Japanese history part 2 - Essay Example

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It was a political revolution that deposed the Tokugawa shogunate and restored control over the nation to direct imperial rule. This imperial rule was under the emperor Meiji, and it ushered in major economic,…
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Download file to see previous pages This regime was in no position to exercise control over its domains, and was incapable of defending the nation from the threat posed by the Western powers (Asia for Educators, Columbia University).
Moreover, in the year 1853, the Western threat crystallized with the arrival of Matthew Perry and a US Navy squadron. Their demand was that Japan had to open its shores to commerce from the West. The weakness of the Shogunate compelled it to enter into several inequitable treaties, wherein Japan had to grant special legal and economic privileges to the Western nations (Asia for Educators, Columbia University).
Another instance of the effect of Western Imperialism upon weaker Asian nations was China, which was ruthlessly exploited by the European powers. In order to prevent a similar fate, a group of middle-ranking samurai deposed the Shogun in the year 1868. Their aim was to modernize the nation, and they realized that feudalism had to be destroyed for achieving their purpose (Asia for Educators, Columbia University).
In addition, this intervention served to place Japan on a course of radical modernization without any bloodshed. The change wrought by this revolution, was perhaps unrivalled in history. This fundamental change was ostensibly aimed at restoring rule to the Japanese Emperor. The latter adopted the reign name Meiji or enlightened rule. As such, the Meiji Restoration proved to be a fundamental revolution (Asia for Educators, Columbia University).
Consequently, Japan underwent a transition to a capitalist production system from a pre-capitalist mode, without experiencing a social revolution. The Nipponese example demonstrated that the restructuring of social relations of production, during the shift from a feudal to a capitalist system did not necessitate the active political participation of the lower classes (Barker).
However, as shown by several scholars, social revolution is not an essential ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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