World War I truly changed the world, and the way people viewed it. The outcomes of World War I affected each nation quite differently, as the differing effects it had on East and South Asia can attest to. While India received colonial freedom as well as continued religious turmoil, East Asia was affected by a range of changing, and continual economic, and political factors.
Colonialism and anti-colonialism are important factors in the transformation India experience during and after World War I. In South Asia, Indians were thoroughly tired of the treatment they received from their British colonial masters and protested it in various ways. One such way was Ghandi’s peaceful protests and transformation of India’s National Congress into a mass movement, which symbolized India’s self-determination. India’s anti-colonialism provided a model for other revolutionary movements to emulate. Yet, other radicals and Muslims did not feel included in this rebellion and found another way to rebel by forming their own Muslim League. After World War I Britain was forced to loose her Indian colonies and India split into two independent governments.
Both South and East Asia rejected East Asia on the other hand experienced far different results from World War I. While China was experiencing power shifts, Japan experienced radical economic highs and lows. After the Qing collapsed in 1911, power shifted from Sun Yat-sen to Yuan Shikai. Chinese Sun Yat-sen was forced to cooperate with Russians to defeat imperialism after vast peasant uprisings, yet military Yuan Shikai worked to break with Russia and unify China through fascist and communist ideas.
While Japan did experience food shortages during World War I, they soon began to thrive off the newfound industry in areas such as marine transportation and shipbuilding. But in 1920 Japan experienced a post war recession demonstrating a loss of their great economic prosperity during the war. They did recover however, arising as a threat to the west, and quickly tried to repair their relationship with world powers.
South and East Asia were affected by different factors pertaining to World War I because of the different parts they played in the war: warring countries’ colonies, industrial providers, or military partners. While India experienced radical change because of the changes in colonial holdings, China and Japan went through changing economic and political circumstances. At the same time, the Indian people remained hostile and divided over religious and political issues, and East Asia even through her changes in leadership and industry, maintained functioning societies.