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The Decline of the Shogunate
Transcript of The Decline of the Shogunate
and the Meiji Restoration
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Reasons for the
Decline of the Shogunate
1. Rising population.
2. Unfair taxes and salaries.
3. Weather disasters.
4. American bullying.
5. Trade with the west.
Cause 2: Unfair Taxes and Salaries
Taxes for peasants were fixed, so even though wages and costs went up over the 200 years of Tokugawa rule, taxes didn't.
This meant that peasants became wealthier and Samurai (who collected the tax) became poorer.
Salaries for Samurai were also fixed even though the cost of living rose. Many had to become merchants (the scum of society) to survive.
Cause 3: Weather Disasters
There were already food shortages from the rising population, but in the 1800s there was also a series of droughts. This led to famine. The people rioted because the Shogun did nothing about it.
Around the same time, there were earthquakes and tsunamis. The people were angry at the Shogun for not helping them.
Cause 4 - American Bullying
The people blamed the Shogun for being weak and allowing the Americans, led by Commodore Matthew Perry, to bully them. Opening back up their borders led to all sorts of problems.
So who took power?
For 700 years, the position of Emperor had still been around, but had no power.
January 3, 1868
, the three Daimyo went to the 14-year-old Emperor Meiji and asked him to lead the country.
He agreed. He got rid of the class system (pyramid) and established a parliament. The people elected a Prime Minister.
Cause 1. The Tokugawa Peace
Because there were no wars and there was a higher standard of living, the population grew.
This meant there was more pressure of resources, especially food.
Cause 5: Trade with the West
Western technology allowed craftsmen and farmers to produce more, which made them wealthier.
However, many people began buying overseas-made products, which led to unemployment in Japan.
Trade with new cultures also brought new diseases to Japan.
So what happened?
, three powerful Daimyo went to the Shogun and demanded he resign.
The Shogun caved in and resigned and refused to nominate a successor.
This left Japan without a leader.
All Daimyo domains were returned to the Emperor.
Samurai were to be taxed too.
Conscription was introduced for all men over 21. Now Samurai weren't the only ones with weapons.
Samurai could no longer walk around with swords
Or wear their distinctive hairstyle.
As they were educated, Samurai became government officials in the new parliament, teachers or military officers.
Emphasis was put on accelerating industrialisation and modernisation. By 1900, Japan had caught up with the rest of the world.