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Lecture 6


Course Code
HIST 1010

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Necessary Preconditions
- Political framework = nation-state
- ideological context: social Darwinism
- racial superiority beliefs = racial hierarchies
- 1904-5 Russo-Japanses War
- July 8, 1853 American Commodore Matthew C. Perry steamed up Tokyo Bay and
signed “Treaty of Amity and Commerce”
- Tokugawa Shogunate = Japanese Government
1850s Tokugawa Japan
- a feudal society – samurai – clan loyalty
- infighting between the major warlords
- hostility towards foreigners
- Japanese emperor “tenno” resides in Kyoto
Meiji restoration
- “in essence the routing of one warrior class by another”
- emperor / Tenno Meiji moves to Edo, renamed Tokyo “ Eastern Capital
- 1869 united under new leadership
- Feudalization of the new elites
- Shintoism – state religion
- Choice? Minken (popular rights) and/or Kokken (National sovereignty)
- “Meirokusha” – leading intellectuals with knowledge about western societies
Meiji restoration – success
- efficient agricultural production –silk
- disciplined labor force
- state religion – shintoism
- tenno = divine (above politics)
- tenno = absolute seat of power advised by small circle of statesmen
- 1889 constitution proclaimed
- political participation of old and new elites as well as commoners
- samurai/warrior class is obsolete play with new role as servants of the nation-state
in: army, navy, civil servants, politics + industry
Tenno appoints (de jure)
- prime minister + chief of staff
- cabinet ministers (direct national, regional,+ local administrations)
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