Organized Panel Session
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries colonized and non-colonized countries in Asia both fought hard against the varied imperialisms inflicted upon them by Western empires. Historians have extensively debated Asian countries’ legal and diplomatic efforts to secure sovereignty through treaty repeal and renegotiation. However, most such approaches have focused on modernization and diplomatic strategies in the broadest sense. This interarea panel explores diverse strategies by which Asian actors sought to force the issue of imperialism with Western powers. Ryan S. Glasnovich analyzes how in the 1880s and 1890s Japan’s Meiji regime trained and educated former samurai to transform them into civilized, Western-style police officers who could influence foreign visitors in Japan. Examining a rebellion that took place on the Korean island of Cheju in 1901 internally and externally, Kyoim Yun illuminates French and native Catholics’ intrusion into the values, habits, and class relations of the rural society and the islanders’ reactions. Zak Leonard investigates how reformers in India sought to secure the succession of the Nawab of the Carnatic in the late 1850s and early 1860s by employing a wide variety of innovative legal arguments. Finally, Emily Whewell shows how political elites in twentieth-century Xinjiang diminished British consular rights through unique arguments and carefully attenuated economic policies. Taken together, these four papers reveal how actors across Asia grappled with Western imperialism in previously unexamined ways.