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How imperial Asian activity contributed to the causes of the First World War

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Asian colonial issues.
    1. The Treaty of Nanking.
    2. The Second Opium War.
    3. The Treaty of Tensing.
  3. Asia and the self-seeking conflicts.
    1. 1860's Japan's modernization and industrialization.
    2. The Sino-Japanese War of 1894.
  4. Increasing Japanese power.
    1. Sino-Japanese War and its effect on the policy of many European countries.
    2. Japanese expansion into eastern Asia - alarm for Russia.
    3. The revised terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki.
    4. The Russian jurisdiction in China.
    5. The Anglo-Japanese alliance.
  5. The Russo-Japanese War.
    1. Creation of the Triple Entente.
    2. The Anglo-Russian Entente.
  6. Conclusion.

Imperialism is the policy of expanding national territory and influence. Throughout the nineteenth century Europe immersed itself in an embroiled colonial race that caused rivalries and friendships that were forever altering with every move. Central and eastern Asia was an area of particular interest to many European colonial powers. Change and confusion in Asia was a source of strife for the nations involved in the quest for the East. The dominant and potent nations of Europe would make allies and adversaries with one another over the recurring issues surrounding Asia and its rich trade. Europe wanted influence and trade from Asia, not the responsibility of absolute power, and each nation was willing to adapt and struggle to insure that they would be the one to achieve this goal. Conflicts occurring and treaties being signed in Europe influenced decisions regarding Asia. However, at the same time, events in Asia were affecting poignant choices and crucial events in Europe.

[...] As a result of their shared trepidation, Britain and Japan signed an alliance in 1902.[22] Britain and Japan recognized China and Korea's independence and should one go to war with another power, the other would remain neutral. However if Britain or Japan were to go to war against more than one power than the other would come to its aid with full forces. The Anglo-Japanese alliance was a turning point for Britain.[23] Britain had committed itself, on paper, to another power. [...]

[...] Under the revisions, Japan had to return Liaodong to Chinese hands[13]. Russia had calmed, at least slightly, her fears of Japanese strength in what was to be her playground. The outcome of the Sino-Japanese war and the involvement of Russia, Germany and France to each further their own goals, is a clear example of an Asian imperial issue reflecting European interests and politics. Increasing Japanese power and Japanese expansion into eastern Asia was beginning to become a cause for alarm for Russia. [...]

[...] In short, Asian imperial activity from the late nineteenth century to the first decade of the twentieth both reflected and affected European politics and eventually led to the causes of the First World War. Asian colonial issues first began to affect the European policy system when the Second Opium War, 1856-1890, began. The Treaty of Nanking, which had brought an end to the First Opium War, was the cause of the second struggle over this objectionable issue[1]. Immense and justified Chinese resentment stemmed from the terms of the Treaty of Nanking and caused the Second Opium War[2]. [...]

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