japan 1871-1914

Japan 1870-1914
Domestic Policy
Meiji Period: a Japanese era which extended from September 1868 to July
1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan, during which
Japanese society moved from being an isolated feudalism to its modern form.
Emperor was restored to power until 1912
Regained full control of legal system and trade from foreign powers.
Financial Development of the Meiji Period:
– Creation of national and private banks, forming the modern banking
By 1912 Japan achieved:
– A slightly centralized bureaucratic government
– A constitution establishing an elected parliament
– A well developed transport and communication system
– A highly educated population free of feudal class restrictions.
– An established and rapidly growing industrial sector based on the latest
– A powerful army and navy.
Japan’s Leaders 1871-1914
Okuma Shigenobu (1838-1922)
– Contributed greatly to Meiji Era modernization
– Improved the economic situation of Japan
– Worked to improve Japan’s government and unequal treaties.
– As modernization occurred the samurai slowly lost authority and
– Was finance minister of Japan and used this office to improve the
economic standing of Japan.
– 1881 he worked to add a parliament
– Founded Kaishinto, a political party that encouraged modernization
Ito Hirobumi (1841-1909)
– Was a contributor to the changes made during the Meiji Restoration
– Worked to revise the unequal treaties between Japan and Western
– 1871 he studied western technology
– Became minister of Japan 1878
– Focused on improving and modernizing the government
– Made a constitution for Japan
– European countries were viewing Japan as an equal and capable of
great things
Yamagata Aritomo (1838-1922)
Believed westernization was necessary to protect Japan
Main supporter of Meiji Restoration
Began westernization, industrialization, and modernization in Japan
1882 he became President of the Legislative Board of Japan
Established the first principles of the Meiji Constitution
Encouraged Japan to extend their empire throughout Asia
Encouraged Japanese westernization and modernization
Foreign Policy
Before European contact the Japanese would not communicate with
anybody and isolated themselves
Commodore Perry arrived in 1854 and forced to open Japan doors to western
Japan is forced to sign unequal treaties with Britain and they exclusively
traded with Britain
Japan modernized and became more like the western powers
To ensure their safety they strengthened their military and started crafting ships
and ports for the ships
Because of this Britain could no longer keep them exclusive
They soon became the fastest growing trading nation in Asia trading with the
Americans ad other European powers
Japan realized the success of the treaties and created a treaty with Russia
(territorial delimitation treaty), Japan gained the Kuril islands in exchange for
Sakhalin island
Japan improved their military and by 1894 had over 200 000 solders

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