Does the Meiji Restoration fit the description of a “classic” revolution?
The Meiji Restoration was a historical starting point for Japan that initiated signs of modernization taking place. It was basically seen as a process by which Japan acquired a leadership committed to take the initiative and reform the country, with the goal of achieving equality with Western nations in close proximity. A “classic” revolution refers to mass uprising driven by ideology, radical changes of political structure and system, resulting into massive changes. Based on the definition stated above, I disagree that the Meiji Restoration fit the description of a “classic” revolution. This is supported by the fact that there was no mass uprising involved in the restoration, it was sparked by a small group of elites, known as the aristocrats in the social hierarchy. However, because of the underlying fact that there were still changes for example, the elimination of the status system, serves as my counter argument. All in all, I agree that the Meiji Restoration was a revolution, but it does not abide to the traits of a “classic” revolution.
To start off,
It was an ongoing process of changes and should not be just based on a single detail of change. In short, a revolution is defined as 'a mass uprising of a quick and complete overthrow of an established government or political system ', and although there were major adjustments to the system, it was by no means a quick and complete change. A “classic” revolution connotes a radical makeover of society. The Meiji Restoration were made out of revolutionary changes, but many of these changes were either incomplete or simply a continuation of the past.
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