The Satsuma Rebellion

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Introduction Nine years into the Meiji Era, the Samurai, stripped of their status and honour, made their last stand against the Japanese Imperial Government. The last and worst of the series of armed Samurai revolts, the Satsuma Rebellion, began in the January of 1877. It's end, in September of the same year, marked the end of the Samurai class when its leader, Saigo Takamori, on the brink of defeat, took his own life. The rapid and massive changes to the Japanese culture was taken as an insult to the Samurai. They would not stand to see the old order of feudal Japan, along with its culture, come to its end for the sake of modernization. Not without one last cry of defiance. The Samurai would sooner die with their honour than yield to…show more content…
Of over 52,200 Imperial Army soldiers who fought in the rebellion, more than 6,200 were killed and 9,500 injured. The total expenses spent by the Japanese Imperial government was as high as £8,400,000 and Japan was forced off the gold standard. £3,000,000 was loaned from a native bank, the Fifteenth National Bank, at an interest rate of five percent per annum, extended over a course of twenty years. The government was forced to cover the rest by printing huge amounts of paper currency, resulting in massive inflation. The government raised tax rates, sparking a rise in commodity prices and interest rates. The price of rice almost doubled within two years. The high taxes also placed a heavy burden on the people, especially landowners who were a bad harvest away from…show more content…
The Satsuma Rebellion, ironically, may have benefited the Japanese Imperial Government over the course of the Meiji Restoration by giving it the chance it needed to prove itself. The Fiscal Reform The Satsuma Rebellion ultimately did not cause a financial collapse. Instead, while costly, it has caused the introduction of new monetary and fiscal policies that led Japan to become a more modern and independent state thanks to Finance Minister Matsukata Masayoshi. To combat the deficit caused by the Satsuma Rebellion, Matsukata Masayoshi sold many unprofitable government holdings, cut spending, and returned Japan to a silver-backed currency, where every banknote could theoretically be exchanged for silver. In 18 months, he deflated the national money supply by 14 percent, in turn causing agricultural land prices to fall by 50 percent. The sharp drop in prices and contraction of the Japanese economy was referred to as the Matsukata

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