The Tokugawa Shogunate In Japan

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The beginning of the Meiji Era and the road to Japan modernization, all began when Emperor Mutsuhito chose the name “Meiji” meaning “enlightened ruler” for his reign. This era emerged with the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868 and was a period of historic social, political and economic changes leading to Japan’s conversion from a medieval nation to a modern and western nation, that we know of today (Tsutsui, 152). Preceding the 1868 Restoration, Japan was ruled by feudal lords, with a feudal agrarian society and a weak military. At the end of the Meiji Era with the death of the Emperor in 1912, Japan was a well-advanced nation with a constitutional monarchy, a democratically elected parliament, a strong modern military, a thriving economy…show more content…
For instance, the agricultural production gradually weakened in contrast to the trading and mercantile subdivisions, therefore, the sellers earned more than the samurai and daimyo. Intensifying antagonism weakened the Tokugawa shogunate as a result of a long-lasting period of famine, leading to a growth in peasant uprisings. Furthermore, the increasing regular arrivals of foreign ships off the coast, which most brought unwanted proposals for trade, fueled apprehensions about Western imperialism, mainly after news from China of the First Opium War (1840–1842) reached Japan (Howell,…show more content…
The people of Japan now had the right to participate in politics along with numerous other liberties (Sumikawa, 6). In 1890, a national assembly, the bicameral Diet, was assembled along with the formation of a constitutional government. The Meiji Constitution, copied specific details from other constitutions of the European countries, mainly the German states. Ito Hirobumi, a Choshu man studied the Constitution in Europe and it was understood that such was necessary for Japan to reach the same level as the Western powers. According to Sumikawa, the emperor had full sovereignty, he ordered the military, made peace and declared war. Despite any troubles the government had, the genro other known as an oligarchy, determined the organizations work, for national pride, foreign approval, and political stability. However, once the war with China became foreseeable, national unity was more important than political
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