Modernization is a process which involves cultural and societal developments. These developments lead to better lives of people and inhabitants of a certain region under modernization. As the word implies, modernization involves modern activities on which development is assured. A very good example of modernization was post war Japan. The Japanese Empire, considered to be the strongest force on East Asia during the Second World War, surrendered to the United States after their defeat and forced them to pay for the casualties they incurred.
After the war, Japan was torn apart, their military power was limited and their economy surged downward. But the Japanese people did not lose hope. Under a new imperial administration, Japan decided to be westernized, that is, a form of modernization to prevent their economic downfall and increase their potential to stand again and attain former glory. This method succeeded. With the help of Western countries in Europe and the United States, trade routes were opened to and from Japan.
This increased the influx of western culture and information that lead to the development of Japan until now. Nowadays, Japan is a very rich country thanks to modernization. They lead the world in electronics, gadgetry, multimedia, automobiles, robotics, etc. As stated above, westernization is a form of modernization because since the 17th century, Western Countries were the most powerful and wealthy countries in the world. They lead in science, technology, and research regarding the physical, mathematical, and biological sciences.
Western countries also have a head start compared to other countries when it comes to politics and law. Politics and the Science of Law started on ancient Greece and flourished to ancient Rome and other nearby countries on Europe. This explains the role of westernization on modernization. Another good synonym for westernization is “Eurocentrism’. Eurocentrism means a eurocentric approach to things and activities done by an individual or the whole society. Eurocentric approach means “Europe oriented”. Another good example of modernization was the Colonial period.
Although this is also an example of westernization, this comes from a very different approach, termed “Colonialism”. Colonialism is a process, in which a strong country, in terms of firepower, wealth, armed forces, etc, is determined to “colonize’ or occupy a weaker territory to gain access to their natural resources and manual labor, thus making them more powerful. In exchange to these, the colonizers can modernize their colony, in the way that the colony will be taught of how the colonizers live, their method of studies, their culture, etc.
The colonies will then apply their new learned approach to living, so when the time comes that if ever the colonizers will liberate them and give them independence, they will know how to develop their selves and live in prosperity and wealth, just like their colonizers. A very good example of this type of modernization is the colonialization of Singapore by England. Singapore is just a tiny patch of land owned by Malaysia centuries ago. During that time, Singapore is just a common Asian sight. With blends of Indo – Malayan and Chinese cultures, Singapore lived a peaceful yet simple life during that said era.
When the British came and occupied them, they were taught of western culture and living. Modern roads and establishments designed like in Europe during that time were built on Singapore. Academics were prioritized. People were educated in science and the English language. For almost two centuries with their occupiers, they learned a lot on how a civilization should act and live. And in the 1940s, the British gave Singapore their independence. But the English way of living was retained, making them modernized and capable of living on the centuries to come. Singapore is one of developed and wealthy countries on Asia today.
Ireland is another case of modernization, termed globalization. Globalization is a term used to denote a state of a nation in which it is partially or fully dependent on other nations for its development. Ireland, because of its small size and lack of populace and natural resources, needs to find ways like importing other nation’s resources such as manual labor, raw material, petroleum and other fuels, foods, etc. Ireland being tied with the United Kingdom, its close neighbor, it is very much influenced by the said nation. Furthermore, almost half of Ireland’s export comes from the United Kingdom.
Ireland started its economic development during the late 1950s in which their government stimulated exporters on their country. This served as a catalyst for other administrations that followed to further increase the export load of the country to gain profit and wealth. With this in their mind, Ireland became a very competitive nation in terms of exports and economic stability. Modernization of Ireland truly began shortly after the “Great Irish Famine” in the year 1841. From a population of nearly 6 million during the 1840s, after the famine, the population dropped to 5 million during the early 1850s.
This sudden drop in population of Ireland was caused mainly by starvation, sickness, and mass emigration due to the famine. This decrease has been a major trend on the population until the early 1960s in which the lowest number was tallied, 2. 1 million. This trend was broken due to the recent economic development of Ireland, and it is projected that in the near future, the population of Ireland will be back again at 4 million. Ireland relies on agriculture for centuries ever since the people here started to learn to cultivate the soil and plant food crops during the late Stone Age, where they used stones as their farming tools.
But this reliability on agriculture reached its decline because of Ireland’s rapid Industrial development this last twenty years. Arable lands that were able to produce crops before were replaced with a much higher income generating Industrial plants and Factories producing materials for exports to other countries. These Industries transformed Ireland from a dying nation into a fully alive and developing country with prosperity and wealth already in their hands.
Modernization is a very good thing in such a way it helped civilizations to be truly civilized and underdeveloped countries to attain development. References Mol. A. P. , and D. A. Sonnenfeld. (2000) Ecological Modernization Around the World: An Introduction. Retrieved November 17, 2008 from http://www. tricity. wsu. edu/sonn/ecomod_intro. htm Spaargaren, G. , A. P. Mol and F. H. Buttel (1999). Environment and Global Modernity. London: Sage Industrial Development Body. (2001) Globalization and Modernization of Ireland. Retrieved November 17, 2008 from http://www. busby-lee. com/articles/ireland. pdfSample Essay of BuyEssay.org