Why did the first Sino-Japanese war in 1894 take place?

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
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Why did the first Sino-Japanese war in 1894 take place?

Post by AiyshaKendall » 05 Jan 2022 04:05

Hello everyone,

We all know that the Sino-Japanese war of 1931-1945 is well documented, however the earlier one from 1894-1895 isn't. I've been looking for sources such as Wikipedia and History websites all over the Internet for answers, but some offer different reasons than others.

I'm just a novice when it comes to knowledge on this war as well, so can someone inform me on what and why the First Sino-Japanese war happened and whether it played as a morale boost for Japan to go on to have a war with Russia a decade later?

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Re: Why did the first Sino-Japanese war in 1894 take place?

Post by jerryasher » 05 Jan 2022 06:28

Welcome to the forum and I hope it lives up to your expectations. Why is always the most difficult question; at any moment before it commenced an act, a decision, of commission or omission might have had an impact. Both nations but also Korea, as all nations even now, were changing. All three were under immense pressure from outside East Asia. Korea was initially the most reluctant to embrace sustained contact with the international system based on trade and dominating European international law encasing colonialism. Japan was the quickest to initiate radical change to meet that pressure and by the 1870,s was disheartened that China was unable to stabilize East Asia from the threats. Weakened China was less and less able to protect Korea from Russia, which itself invited British intervention along the Korea Peninsula. Japanese leaders felt they needed to prevent European toe holds in Korea and Chinese-Japanese and Russian rivalry in Korea was a feature from the then till the outbreak of war. The Chinese and Japanese arms race was a regular feature of the time. China's goal was to defend a centuries old "suzerainty" system. Japan's an independent Korea where it would have a greater influence. Think in today's terms, a divided Korea, with Russia, China, Japan and the United States all concerned.
You are correct that Japans success was a booster. Still it is only after very carefully consideration and significant economic development, international experience and success did Japan thwart Russian ambitions in Korea and Manchuria. I am very wordy, sorry. If you have more detailed questions I will try to assist.

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