Japan's Emergence as a World Power

Topics: Empire of Japan, First Sino-Japanese War, Meiji period Pages: 3 (911 words) Published: May 28, 2008
In the past Japan was known as a state of solitude, but within its borders their lived a thriving society that was militaristically weak, economically under developed, and governmentally primitive. This past I am talking about is during the early 1800’s. Japan may have been secure in its current conditions, but it saw the need to change, and through that change Japan emerged suddenly as a great world power by the 1900’s. Japan changed on all fronts, whether it is government, military, or economy. The result of these extreme reforms caused Japan to stand out as a world power, and create a positive effect on their entire society

When talking governmentally, the Japanese basically changed from paranoid onlookers to dominating tyrants outside their borders, and primitive feudalists to equal nationalists inside their borders. With the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, which was the period when the Emperor was restored as the head of Japan, but he did not directly rule. This caused Japan to create a highly centralized bureaucratic government which resulted in the creation of a constitution and an elected parliament. The constitution was mainly based upon the western states, especially Prussia. Its main influence led to the destruction of class rule throughout Japan creating a country with all equal classes, this was achieved in 1870. As well as equality, the new Japanese government instituted compulsory education systems, religious freedom, and influenced modernization to catch up to the western states.

Outside of Japanese borders, this new Meiji government saw the opportunity to expand and colonize. The Orient at the time of the Meiji Restoration was weak thanks the infiltration of the western states. With this weakness being embraced in Japan, the Japanese took this opportunity and by 1905 they succeeded. The Japanese had major influence in Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, parts of China, and naval control over the China Sea. With this influence the Japanese...
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