Week 3 - Revolutions and Independence New Nations

Week 3 - Revolutions and Independence New Nations -...

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Revolutions and Independence: New Nations The Economic Miracle of Postwar Japan New Nations in South Asia: India and Pakistan Africa and the West The Economic Miracle of Postwar Japan Like Germany, Japan was only a ghost of its former self. It had lost all its colonial empire and lie in total ruin. The destruction of Japan was not just physical but psychological. Although Emperor Hirohito was allowed to maintain his position, the Japanese lost all respect for the military. They had lost their code of behavior. But Japan's recovery lie in their willingness to surrender to their conquerors. They respected General Douglas MacArthur , who was Supreme Allied Commander in Japan until the end of the occupation (1952). MacArthur held absolute power and was only accountable to President Truman. While many Americans disliked his imperial manner, the Japanese admired MacArthur for qualities that reflected the samurai tradition (but with a touch of American informality). During the years of occupation, U.S. forces imposed a sweeping set of reforms that were quickly adopted by the Japanese central government. A new constitution established a parliamentary democracy modeled after Great Britain's. There were many new social reforms as well, from legal equality for women to a sweeping land-reform program which essentially handed over hundreds of acres of land to landless farmers. Japanese outdoor market The U.S. government eventually decided that it was in their own best interest to focus on Japan's economic recovery. By the early 1950s, Japan had recovered from its colonial losses and was focused on its own economy. The LPD (or, Liberal Democratic Party) was firmly in control and gave confidence to Japanese investors. Labor agitation, which had erupted in the late forties, subsided and gave way to twenty years of economic growth. The U.S. helped with the Dodge Plan (Japan's equivalent to the Marshall Plan) and new technology. Japanese entrepreneurs like Sochiro Honda took the lead. Honda was a Japanese mechanic who began to make motorcycles at a price well below Western markets. By the end of the fifties, his firm was the largest in the world. He found more success when his factories began to make automobiles. By the seventies, Japan, along with South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, were called the "Four Dragons" as their economies grew at an astonishing rate of 10 percent a year. By the 1980s, Japan was a global center of computer manufacturing. The "economic miracle" of Japan rivaled that of West Germany. As Brower notes, "Japanese national pride suffered terribly in the aftermath of defeat [World War II], but the nation's ability to collaborate in the new economic endeavor brought Japan back among the great powers
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Week 3 - Revolutions and Independence New Nations -...

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