Meiji revolution in Japan

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Main features and reforms of the Meiji revolution in Japan.

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Meiji revolution in Japan

  1. 1. MEIJI REVOLUTION IN JAPAN IES FRAY PEDRO DE URBINA. Dpto. de Geo. e Historia
  2. 2.  JAPAN AND ITS INFLUENCE AREAS
  3. 3. JAPAN BEFORE REVOLUTION  Its political system was very similar to European feudalism, the emperor (that like the absolute monarchy was believed descended from the gods) had no real power, but depended on the daimyo (feudal lord) most important. This was titled "Shogun", which is the highest rank a daimyo could get. So the political regime was called Shogunate. However, until 1853 Japan had remained isolated from the rest of the economic and political world (except for China and the Netherlands). On this date came a U.S. Navy fleet which intended to demand a trade agreement.  This is also known as "Kuro-fune Raikō“ (arrival of the black ships). Not having an armed fleet to face, Japan had to accept the treaty, showing how weak was the country.
  4. 4. SHOGUNATE  The military government that was established in Japan between the late twelfth century to the Meiji revolution.  The shogun ("Army Commander") was a military rank and historical title that gave the Emperor. The shogun was the person who led the Shogunate.  There were three shogunates:  Kamakura shogunate  Ashikaga shogunate  Tokugawa shogunate Last Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1867)
  5. 5. MEIJI REVOLUTION  Between 1867 and 1912 the Meiji era takes place: a new Japan develops, more open-minded, but keeping its essential traditions.  The Revolution has a unique feature: a part of the aristocracy was who saw to change and renounce their privileges necessary. Therefore, they were divided into two camps, the Ishin Shishi and supporters of the shogunate. Landowners (daimyo) who were against the shogunate led the Ishin shishi. Supporters of the shogunate had different forces to face these revolutionaries and the struggles were violent.  For 1867 the revolutionary movement had achieved a breakthrough and the Emperor Meiji (which had no real power) dictated the order dissolving the bakufu (shogunate). But shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu refused to leave power and in 1868 five more battles, called the Boshin Wars, resulted in the surrender of the shogunate . Ōkubo Toshimichi, the leader of the Ishin Shishi
  6. 6. MUTSU-HITO: FROM TOP REVOLUTION  On the death of Emperor Komei in 1867, the new Emperor Mutsu-hito chose the name Meiji (Government of Light) to designate his reign. The principles of government were to restore the authority of the Emperor and Westernization, ie, the end of the feudal era and the conversion of Japan in the first non-Western country that developed the techniques of the First Industrial Revolution.  Mutsu-hito installed in Tokyo after weaken the shogun and reaffirm the Mikado (Emperor Authority). He managed changes, which produced a revolution from above combining tradition and modernity.  A religious change was the recover of Shinto (native religion of Japan, which worships spirits of nature), which included ancestor worship, exaltation of the Emperor and allowed to adopt liberal institutions and assimilating western techniques.  To do this, it was promoted the study in universities in Europe and the U.S., to take the best of each place: the educational structure and organization of the German army, the British parliamentary structure and marine engineering, and the French reform of the army and penal code.
  7. 7. REFORMS IN POLITICS AND INSTITUTIONS  The political and institutional reform is based on the formation of a Consultative Assembly, the proclamation of the Jury Code of Five Articles by Emperor and the creation of the first structure of the Meiji government, Seitaisho, which mixed traditional forms of bureaucracy and Western forms of representation with separation of powers.  With the creation in 1873 of the Ministry of Interior, the new governors are appointed from Tokyo and fully control of local administration is established. To complete the measures it was created a unified and conscript army.
  8. 8. SOCIAL REFORMS  Between 1870-1880 social reforms were made, removing the privileges of class, giving legal equality and implementing penal codes similar to the French.  Western dress is used in official ceremonies, meat is consumed, the Gregorian calendar is implanted and compulsory education is created.
  9. 9. ECONOMIC REFORMS Economic reforms included the reorganization of monetary circulation in a decimal system, the yen, as the new currency. Now the legislature controls spending, a register is made and the sale of land is allowed.  Land reform is approved (1873), with more social than economic sense: taxes must be paid by the peasant, not by the village; based on land, not on harvests; and they should be given directly to the state -not to the daimyo-, and were paid in cash, not in kind.  • The creation of the Ministry of Industry (1870) supposed capitalist - industrial takeoff. Government directions were the development of a consumer textile industry based on cotton and silk; development of strategic industries - weapons and arsenals-; transport development, giving priority to maritime; development of heavy industries (coal, gold and silver mines and construction); and colonization of Hokkaido (second largest island of Japan, north of the main island).

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