Asia and the Great War: A Shared History

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1 Oxford Scholarship Online You are looking at 1-10 of 11 items for: keywords : Manilius hiswmo Asia and the Great War: A Shared History Item type: book acprof:oso/ This book presents a shared history of Asian involvement in the Great War from non-national and transnational perspectives. Asian involvements make the Great War not only a true world war but also a great war. The war generated forces that would transform Asia both internally and externally. Asian participation transformed the meaning and implications of the broader conflict. The First World War was in fact a defining moment that shaped worldviews and developments across Asia. This book is also meant to be a step in recovering memories of the war and re-evaluating the war in its Asian contexts. The Asians part in the war and the part the war played in the collective development of Asia represent the first steps of the long journey to full national independence and international recognition. This book aims to bring the Great War more fully into Asian history and Asians into the international history of the war with hope that this book helps the people of Asia develop a better understanding of their shared history through the Great War in order to lay the groundwork for a healthy and peaceful journey into a future that will only be shared, not lived separately. Conclusion acprof:oso/ This chapter concludes that Asian involvement made the Great War into the First World War, and the First World War changed the world. The Asians part in the war and the part the war played in the collective development of Asia represent the first steps of the long journey to full Page 1 of 6 in OSO for personal use (for details see 31

2 national independence and international recognition. As a consequence of the war, China and eventually Indochina/Vietnam would follow a socialist path, while in Japan the Great War gave rise to a new sense of national pride that would eventually lead the Japanese to challenge the West outright. The war had a powerful impact on national identity: for Japan, the war provided confirmation as a world power; for China, the war finally sparked a fundamental cultural and political revolution and a burning desire for a new national identity. The war clearly sparked visions of independence in India, Vietnam, and Korea. Introduction acprof:oso/ This chapter suggests that Japan and China became involved in the European war almost immediately. It argues that to study China s and Japan s involvement in the Great War, one must start with the 1894 Sino-Japanese War that made Japan a major power in the region and an empire. Japan seemed bound for a major international military game as the new power in East Asia. By defeating China in 1895, Japan had become a rising Asian power. It was determined to become a leading global player and China s master while the European colonial powers were distracted by the war at home. The same 1895 war forced China to join the international system when the Great War broke out in Europe. This chapter also reviews the battle for Qingdao to explain how the European war brought fighting to China and the parts the Indians, Chinese, and Japanese all played in that battle. The Great War Comes to Asia, : From Shimonoseki to Qingdao acprof:oso/ This chapter focuses on how China and Japan used the Great War to serve their national and international interests. It argues that one cannot Page 2 of 6 in OSO for personal use (for details see 31

3 fully understand the importance of the First World War to Japan without realizing the central place of China in Japan s strategic participation. This chapter also examines how Chinese and Japanese war policies were intertwined. It pays special attention to issues such as how the Chinese and Japanese used the Great War to achieve national objectives; and how the Great War shaped the directions these two key Asian nations would take in the twentieth century. It further argues that Chinese and Japanese entry into the war followed careful planning and reflected strategic calculation and long-term thinking. Their roads to war and experiences both during the war and in the postwar world can be understood as two sides of the same coin. The Great War in China andjapan, acprof:oso/ This chapter deals with India s contributions of military men and support labor. About 1.2 million Indian men arrived in France during the First World War either as soldiers or laborers to work under their colonial masters near the imperial motherland. This chapter explains how war experiences helped shape Indian understandings of their country s national fate and gave them new perspectives on the British and on Western civilization. Race issues emerge here, too, through the perspectives of both Indian laborers and soldiers, and the British. There exists a large literature on India and the Great War, but the discussion spotlights the kinds of experiences Indians shared with fellow Asians. To do this, the chapter focuses more on the underprivileged classes and individual voices, and relies on comparisons between the Indian story and that of other Asian nations. India s Great War and National Awakening acprof:oso/ Page 3 of 6 in OSO for personal use (for details see 31

4 This chapter discusses Indochinese involvement and the war s impact on the eventual national awakening. During the war, the colonies of Tonkin, Cochin China, and Annam, which make up present day Vietnam, contributed nearly 100,000 soldiers and laborers to serve with the French against the Germans. This chapter explores how their contributions and experiences shaped their collective thinking about the history and prospects of their homeland as a nation and as a colony, and their collective dreams for independence. Special attention is paid to people like Ho Chi-minh, their observations and reflections on the Great War, emerging Indochinese nationalism, and why the war was a turning point for colonial Vietnam. Colonial Vietnam and the War acprof:oso/ This chapter studies the war s impact on Korean national independence movements. The war had little direct impact on the population of the Korean peninsula. Koreans did not get involved in war, nor were they much interested in it. Nonetheless, the war marks a turning point in Korean history because it gave rise to Wilsonian promises of a new world order to be worked out after the war. When Korean nationalists learned of President Woodrow Wilson s Fourteen Points address and his subsequent declarations in January 1918, they were, like the Chinese and Indians, thrilled at the prospect and its implications for the future of Korea. Many Korean nationalists recognized the Wilsonian moment as an unprecedented opportunity for Korea and decided to take quick action to make the most of it. This chapter emphasizes the extraordinary journey Koreans shared with fellow Asians to shape their own national development. Koreans: From the March First Movement to the Paris Peace Conference acprof:oso/ Page 4 of 6 in OSO for personal use (for details see 31

5 This chapter examines the roles of the Japanese and Chinese delegates and lobbyists at the Paris Peace Conference. Although few scholars pay much attention to their role, it argues that even the Japanese were eager to help shape a new world order after the war. They expected the postwar settlement to seal their position as the dominant Asian power and recognize Japan s developing interests in China. Japanese leaders hoped that Western Powers would see Japan as an equal now that proud, confident, rich Europe had torn itself to pieces. The overriding Chinese goal, of course, was to recover what Japan had taken away and was determined to keep. This chapter further explains how the Chinese and Japanese each were disappointed by the peace negotiations and the resulting Treaty of Versailles. China and Japan at Paris: Old Rivalries in a New World acprof:oso/ This chapter follows the handling of Japan s racial equality provision as it unfolded at the Paris Peace Conference. It argues that the Japanese greeted their victories in Paris with mixed feelings. Despite being one of the top five Powers at the peace conference, Japan s proposal for legal racial equality in the postwar world order was rejected. When the delegation returned home, crowds protested their failure. Still, the Japanese saw no contradiction in treating Koreans as inferior people both in Japan and in Korea. The race issue is a painful shared history among the Japanese and their fellow Asians; all of them faced discrimination during their time in Europe, never mind dealing with colonials at home. When Japan faced a choice between promoting international racial equality and making territorial gains, it went with the latter, since the former had proved difficult for Japanese elites to accept, much less achieve. The Japanese Dream of Racial Equality acprof:oso/ Page 5 of 6 in OSO for personal use (for details see 31

6 This chapter concentrates on the boundary-crossing movement of ideas and the development of pan-asianism during and after the war. Many Asians, probably most, saw the Great War as simply a war of white people, a European war, and a war between Western countries. But they got involved, and the war and its aftermath forced them to think about who they were and what kind of positions they held in the world. Indians, Chinese, and Japanese were all consumed with rethinking the relationship between Asia and the West, between Eastern civilizations and Western civilizations, and what direction they should move in after the war. The war and its destruction had discredited the moral values of Western civilization, and what happened at the Paris Peace Conference fundamentally diminished Asians expectations and respect for the Western Powers. This chapter addresses the cultural effects and civilizational significance of the Great War for Asians. Page 6 of 6 in OSO for personal use (for details see 31

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