Letter to Queen Victoria and Letter to His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Japan Questions

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Question

Encounters with the West regarding documents: Lin Zexu, Letter to Queen Victoria, 1839
U.S. President Millard Fillmore, Letter to His Imperial Majesty, The Emperor of Japan

Questions:

1) Summarize the primary documents listed above (this one is 2 paragraphs)

2) What does Lin’s letter reveal about Chinese views of foreign relations and the relationship between the Chinese emperor and other rulers? (1 paragraph)

3) What moral arguments does Lin use to persuade the queen to order the end of opium trading? What other arguments does he use? (1 paragraph)

4) In Letter to His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Japan, how does the president’s letter attempt to dispel Japanese concerns about American intentions? (1 paragraph)

5) Despite these efforts, President Fillmore’s letter and its demands threw Japan into turmoil. What was there in the letter that may explain this? (1 paragraph)

6) President Fillmore’s letter is addressed to the emperor rather than the shogun which demonstrates a certain level of misunderstanding about the Japanese government. What other evidence does the letter provide about the state of American knowledge of Japan and its history? (1 paragraph)

Solution Preview

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1. In the first letter, after Britain defeated China in the Opium War, China had to agree to concessions, including opening its ports, ceding Hong Kong, paying indemnity, and freeing prisoners. However, China wanted to halt opium trade to Britain. This letter sets up moral reasons why Britain should stop opium trade.

In the second letter, after Japan was...

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