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See the fact file below for more information on the First Sino-Japanese War or alternatively, you can download our 24-page First Sino-Japanese War worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
QUEST FOR POWER
- The fall of the Shogunate at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration of 1868 resulted in the transformation of Japan, from a feudal society to a modern industrial state.
- In 1875, Japan adopted Western technology and felt the demand of modern resources of coal and iron.
- They knew these resources were found in Chinese-controlled territory called Korea.
- Japan then regulated a foreign policy aiming to end China’s centuries-old suzerainty over this tiny country.
- Japanese leaders believed that modernization was the only way to prevent Japan from falling under foreign domination and to enable them to compete equally with the Western powers.
- It soon identified itself with the more radical modernizing forces within the Korean government, promoting changes within the political system.
- In 1884, a group of pro-Japanese reformers attempted to overthrow the Korean government, but Chinese troops under General Yuan Shikai rescued the king, killing several Japanese legation guards in the process.
- By the signing of the Li-Itō Convention, war was avoided between Japan and China. Both countries agreed to withdraw troops from Korea.
- This did not last. When Japan finally decided to wage war after the pro-Japanese Korean, Kim Ok-Kyun, was assasinated.
- China had, for centuries, enjoyed a measure of control over neighboring tributary states, including Joseon Korea, Vietnam, and sometimes even Japan.
- The traditional all-powerful country of East Asia, Qing Dynasty China, however, failed to update its own military and bureaucracy.
- This led to China’s defeat by the British and French exposed its weakness, which gave Japan the opportunity to exploit it.
- Time and again, the Royal family of Korea still sought for its support against the ongoing rebellion such as the Donghak Rebellion.
- China provided military support to the Korean Empire and the two countries signed a treaty stipulating that Korea was a dependency of China
- This granted Chinese merchants the right to conduct overland and maritime business freely within its borders.
PRELUDE TO WAR
- Tension between China and Japan became worse when the Tonghak rebellion broke out in Korea. At the request of the Korean king, the Chinese government sent troops to aid in dispersing the rebels.
- The Japanese considered this a violation of the Li-Itō Convention, and they sent 8,000 troops to Korea.
- When the Chinese tried to reinforce their own forces, the Japanese sank the British steamer Kowshing, which was carrying the reinforcements, further worsening the situation.
- War was finally declared on August 1, 1894.
- While the Qing Empire was fighting the First Sino-Japanese War, it was also simultaneously engaging rebels in the Dungan Revolt in northwestern China.
- Much of the First Sino-Japanese War was fought at sea, where the Japanese navy had an advantage over China.
- Japan cut the Chinese supply lines for its garrison at Asan by a naval blockade, then Japanese and Korean land troops overran the Chinese forces.
- Over land, the Japanese had successfully invaded Shandong province and Manchuria and had fortified posts that commanded the sea approaches to Beijing.
- Surviving Chinese forces retreated to the northern city of Pyongyang, but were eventually defeated by the Japanese forces under the cover of darkness.
- Japan pursued deeper and captured more territories than expected, leading to the Chinese troops retreating further, realizing the enemy troops were near Beijing.
THE TREATY OF SHIMONOSEKI
- On April 17, 1895, the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed by China and Japan, putting an end to the First Sino-Japanese War.
- The agreement stated that China would relinquish its power over Korea and give up Taiwan, the nearby islands of P’eng Chuntao, and the eastern portion of the Liaodong Peninsula to Japan.
- China also had to pay reparations, or a fee for war damages, to Japan. It received war reparations of 200 million taels of silver.
- The Qing government also had to grant Japan trade favors:
- Permission for Japanese ships to sail up the Yangtze River
- Manufacturing grants for Japanese companies to operate in Chinese treaty ports
- The opening of four additional treaty ports to Japanese trading vessels
- Russia, Germany, and France objected to Japan’s seizure of the Liaodong Peninsula, which Russia also coveted.
- The three powers pressured Japan into relinquishing the peninsula to Russia, in exchange for an addition 30 million taels of silver.
- Japan saw this European intervention as a humiliating slight, which helped spark the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 to 1905.
First Sino-Japanese War Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about First Sino-Japanese War across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use First Sino-Japanese War worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the First Sino-Japanese War which was the conflict between Japan and China in 1894–95 that marked the emergence of Japan as a major world power and demonstrated the weakness of the Chinese empire.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Gist
- Meiji Period
- Qing Dynasty
- Visual Trio
- Western Influence
- The Strategists
- China vs. Japan
- Effects of War
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.