Textbook Notes (362,929)
Canada (158,105)
History (134)
HIST 218 (9)
Chapter 11

HIST 218 - Chapter 11 (Imperial Japan)

6 Pages
Unlock Document

McGill University
HIST 218
Gavin Walker

Chapter 11 – Imperial Japan (1895 – 1931) Key Dates - 1895 – 1912: late Meiji - 1912-1926: Taisho - 1926-1931: early Showa I. Late Meiji, 1895-1912 Foreign Policy and Empire Building - Aim of national security and equality of national status - Held Korea to be key to national security o ‘line of sovereignty’ an ‘line of interest,’ which ran through Korea - Domination of surrounding seas by Japanese navy - Colonies were ‘ultimate status symbol’ - Also key to security concerns - Sought end to Western extraterritoriality and return to tariff autonomy o Revision of law codes to reflect Western practices o In return for giving up extraterritoriality, Western merchants were no longer limited to treaty ports o Japan regains full control over custom duties in 1911 - At the same time, Japan was enjoying extraterritorial rights in China, and benefitting from China’s lack of tariff autonomy - Established coastal factories; spurred investment in China, but stunted growth of domestic Chinese industry - Taiwan acquisition gratified navy - Public outrage when Japan forced to give up Liaodong Peninsula - Chief rival = Russia o Railway network through northern Manchuria to Vladivostok o Acquired Port Arthur in 1989 o Interfered in Korea, allying with conservative opponents of Japanese- backed reformers o Use of Boxer Rebellion to entrench interests in Manchuria intensified Japanese apprehensions - Britain also alarmed over Russia’s eastward expansion - Abandoned ‘splendid isolation’ in 1902; formed alliance with Japan o Recognized Japan’s special interest in Korea o Each recognized other’s interest in China o Each would remain neutral in bilateral war; each would assist other if attacked by two powers at once  Japan would not face European coalition alone - Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) o Mostly fought on land in Manchuria and at sea o Heavy costs; Japanese victory o Destroyed virtually entire Russian navy o Gained recognition of supremacy in Korea o Transfer of Russian interests in Manchuria (railroads and leases in Liaodong Peninsula) o Cession of southern half of Sakhalin Island o Japanese public still unsatisfied -> three days of rioting o Leads to economic expansion in Manchuria Economic and Social Developments - Both wars stimulated Japanese economy - Nationalism gave boost to heavy industry and to armaments, including shipbuilding - Advances in new fields; light industry - Increasing emphasis on import of raw materials - Increases in labour productivity and urbanization o Widened rural/urban gap - Those who worked in small, traditional establishments experienced little change in living conditions - Harsh labour conditions in factories and shops - 1900: strikes outlawed - Conservatives: wanted balance between capital and labour - 1911: first factory laws - 1916: legal protection for women and children - Small group of radicals composed of Christian socialists and anarchists o Opposed war with Russia o Barred from forming political party o Faced political repression o Executed - Zaibatsu remained close with government - Dominant political party also had stake in economic development Politics - After war, political struggles resumed - Elder statesmen (genro) advised emperor on all major matters o Sees themselves as guardians of public good o Stressed need for unity in face of a hostile world o Enjoyed great prestige and support of protégés and associates - Party politicians resented genro power, which was a de facto aristocracy - Main weapon of parties: budgetary approval - Divisions between oligarchy and parties - Many parties lost enthusiasm for opposing government that could dissolve Diet and subject parties to costly reelection campaigns - Oligarchs could trade offices for support - Military reported directly to emperor; bypasses Minister of War and cabinet - Gave military veto power over any cabinet in 1900 - Control of military funds remained in hands of lower house - Dominant party (Seiyukai) strengthened by building support within bureaucracy, thanks to Hara Kei o Appointed party members as prefectural governors o Linked party to provinces o Used pork barrel to build up constituencies among local men who formed the limited electorate o Other important members of Seiyukai: Saionji Kimmochi and Ito o Obtained support of business leaders, particular heads of zaibatsu  trend of closer association between zaibatsu and politics - genro enjoyed great influence, but theirs was a personal, not institutional, power o diminished with time - new generation of bureaucrats did not owe positions to genro patronage, but to examinations (post-1885) o bureaucrats themselves enjoyed privilege and influence - political conflict eroded earlier idealism for people’s rights - dominant Seiyukai surrounded by small and shifting groups of independents and parties “The arrangement functioned as long as funds were sufficient to finance both the military’s and the Seiyukai’s highest priority projects and as long as none of the participants felt their essential interests threatened. When that ceased to be the case, it brought on the Taisho political crisis.” II. The Taisho Period (1912-1926) and the Twenties Taisho Political Crisis, 1912-1913 - Financial conditions forced cutback in government spending o Impossible to fund both Seiyukai’s domestic program and army demands - Seiyukai won support at polls; PM Saionji forced out due to army influence - Ensuing mass demonstrations; standoff between military (Katsura) and parties on by latter - “for the first time a party majority in the Diet, backed by public opinion and a vociferous press, had overthrown a cabinet” - “The power of a party leader depended on his strength within his party, although this was influenced by the party’s showing at the polls” - Seiyukai now also faced rival for control of
More Less

Related notes for HIST 218

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.