University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Comparison between the South Asia and East Asia during WW1
In the twentieth century, WWI was a political tornado of change, sweeping over the entire world, augmenting everything in its path. Although the Allied and Axis powers were affected the most by WWI, East Asia and South Asia were also transformed as well, through considerable social and political reform.
In East Asia, China was the country outside of the Allied and Axis powers affected the most in WWI, through the creation of the Chinese Communist Party. After WWI was over, the Treaty of Versailles transferred all German holdings in East Asia, including those in China, to Japan. To China, this was an outrageous offense. Although China certainly didn’t enjoy Germany owning part of their land, to have their worst enemy, Japan, owning it would be positively loathsome. A demonstration broke out in Beijing in protest over Versailles. After being defeated by both Japan and the West, China had enough humiliation and demanded social reform. It was then that Mao Zedong came forth and established the Chinese Communist Party. Although the Nationalists would crush the Communists efforts to overthrow the government, the Communist Party would eventually return and take control, changing China forever, because of the outcomes of WWI.
In South Asia, India was affected by WWI through the heightened support of the Indian Nationalist movement. When England forced their colony India to support the war effort, the Indians complied, and the Nationalist movement remained dormant during the war. After WWI was over, most of the world saw Europe as a time bomb of conflict, and this combined with the oppressive efforts to force Indian soldiers into the war cause the Indian Nationalist movement to return full force. Intellectuals like Gandhi appeared with ideas as to what a post colonial India would look like, and almost everyone in India, Muslims and Hindus alike, could agree they wanted England out. Soon, England complied with India’s cries for independence and simply pulled out of South Asia. After discordant internal conflicts, India finally stabilized, with its independence intact, because of the outcomes of WWI.
WWI changed the world forever and left many problems unsolved that would return again more forceful than before. In China and India, WWI provoked social and political reform, but the two outcomes were very different. India gained its independence and set up a Western-style democracy, whereas China would eventually be ravished by the tormenting policies and killing-spree of Mao Zedong. Both India and China were directly affected by the outcomes of WWI.