- 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?
- Make a study of the changing attitudes toward China and Japan on the part of Westerners
during this period.
- Compare the plantation system employed in Zanzibar by the Omani Arabs with that found in
the southern United States.
- 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
- 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
- Compare the Industrial Revolution in Japan with that in the West, with regard to speed, social
effects, involvement of the state, and dominant industries.
- 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?