This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: Early Modern Background Japan in 19th century- a highly urbanized, well-educated society. Edo, the capital, larger than London in the same period. A “feudalistic” system that was nonetheless run by a central government-- the bakufu, run by the Tokugawa shogun and the Senior Council composed of daimyo (domain lords). Each domain had its own army and a great level of autonomy in terms of politics. Social units divided into samurai, farmers, artisans and merchants. Samurai did not own lands but were paid bushels of rice (koku) as if they were landowners. “Closed door” policy: Nagasaki port the only acknowledged channel for transaction with Euro-American nations. Despite the bakufu’s ban, scientific and other types of information flowed in. Commercialization and urbanization: Erosion of the samurai status, still being paid in kind (i.e. bushels of rice), and rise of the wealthy merchants in the local areas. Breakdown of social control: increasing migration to the cities, border control weakened. The bakufu and domain govn’ts refused to accept the reality of money economy. “Reforms” usually meant less spending, currency manipulation, rather than embracing money. Merchants developed guilds and entered into monopoly relationship with the domain govn’ts and the bakufu. Pressures from Western imperialists: Dutch and British, to open the trade. Tokugawa authorities practiced “attack and expunge” policy but Japan’s decentralized political system did not work well for planning comprehensive coastal defense. China’s loss in the Opium War (1840-1843) a big shock. 1844. Dutch king’s letter to the bakufu. 1846. James Biddle’s aborted attempt to open the trade. 1853. Commodore Matthew Perry arrives at Uraga Port, Edo Bay. Abe Masahiro (Head Councilor) consults all daimyo lords, an unprecedented initiative. 1858. Signing of the commercial treaty with American minister Townsend Harris. Meiji Restoration Emperor Kōmei’s secret edict to Mito, the hotbed of (Emperor-centered) Loyalism. “Revere the Emperor and Expel the Barbarian” ( sonnō jōi  � � � ) Movement. Not a coherent political program, but with a wide appeal among the young lower- ranking samurai, looking for a cause. Tokugawa Nariaki (Mito domain lord) and a coalition of the daimyo lords, looking for ways to reform the shogunate....
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 03/03/2011 for the course HIS 194C taught by Professor Kim during the Fall '10 term at UC Davis.
- Fall '10