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Expansion Processes in East-Asian Countries

During its expansion, Russia provoked a confrontation with Germany, Britain, China, and Japan. The Russian government felt threatened by these countries, both on its western and eastern boundaries, thus enticing them to create a plan of action. The Russian regime undertook internal changes to ensure its protection and preparedness. Therefore, the tsarist government organized a series of programs that would become known as the Great Reforms. These could be seen primarily in the educational system, which was of great benefit to the country’s citizens. Russia’s expansion also caused vast technological development, building railways, innovating industry, and mining (Tignor et al., 2010). However, people often resisted the established regime, and linguistic and ethnic diversity made implementing new policies even more difficult. Thus, the Russian policy of this period cannot be called entirely successful.

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In contrast, China’s expansion policy was based on the country’s internal pressures and not a competition with others. However, like other countries, China was interested in Western innovation, such as in the areas of technology, education, and culture. For example, the Chinese built coal mines and arsenals and sent 120 students abroad to learn new skills (Tignor et al., 2010). Nevertheless, Chinese policy was not always successful, as the country was defeated in the Sino-Japanese War, which led to instability. Such conflicts became more exaggerated in East Asia, weakening China’s international position. Thus, China’s expansionary policy cannot be considered a complete success.

Japanese expansionism contributed to economic changes in its state, which furthered its national development. Essential steps were made to grow its exports and develop international relations, for instance, with Korea (Tignor et al., 2010). In addition, this led to new technological advances, such as the building of telegraph lines and railroads. The Japanese government also paid great attention to western colonialist policies, imitating how their colonies provided markets that contributed back to the empire’s general prosperity. Thus, the expansion process in Japan seems to be the most successful of the three considered examples.


Tignor, R., Adelman, J., Aron, S., Kotkin, S., Prakash, G., Marchand, S., & Tsin, M. (2010). Worlds together, worlds apart: A history of the world: From 1000 CE to the present (Vol. 2, 3rd ed). W. W. Norton & Company.

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