With the expansion of European political power in the nineteenth century, international law became a global phenomenon. Britain and other European states insisted that their Asian counterparts accept international legal practices. Through systems of unequal treaties, international law became an important element in the semicolonial systems established in Qing China, the Ottoman Empire, and Siam, and it shaped the transformation of each of these states. Faced with intense pressure to uphold treaty agreements, Ottoman, Qing, and Siamese leaders initiated similar reforms to legal and administrative institutions. Furthermore, each adapted in different ways to the territorial construction of sovereignty enshrined in international law, and to related assumptions about national identity, as they sought to fit the European nation-state model.