World War to the present is its foreign relations with other countries due to factors such as communism and neocolonialism. Although China has changed in this way, it has remained one united nation despite foreign invasion and other internal/external conflicts. In the early 1900s, China was a state of continual civic and revolutionary unrest.
As support for revolutionary efforts began to spread, China shifted from a monarchy to a republic. However, this rule didn’t last long as warlords within the nation began establishing themselves as regional or provincial rulers. This helped lead to the deterioration of Chinese society. Another factor leading away from a centralized state was fragmented relations with foreign powers. Since the 1900s, a network of foreign control over the Chinese economy had been established by the unequal treaties, which effectively prevented economic development within China.
These treaties and other concessions permitted foreigners to intervene in Chinese society and not control the state, but impair its sovereignty. After the First World War, nationalism began to develop rapidly in China. China eagerly looked to the U. S. government to support the elimination of the treaty systems and the full restoration of Chinese sovereignty. However, when the U. S. approved increasing Japanese interference in China, this sparked the May Fourth Movement. Chinese people protested Japanese interference and began to re-establish national unity.
As China began shifting from a divided sphere of influence to a dominant world power, it also became more influenced by communism. During the Second World War, the majority of concern to combat communism was in the Soviet Union. While this was taking place we, the U. S. , neglected to aid the efforts of Jiang Jieshi, who sought to unify the nation of China and bring the conflicts of nationalism and communism to an end. In his place, Jiang Jieshi leaves behind a void of power. Communist leader, Mao Zedong stepped up to fill this void.
He like many other rulers in China used the Mandate of Heaven to justify his rise to power and take control of China. In 1949, Mao started the Red Revolution, a revolutionary effort to spread communism in China. Communism soon overpowered the nationalist party as the main ruling party. Mao also aimed to make China a self-reliant, isolated nation. However in doing so, China could not economically support itself or its communist views. In the 1970s the People’s Republic of China began large, radical economic reforms forcing the country to become one of the most capitalistic nations in the world.
China quickly added itself to the global economy by opening its borders to the trade of various nations. China soon became the economic power that it is today and despite all the turmoil that has occurred from the First World War to the present, China has remained one united nation. From the past to the present, the ideology behind Chinese nationalism has been in a constant state of change. The shift in government and foreign relations throughout the world has been a major source of China’s nationalism. Although these foreign relations are constantly changing, China has remained a unified nation.
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