essay question #2 online - 2 IMPERIALISM Asia in the Era of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
2. I MPERIALISM – Asia in the Era of Western Imperialism (25) Pp. 801-827 How did the Meiji reformers in Japan set about creating a new Western-style nation-state? What models did they choose from the West for different institutions and why? Be sure to include these factors: government, education, military, economy, society, and foreign influences. When the Meiji period ended, with the death of the emperor in 1912, Japan had · a highly centralized, bureaucratic government · a constitution establishing an elected parliament · a well-developed transport and communication system · a highly educated population free of feudal class restrictions · an established and rapidly growing industrial sector based on the latest technology · a powerful army and navy It had regained complete control of its foreign trade and legal system, and, by fighting and winning two wars (one of them against a major European power, Russia), it had established full independence and equality in international affairs. In a little more than a generation, Japan had exceeded its goals, and in the process had changed its whole society. Japan's success in modernization has created great interest in why and how it was able to adopt Western political, social, and economic institutions in so short a time. One answer is found in the Meiji Restoration itself. This political revolution "restored" the emperor to power, but he did not rule directly. He was expected to accept the advice of the group that had overthrown the shôgun, and it was from this group that a small number of ambitious, able, and patriotic young men from the lower ranks of the samurai emerged to take control and establish the new political system. At first, their only strength was that the emperor accepted their advice and several powerful feudal domains provided military support. They moved quickly, however, to build their own military and economic control. By July 1869 the feudal lords had been requested to give up their domains, and in 1871 these domains were abolished and transformed into prefectures of a unified central state. The feudal lords and the samurai class were offered a yearly stipend, which was later changed to a one-time payment in government bonds. The samurai lost their class privileges, when the government declared all classes to be equal. By 1876 the government banned the wearing of the samurai's swords; the former samurai cut off their top knots in favor of Western-style haircuts and took up jobs in business and the professions. The armies of each domain were broke up, and a national army based on universal conscription was created in 1872, requiring three years' military service from all men, samurai and commoner alike. A national land tax system was established that required payment in money instead of rice, which allowed the government to stabilize the national
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
budget. This gave the government money to spend to build up the strength of the nation. Resistance and Rebellion Defeated:
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 5

essay question #2 online - 2 IMPERIALISM Asia in the Era of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online