NCERT Notes for Class 11 History Chapter 11 Paths to Modernization

Class 11 History Chapter 11 Paths to Modernization

NCERT Notes for Class 11 History Chapter 11 Paths to Modernization, (History) exam are Students are taught thru NCERT books in some of the state boards and CBSE Schools. As the chapter involves an end, there is an exercise provided to assist students to prepare for evaluation. Students need to clear up those exercises very well because the questions inside the very last asked from those.

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NCERT Notes for Class 11 History Chapter 11 Paths to Modernization

Class 11 History Chapter 11 Paths to Modernization

  • There are different paths to modernization. The theme tells a fascinating story of how different historical conditions led Japan and China on divergent paths to building independent and modern nations.


  • Dynastic histories, Official records, Scholarly writings, popular literature and Religious literature







Political System Japan

  • By the 12th century, power was shifted from the emperor to shoguns at Edo (Modern Tokyo)
  • The country was divided into 250 domains under daimyo or lords. They were asked to stay at the capital in order to avert rebellion.
  • The Samurai were the ruling elite and served the Shoguns and daimyo.
  • The 16th century brought three important changes for future development.
  • a. peasantry was disarmed to end the war
  • b.autonomy was given to daimyo
  • surveys to ensure productivity and revenue
  • Japan had large cities –Edo, Osaka, and Kyoto led to the growth of a commercial economy and a vibrant culture.
  • Increased use of money and the creation of the stock market led the economy in new ways.
  • The period witnessed some social and cultural changes

Chinese influence was questioned and the study of Japanese literature promoted

The Meiji Restoration

  • In 1853, the USA sent Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan with demands for trade and diplomatic relations.
  • The arrival of Perry brought significant change in Japanese politics.
  • In 1868, a movement removed the Shogun from power and brought the emperor to Edo(Tokyo)
  • The Japanese were aware of the European colonization of India and other countries.
  • Some scholars wanted to learn new ideas from Europe and others sought to exclude the Europeans.
  • Some favored gradual and limited opening to the outer world.
  • The govt. adopted a policy with the slogan ‘rich country, strong army’ to create a sense of nationhood and to transform subjects into citizens.
  • The new govt also tried to build the ‘emperor system’-(King, bureaucracy, and military-part of this system)
  • Emperor was treated as the descendant of the Sun Goddess and leader of westernization. His birthday was declared a national holiday. He wore western-style military uniforms.

Meiji Reforms

Educational Reforms

  • The universal and compulsory education system for boys and girls began to be implemented in the 1870s.
  • The curriculum had been based on western ideas but the emphasis was given to the study of Japanese history.
  • The ministry of education controlled the curriculum, selected textbooks, and conducted teachers’ training.
  • Textbooks taught the children to respect their parents, be loyal to the nation and become good citizens.

Administrative Reforms

  • The Meiji govt. introduced a new administrative system by altering old village and domain boundaries.
  • Each administrative unit was to have sufficient revenue to maintain the local schools and health facilities.
  • It also served as a center of recruitment for the army.
  • All young men over twenty had to undergo a period of military service.
  • A modern military force was also developed.

Constitutional Reforms

  • The govt set up a legal system to regulate the formation of political groups, control meetings and impose strict censorship.
  • All these measures invited opposition.

Economic Reforms

  • The modernization of the economy was an important aspect of Meiji reforms.
  • Funds were raised by levying an agricultural tax.
  • The first railway line was constructed between Tokyo and Yokohama in 1870-72.
  • Machines required for the textile industry were imported from Europe.
  • Foreign technicians were used to training workers and teach in universities and schools.
  • Even Japanese students were sent to foreign countries.
  • In 1872, modern banking institutions were launched.
  • The govt helped companies like Mitsubishi and Sumitomo provide subsidies and tax benefits to become major shipbuilders.
  • Till the end of the Second World War, Zaibatsu, a big business organization controlled by individual families, dominated the economy.
  • The population increased from 35 million in 1872 to 55 million in 1920.
  • The govt encouraged migration as a measure to reduce population.
  • At first, migration was encouraged to the northern island of Hokkaido (autonomous and indigenous people lived area) and then to Hawai and Brazil and to the growing colonial empire of Japan.
  • As industries developed, people shifted to towns.

Industrial Workers

  • The number of workers in industries increased from 700,000in 1870 to 4 million in 1913.
  • They were employed in units without having electricity and machinery.
  • Half of the employees who worked in modern factories were women.
  • They organized the first modern strike in 1886.
  • It was only after the 1930s that the male workers began to outnumber women.
  • The size of the factories enlarged from less than 5 workers to more than 100 workers.
  • The rapid industrialization and demand for natural resources such as timber led to environmental destruction.
  • Tanaka Shozo launched the first protest movement against industrial pollution in 1897 with 800 villagers.

Aggressive Nationalism

  • The Meiji constitution had created a parliament called Diet with limited powers.
  • Those leaders who restored the Meiji govt, controlled power.
  • They founded political parties and formed ministries.
  • Gradually, they lost power to national unity and cabinets formed according to party lines.
  • The emperor was the commander of the army. It was interpreted that the army and the navy had independent authority.
  • In 1899, the prime minister ordered that only military generals and admirals could become ministers.
  • All these strengthened the army. The strengthening of the army was related to the fear that Japan was at the mercy of the western powers.

Westernization and Tradition

  • There were different views on Japan’s relationship with other countries.
  • Some intellectuals like Fukazawa Yukichi expressed the view that Japan must ‘expel Asia’. By this, he meant that Japan must shed its ‘Asian characteristics and become part of the west.
  • The next generation questioned the view of accepting western ideas.
  • The Philosopher Miyake Setsurei argued that each nation must develop its special talents in the interest of world civilization.
  • Some others were attracted to western liberalism and wanted a democratic Japan rather than a military one.
  • Ueki Emori, a leader of the Popular Rights Movement, demanded the establishment of a constitutional govt.
  • Some other groups advocated voting rights for women and this forced the announce a constitution.

Daily Life

  • The transformation into a modern society was also reflected in the daily life of the people.
  • The patriarchal family system gave way to the nuclear family system.
  • The new concept of the family system had created new demands for new types of domestic goods, houses, and family entertainment.

Overcoming Modernity

  • In 1943 a Symposium on ‘Overcoming Modernity’ was held in Japan.
  • Overcoming Modernity debated how to combat the west while being modern.
  • Moroi Saburo, a composer raised the question that how to rescue the music from the art of sensory stimulation and restore it to art of the spirit. He rejected the composition of Japanese music on western instruments.
  • The philosopher Nishitani Keiji defined ‘modern’ as the unity of three streams of western thought: the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the rise of natural sciences. He argued that Japan’s moral energy had helped it to escape colonialism. It was the duty of Japan to establish a new order, a Greater East Asia.

Re-emergence of Japan as a Global Economic Power

  • After the defeat in the Second World War, Japan was demilitarized and a constitution was introduced.
  • Article 9 of the Constitution had a’ no war clause’ that renounces the use of war as an instrument of state policy.
  • Agrarian reforms, the re-establishment of trade unions, and an attempt to dismantle monopoly houses (zaibatsu), etc were put into practice.
  • Political parties were revived.
  • According to the new constitution, elections were held in 1946, and the right to vote for women was granted.
  • The rebuilding of the Japanese economy after the defeat was called a post-war miracle. Its roots can be seen in its long history.
  • The demand created by the Korean and the Vietnamese wars also helped the Japanese economy.
  • The 1964 Olympics in Tokyo are often said to mark the reemergence of Japan.
  • Similarly, the Shinkansen high-speed rail networks (bullet trains) have come to represent the ability of the Japanese to use advanced technologies.
  • The problems of industrialization had an effect on health and the environment.
  • Cadmium poisoning was followed by mercury poisoning in Minamata in the 1960s.
  • Air pollution caused problems in the 1970s.
  • The 1960s witnessed the growth of civil society movements.
  • Pressure groups began to demand recognition of these problems as well as compensation for the victims.
  • By 1980s the Govt took strong measures to regulate environmental issues.


  • The modern history of China has revolved around three issues
    • a.How to regain sovereignty
    • b.End the humiliation of foreign occupation
    • c.Bring out equality and development
  • Chinese debates were marked by the views of three groups.

Three Groups

Establishing the Republic

  • Manchu dynasty was overthrown and a republic was proclaimed in 1911 under Sun Yat-Sen.
  • His program was called the Three Principles (San min Chui)-nationalism, democracy, and socialism.
  • Revolutionaries were asked for driving out the foreigners to control natural resources, remove inequalities, and reduce poverty.
  • Revolutionaries advocated reforms-use of simple language, abolishing foot binding and female subordination, equality in marriage, and economic development.
  • Sun Yat-Sen’s ideas were based on the ‘four great needs- Clothing, food, housing, and transportation.
  • Chiang Kai shek, the leader of the Guomintang Party, launched a military campaign to control warlords and eliminate the communists.
  • He encouraged women to cultivate four virtues- charities, appearance, speech, and work and be confined to the household.
  • Sunday Sen’s program-regulating capital and equalizing land were never carried out. The party imposed military order rather than address the problem of the peasantry.

The Rise of the Communist Party of China

  • Japan invaded China in 1937. It weakened china and destroyed the lives of common people.
  • China faced two crises:
  1. Ecological-soil exhaustion, deforestation, and floods
  2. Socio-economic-Exploitative land tenure systems, indebtedness, primitive technology, and poor communications.
    • The CCP was founded in 1921.
    • Mao Zedong (1893-1976) emerged as a major leader of the CCP.
    • In Russia; revolution was brought by the working class in cities.
    • But Mao adopted a different method by basing the revolutionary program on the peasantry.
    • Mao and the communists camped at Jiangxi from1928to 1934 for securing them from Guomintang attacks.
    • Mao developed his radical philosophy during this time. Peasant Soviet was formed and lands were confiscated and redistributed among peasants.
    • He encouraged the organization of women’s associations. He brought a new marriage law that forbade arranged marriages. He stopped the purchase or sale of marriage contracts and simplified divorce.

Long March

  • The Guomintang blockade forced the CCP to seek another base. This led to a Long March (1934-35) from their base to Shanxi covering 6,000 miles.
  • At their new base at Yanan, they developed three programs-to end warlordism, carry out land reforms, and fight imperialism.
  • During the war with Japan, the communists and the Guomintang worked together.
  • At the end of the war, the communists defeated Guomintang and captured power.

Establishing the New Democracy: 1949-65

  • The Peoples Republic of China was established in 1949. It was based on the principles of the ‘New Democracy’.
  • The economy was placed under govt. control.
  • Private enterprise and private ownership of land were abolished.

The Great Leap Forward movement

  • Launched in 1958
  • to galvanize the country to industrialize rapidly.
  • People set up steel furnaces in backyards.
  • People’s communes (where land would be collectively owned and cultivated) were started in the rural areas.
  • Mao was able to mobilize the masses to attain the goals set by the party.
  • Mao’s concern was creating a socialist man and five love-fatherland, people, labor, science, and public property.
  • The Commune system was modified and the backyard furnace was unusable industrially.

Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

  • The conflict between the concept of a socialist man and its critics resulted in the launching of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1965.
  • The Red Guards (students and army) were used against old culture, old customs, and old habits.
  • Students and professionals were sent to the village to learn from the masses.
  • Ideology and slogan replaced rational debate.
  • The Cultural Revolution weakened the party, and disrupted the economy and educational system.
  • In 1975, the party once again laid emphasis on greater social discipline and building an industrial economy.

Reforms from 1978 Deng Xiaoping

  • Deng Xiaoping kept party control strong while introducing a socialist market economy.
  • The party declared its goal as the Four Modernisations-Science, industry, agriculture, and defense.
  • The fifth modernization proclaimed democracy.
  • In 1989, many intellectuals called for greater openness and an end to ‘ossified dogmas’ (sushaozhi).
  • Student demonstrators at Tianmen Square in Beijing were brutally repressed.
  • The post-reform period saw the emergence of debates on ways to develop china.
  • There is a growing revival of traditional ideas of Confucianism.

The Story of Taiwan

  • Taiwan had been a Japanese colony since the 1894-95 war with Japan.
  • The Cairo (1943) and Potsdam proclamation (1949) restored sovereignty to China.
  • The GMD under Chiang Kai-shek established a repressive govt.
  • Freedom of speech and political opposition are banned. He excluded local people from positions of power.
  • They introduced land reforms to increase productivity and modernize the economy.
  • The death of Chiang Kai shek in 1975 marked the transformation of Taiwan into a democracy.
  • Martial law was lifted in 1987.
  • Free elections brought the local Taiwanese to power.
  • The reunification with China remains a contentious issue.
  • A semi-autonomous Taiwan may be acceptable to China.

NCERT Notes for Class 11 History

NCERT Notes for Class 11 History
Chapter 1 From the Beginning of Time
Chapter 2 Writing and City Life
Chapter 3 An Empire Across Three Continents
Chapter 4 The Central Islamic Lands
Chapter 5 Nomadic Empires
Chapter 6 The Three Orders
Chapter 7 Changing Cultural Traditions
Chapter 8 Confrontation of Cultures
Chapter 9 The Industrial Revolution
Chapter 10 Displacing Indigenous Peoples
Chapter 11 Paths to Modernisation

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