In 1853, Western imperialism was at its height. It was spreading to several countries. British colonized India, the dutch colonized Indonesia, the United States colonized the philippines, and the french colonized vietnam. In 1929, the crash of the stock market brought a worldwide depression, known as the Great Depression. The depression caused instability in many countries. International commerce declined and tax revenues, profits, and personal income decreased. The great depression especially impacted countries that were in need of raw materials. Between the time of 1853 to 1941, Japan’s culture and political structure changed in the hopes of becoming more westernized because they wanted to be seen as equals to the Western countries. Japan also became more militaristic in hopes of not being a victim of imperialism. Although Japan experienced some changes, Japan continued the ideology of kokutai as a method for imperial advancement.
Japan’s cultural and political structure changed from being a weak isolated nation to a modern imperialist country. Before Japan westernized, it was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate. This was an agricultural economy with a population of 13 billion. Japan did not associate with any other country because they believed foreign influence was a destabilizing factor. This resulted in overcrowded farms and scarce minerals. In 1853, Commodore Perry came to japan with his big black ships. The technological advancements of the ships shocked the japanese. They ended isolationism and opened trade ports in order to avoid destruction. Failure of success, in 1868 the Tokugawa shogun was overthrown and emperor Meiji had complete power. During this time, Japan was very decentralized. There were several semi-independent feudal lords. The emperor saw how Japan was at a great disadvantage from being in isolation for so many years. He knew that in order to strengthen Japan, change was needed. This resulted in the Meiji Restoration. By 1912...
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