Rise of Modern Japan and the Meiji Restoration
As Japan modernized they embraced many of the Western domestic policies including expansionism into Taiwan and Korea. In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry had been sent to Japan by President Fillmore seeking to open trade. When the Japanese eventually realized that the military technology far outweighed their own they agreed to the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854. As the Japanese witnessed the changes brought by open trade they would bring back imperial rule in 1868 with the restoration of the throne with Emperor Meiji. During his reign, he would change Japan’s political and social structure through his Charter Oath. As Japan modernized, they would also mimic the expansionist ways of the west as they gained possessions in areas such as Korea and Taiwan.
Why do you feel that the Japanese embraced Western policies? How did this affect their success? What role did the Meiji Restoration play in their success? How did their success build aggressive expansionist policies?
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