Meiji Restoration Timeline
In the middle of the 19th century, the Japan ruling Shogunate was a medieval and weak empire that was inept to control its domains and defend itself from the influence and threat of the western nations. The influx of Commodore Matthew Perry and the team of the U.S navy in in 1853 had great impact of Japan regimes. However, Japan was not open to commerce with the west and turned down any threats or advances. This resulted into unsuccessful pacts that pushed Japan to agree to special economic legal and economic honors to the west powers.
In 1868, a middle ranking group of samurai defeated the government of the shogun and set japan into a new era of radical modernization that is unmatched in Japanese history. The Meiji restoration was established and became a philosophical kind of revolution for many Japanese. The new leaders under the Meiji emperor studied the economic, political and social operations of the western powers and adopted them to meet their set agendas and purposes. By 1889, a constitution was publicized and a parliamentary government was created, but it was answerable to the Emperor. Adoption of the new advancements led to industrial efficiency and expansion. Education also became compulsory and many people gain new skills.
By 1890- 1930, japan went through the industrialization and expansion timeline commonly known as the imperial Japan. During this era, there was great social an economic change in the Japanese society. Japan’s industry expanded in terms of light export industries such as textile and also in heavy steel and shipbuilding. Employment was available in factories and offices for many citizens. Setbacks and threats from international markets lead to economic depression and the military units became intolerant with the government and this had impact on Japan’s access to markets and commodities from Asia.
By 1931, impatient of the military commanders in Manchuria led to increased control over this territory. The military-industry machine grew rapidly and put japan into another level in the globe and japan expanded its domination across the Far East. Interestingly, Japan looked ready to replace the Europe in Asia and later the Japanese troop’s invaded China in 1937. By 1945, the United States got close enough to launch attacks to Japan bombing most of its cities and left its citizens in poverty and starvation with crumpling economy. Japan later agreed to unconditional surrender after its allies failed to support its plea. The emperor announced on radio the japans move to surrender.
After the war [from 1945 to 1989] allied powers occupied Japan and it was turned into a democratic nation with hopes that Japanese will never go to war. The people were given lands to farm and its economy regained its status in the world market. A stable political system was created and its people enjoyed great prosperity. The death of Hirohito, the Showa emperor meant new beginning in japan. However, Japan faced great economic depression, it was able to recover in the coming years and its new relations with Asian nations have played great roles in development of Japan. Today, Japan is the largest economy power in the world and still more expected in the coming years.
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