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The Downfall of the Tokugawa Shogunate - Essay Example

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Name Tutor Course College Date The Tokugawa Shogunate was a Japanese military government that existed in 1600 to 1868. It was headed by the Shoguns and every member had to be from the clan of Tokugawa. They ruled the castle of Edo during the Edo period that was named after them…
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The Downfall of the Tokugawa Shogunate
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Download file to see previous pages This can be pointed to the changes in research methods and analysis that are becoming more and more professional, and better equipped. With these kinds of tools, various historical researchers find different evidence that they support as to how the empire fell. Some historians argue that the empire fell due to the social problems that the Tokugawa Shogunate faced during this time amongst them. Other scholars however insist that the empire fell due to the economic problems that the Tokugawa Shogunate empire faced in their last moments. This paper is a critical review of some of the historian’s view of the reason as to why the kingdom fell. The paper does not focus more on the reasons why the empire fell but looks at the conditions that surrounded the fall and how historians have been changing their views over the past years regarding the fall of the Tokugawa Empire. Other historians have criticized some of these historical interpretations. However, a keen look at some of the arguments that led to the fall of the empire reveals that most historians have a similar view as to why the empire fell with slight differences. From most of their interpretations, the downfall of the Tokugawa Shogunate is attributed to their obsolete methods in economical, political and foreign affairs, other than the civil wars and battles over various positions in the colony among the Samurai. During the reign of the Tokugawa, there was a hierarchy of living. Politicians and those in government were considered to be at the top of the hierarchy while farmer’s carpenters and other laborers were considered to be at the bottom of the hierarchy. Due to this, the Samurai soldiers were fond of numerous killings and would be found cutting off people lower in the hierarchy without any reason1. Due to this, some of the people in the lower hierarchy would resists and come to war with the people in the upper and centre of the hierarchy. This was a common phenomenon since the early periods of the empire. Some early Japanese historians attributed this to the fall of the Tokugawa Empire. However, to Sir George Sansom, this is completely wrong. He points out that the oppressions of the Samurai people had been there since the beginning and that this did not point out to the fall of the empire. Published in 1932, Sir George’s history of the Japanese people has been widely used in the US to teach history students. Even though he disagree that the empire fell due to the oppressions felt on the people, he is fast in pointing out that the Tokugawa period was characterized by oppression and feudal rule. He clearly points out that people considered lower in the hierarchy were highly mistreated and some of them killed without mercy. He however points that soldiers solved such disputes and that it had nothing to do with the fall of the empire2. George points out that the Tokugawa government kept to themselves and never opened up to the west that was bringing change to the rest of the world. Because of this, the government was left alone and continued to practice the old methods of governance, which had poor financial knowledge. Due to this, the economy of the empire did poorly as compared to that of its neighbors who had agreed to accept the west. There was therefore a cultural arrest of the Samurai people due to poor governance. Sir George therefore points out that poor governance led to the downfall of the Tokugawa Empire. This was depicted in many films and plays that was done on japans ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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