Asian nations are often thought not to have experienced an industrial revolution as such. During the first industrial period in Europe , many nations in Asia were colonies or protectorates of European nations such as Britain and France . Here, natural resources and local labor were exploited, but in factories that applied technologies developed in Europe . It was not until most colonial governments gained independence from imperial Europe that they set off on independent trajectories of industrialization.
Japan developed independent industry after the means of production were introduced by the English, especially under the leadership of the Tokugawa government. Therefore, it was able to withstand America 's incursion upon its closed market at the turn of the century, and continue to develop into a military power and a present-day center of technological innovation. However, because the nation was made up of small islands but would have to support a relatively large population, it had a constant need for natural resources. This led to its expansion to other islands and to conflict with other powers in the area, such as the United States .
After the advent of modified Communism and the Cultural Revolution in China , industry developed as part of the mechanism that kept socialism functioning. Similar processes occurred in India and Korea – while industry had originally been introduced by colonialists, it began to grow and develop under the guidance of a new government. Some smaller nations were not so successful, and social strife like that in Cambodia or lack of natural resources and cohesive government in island nations prevented the formation of industry.
Australia underwent a similar process under British guidance – a strong agricultural economy gradually gave way to industrial processes which led to an enhanced standard of living.
It may be said that, currently, Asia is undergoing a true industrial revolution. While the means of production already exist, many Asian nations have now established independent research and development facilities, which seek to improve the existing technology; it is in this element of innovation that a true revolution lies.
Mosk, Carl. " Japan , Industrialization and Economic Growth". EH.Net Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Whaples. January 19, 2004 . < http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/mosk.japan.final >
Nash, Gary B. The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society. Pearson Education: 2004.
Interview with Professor Peter Howitt, 4. 25. 06