1. Explain why the opium traffic in China was increasing in the early nineteenth century. What effect did this traffic have on the balance of trade between the West and China, and on the Chinese economy generally?
  2. Describe the conduct of foreign trade with China through Guangzhou prior to the Opium War.
  3. Aside from the cession of Hong Kong to Britain in 1842, what limitations on its sovereignty did China suffer as a result of defeat in the Opium War?
  4. What were the objectives of the leaders of the Taiping Rebellion? How did anti-dynastic and religious elements merge in the rebellion? Why and how was the rebellion suppressed? What were its consequences for China?
  5. Outline the stages in the "Self-Strengthening Movement" in China. What was the role of Li Hongzhang in this movement? Why did the movement ultimately fail?
  6. How did China's defeat in the Sino-Japanese War reflect broader problems of administration and planing? What change did this defeat bring in Western countries' stance toward China?
  7. What motives are reflected in the terms which the Western powers imposed upon China after suppressing the Boxer uprising?
  8. Describe the official reform program undertaken in China in the first decade of the twentieth century. Why did it fail to preserve the dynasty or prevent revolution? How did it reflect the decentralization that had taken place in the administration of the empire?
  9. Describe how the interplay of internal and external factors led to the downfall of China's last dynasty.
  10. What appeal did Yuan Shikai have for various contenders for power in early-twentieth- century China? How did he end up becoming a virtual dictator?
  11. Why, and in what ways, was the Chinese government's response to population growth in the nineteenth century inadequate?
  12. What was the overall effect of foreign trade on China's handicraft industries in the Qing era?
  13. Describe the connection between the women's movement in China and the foreign presence.
  14. What Western ideas were introduced into China in the nineteenth century through the work of translators and popularizers? What was the appeal of these ideas? What was their impact?
  15. Japan's response to pressure from the Western nations in the nineteenth century was radically different from China's. How do you account for this difference?
  16. Explain how the break with Japan's policy of isolation led to the abolition of the Shogunate.
  17. In what sense were the changes following the Meiji Restoration, which transformed Japan into a modern state, a "revolution from above"?
  18. What important features of Western states were adopted or imitated in Japan during the Meiji era?
  19. What were the origins of Japan's first political parties? What was their role in the development of representative government?
  20. What were the peculiarities of Japan's economic development and what social problems did they create or intensify?
  21. Describe changes in educational policy during the Meiji era. What were the aims of these changes?
  22. In what ways did traditional values and attitudes continue beyond the abolition of Japan's feudal political and economic system?
  23. Describe the reasons for the rise of Japanese imperialism.
  24. Why did Korea become the focus of Japanese imperialism? What conditions in Korea made the country susceptible to Japanese pressure?
  25. What were the results of the Russo-Japanese War?
  26. What factors contributed to the abolition of the slave trade? How long did the traffic continue after its formal abolition?
  27. Why did slavery within Africa increase at a time when the overseas slave trade was being curtailed?
  28. What was the rationale for the establishment of colonies for freed slaves in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Libreville?
  29. How were the African states affected by changes in European-African trading patterns in the mid-nineteenth century?
  30. How did the European view of Africa change after 1875? What accounts for this change?
  31. Trace the rivalry between British and Dutch settlers in South Africa.
  32. Why was Ethiopia able to maintain its independence in spite of the advance of European imperialism?
  33. What changes in African society took place during the century of European domination?
  34. In what forms did native African religious beliefs and practices survive or reappear outside of Africa?
  35. Explain the effects of Christian education on African society.
  36. How did Christianity and Islam differ in their effects upon African societies?
  1. Attempt a critical evaluation of Western imperialism in China during the period 1800-1914. To what extent did it slow, and to what extent did it accelerate China's national development? What permanent effects did it leave?
  2. Make a study of the changing attitudes toward China and Japan on the part of Westerners during this period.
  3. Compare the plantation system employed in Zanzibar by the Omani Arabs with that found in the southern United States.
  4. Investigate further any of the following topics:
      --The Opium War
      --The Taiping Rebellion
      --The career and ideas of Kang Youwei
      --The Boxer movement
      --The rise of political parties in Japan
      --The Great Trek
      --The abolition of the slave trade
      --The industrialization of Japan
      --The Japanese press during the Meiji era
      --The career of Yuan Shikai
      --The personality, beliefs, and career of Hong Xiuquan
      --Commodore Perry's mission to Japan
      --Townsend Harris's contribution to the opening of Japan
      --The background and causes of the Russo-Japanese War
      --The social structure and economy of Liberia
      --The impact of the cotton gin on the slave trade
      --President Theodore Roosevelt's role in the Treaty of Portsmouth
      --The rise of the house of Mitsui
      --Exploration in mid-nineteenth-century Africa
  5. Compare in more detail the responses of China and Japan to Western pressure in the nineteenth century. Consider (but do not necessarily limit yourself to) the following factors: cultural differences, historical background, social structure, state structure, timing, objectives of Western countries.
  6. Compare the Industrial Revolution in Japan with that in the West, with regard to speed, social effects, involvement of the state, and dominant industries.
  7. Read Things Fall Apart, by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe. What does Achebe suggest about the strengths and weaknesses of traditional Ibo society? In what ways did the coming of Christian missionaries disrupt existing social and religious patterns? What is it that is threatening to "fall apart," and why?


W.W. Norton
REVIEW: World Civilizations
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