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Sample Essay on Causes of First Sino-Japanese War

Sample Essay on Causes of First Sino-Japanese War

The First Sino-Japanese War was a major conflict between Japan and China noted in the 19th century over the future of the Korean peninsula. Between 1894 August and 1895 April, Japan and China were engaged in a war over Korean Peninsula future and the conflict that ensued came to be known as the First Sino-Japanese War.

During the aftermath of Opium Wars, Chinese military found that is was weakened heavily and it had suffered many defeats while in the hands of the Japanese. This was especially so at the start of the war. The conflict also showed Japan had advanced readily than other parts of Russia during the 19th century. Some of the major factors that lead to the Sino-Japanese war are as highlighted below:

Ganghwa Treaty

During the 1870’s, it became apparent to powers within the region that Korea was the ultimate prize to be gained if any of the other nations were interested in making an expansion. Advised by military Prussian experts, the threat to the security future of Japan became evident if another country was to annex or claim the peninsula.

Also addressed was the fact Korea had large deposits of iron and coal. These materials would help Japan expand its industrialization efforts. In 1876 the Treaty of Ganghwa was crafted by Japan and it gave Korea its independence from China allowing trade with Meiji government.

Meiji Restoration

Japan had for years, practiced policy of seclusion and staying out of conflicts within the region. in addition to this, it also limited the level of trade it carried out with the rest of the world this practice was known as Sakoku and in 1868leaders of the Edo period, known as Shogunate fell  from power resulting to Meiji restoration.

This meant the power of the emperor was restored and consequently, Japan opened up to trade with the US and sent a large number of its privileged elite abroad so they could study at universities and colleges in the West. In just a few decades, Japan had positioned itself successfully as a major world power on par with most of the Americas and Europe.

Tonghak Rebellion

Almost one decade later, the situation came to a head. Kim Ok-kyun, a significant leader of the pro-Japanese Korean movement was assassinated while he was on a visit in Shanghai. His body was taken back to Korea, cut into quarters then displayed to the public.

This triggered the Tonghak rebellion in which pro-Japanese Koreans begun stacking pro-Chinese officials. In response, Chinese soldiers enter Peninsula which was a contravention of the convention.  Japan made the decision to respond and seized control of the government and Seoul. As a result of these factors, all out war was a reality.

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