Japan Change and Continuity over Time

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Name: Carolyn Ma Period 9
AP World COT Japan Essay
Japan is a small island nation off the coast of Eastern Asia. Despite its size, Japan has proved to be formidable both economically and militarily. Since the expedition of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853 opened up the past feudalistic and reclusive Japan, this nation has expanded and adopted many imperialistic policies as well as taken a more aggressive military stance. Japan has changed in many ways, but has also continued upholding traditional practices throughout 1853 and 1941.

From 1853 to 1941, Japan changed from being a reclusive, isolated nation that kept to itself to an imperialistic power openly attacking and conquering surrounding territories and peoples. In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry sailed from the United States to Japan in order to forcibly negotiate economic policies and to open up Japan to the world. In order to install such policies and ensure Japanese agreement, Perry showed off the military power of the United States in order to install fear and awe in the Japanese people. Since then, Japan took on a more aggressive stance and began to expand to other nations as demonstrated by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and the invasion of China in 1937. This change was caused by Japanese fear of becoming imperialized by other foreign powers- in response to this fear, Japan became an imperializing power that conquered other nations to amass power and protect itself from being conquered.

Japan also changed from a traditional feudalistic nation to a nation based on militarism. Isolated Japan was a nation that was structured on feudalism and had a military composed on samurai. There was no need to build up advanced military or develop advanced weaponry to wreak war on other nations or to protect itself as past Japan was completely closed off to foreign influences. However, after Japan was forcibly opened up to the world (after Perry’s economic negotiations with Japan),...
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