The Rise of Japan
East Asia 1897.0213
The Rise of Japan, the Spanish-American War, and the Boxer Rebellion (13 February 1897)
Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific
Over the 19th century, increasing access to the outside world had led to the growth of revolutionary movements in the Philippines, challenging Spain's 330-year rule over the islands. On 24 August 1896, the nationalist Katipunan organization declared an independent Tagalog state, sparking the Philippine Revolution.
Treaty ports - the small unlabelled circles on the map - were towns opened to foreign trade by unequal treaties in China, Japan, and Korea. Foreigners operating within treaty ports enjoyed extraterritoriality, being subject to their home country's laws. Unlike concessions such as Hong Kong, these territories were not directly leased by the foreign powers and did not have sizable foreign garrisons.
Only treaty ports that were opened by treaty and used are shown on the maps. Treaty ports are also not generally shown in places which are already covered by concessions or under occupation. Treaty ports are not shown after the 1911 Chinese Revolution, although they continued on into the 1940s.
By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin (1858), foreign vessels including warships had the right to free navigation on the Yangtze River. In practical terms, this right extended only as far as Yichang until 1900, when advances in steam navigation allowed access as far inland as Chongqing.
Japanese invasion of Taiwan
Leaving Lushun/Port Arthur, China, on 22 May 1895, Japanese troops under Prince Kitashirakawa Yoshihisa landed in northern Taiwan seven days later to confront the Republic of Formosa. After capturing Keelung and Taipei in early June, the Japanese proceeded south to secure the rest of the island. Tainan capitulated on 21 October, bringing an end to the Republic of Formosa.
On 8 October 1895, Queen Min of Korea - an advocate of closer ties with Russia - was assassinated by Japanese agents, prompting instability across the country. Fearing for his life, King Gojong and his crown prince fled to the Russian legation in February 1896, where they continued their rule under Russian protection. Meanwhile, anti-Japanese and independence-minded factions rose to power, eventually pressuring the king to recover his dignity and return to his palace after a year in refuge.
Sovereign Tagalog Nation
The Katipunan - a Filipino nationalist organization - spearheaded revolts against Spanish rule in the Philippines in various locations around Manila and central Luzon, declaring the creation of the Sovereign Tagalog Nation. Under its leaders, Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo, the Philippine Revolution would soon secure much of Luzon and repeatedly threaten Manila, before Spanish reinforcements would be able to turn the tide in February 1897.
Sino-Russian Treaty of Alliance
The Russian and Chinese empires secretly signed a treaty of alliance. In return for its support against Japanese expansion, Russia was allowed to use Chinese ports and construct the Chinese Eastern Railway across Manchuria. This last concession, while officially granted to the joint Russo-Chinese Bank, gave Russia the right to establish an administrative zone to protect the tracks, with its own courts, police, customs, and industries. Work on the railway from Manzhouli to Harbin to Vladivostok began in July 1897, with permission to build a branch to Port Arthur granted a year later. The railway was completed in 1901.