In the 1750s, Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate, which had seized control of the country at the beginning of the 17th century. The shogunate centralized Japan and transformed it from a constantly warring collection of disunified states into a single country at peace. The Tokugawa shogunate ruled Japan from the early 17th century until 1868, a period when Japan was well behind the industrialization of other nations. During the Meiji period, from 1868 to 1912, Japan endured a rapid industrialization.
__________. During the 17th century the third shogun enforced isolation with the belief that outside influences would shift balance between the shogun and feudal lords. In 1853 the United States sent Commodore Mathew Perry with a letter written by President Fillmore, asking the Japanese to trade with the United States. The United States also asked for friendship, a supply of coal and provisions and protection for their shipwrecked people. Bringing in foreign trade was a major accomplishment for the Japanese industrialization. _______. The trade brought more foreign trade into Japan which disrupted the Japanese monetary system. Samurai leaders began to demand a change in leadership. Eventually the shogunate crumbled and was replaced by a centralized government with an emperor as the head.
The Meiji Restoration was a turning point in Japanese history in 1868 when the last shogun was overthrown and the emperor assumed direct control over the nation. The following Meiji Period, 1868 to 1912, was marked by Japan’s establishment of a centralized government and beginning of Japan’s Modern Age.