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Meiji Restoration Essay

1220 words - 5 pages

“Fukoku kyohei,” a Japanese phrase meaning “prosperous nation and a strong army”, is the foundation of the modernization of Japan (P10, Christensen). The modernization that led to what Japan has become now. The modernization that led to what Japan has become now. The modernization and westernization during the Meiji Era was beneficial to Japan because it allowed them to build a powerful army using the latest technology, modernize their government, and to become a world power.

Through modernization, Japan was able to create a new army by emulating the Western nations, allowing them to become more successful. Creating a new army by following the Western nations style meant that they would ...view middle of the document...

It was controlled by hundreds of semi-independent feudal lords.” (P2, The Meiji Restoration and Modernization) Europe and the United States were known as the Western powers to Japan at the time, and they were able to force her into unwanted treaties seeing as they were weak. The Japanese realized that continuing on with the traditional standards would be futile for their survival in the modern world, on that account, they began copying Western weapons and tactics. The Western technology was more advanced meaning that the Western weapons Japan had were more powerful and effective when in battle. Those weapons allowed Japan to become stronger military wise, proven in the two wars they won (33, Miocevich). Compared to the militarily weak country Japan started out as during the Meiji Era, the modernized army was able to benefit Japan as it allowed her to gain power and fight equally to the countries that once were able to take advantage of her.

The modernization of the Japanese government allowed them to formulate new ideas such as developing a new education system and improving their economy. The development of a new education system was beneficial to the Japanese seeing as it allowed them to become a highly educated population. The Japanese followed the West as a model to change their systems, including the Japanese educational system. The Meiji government believed that to have a fully modernized society, there needed to be an organized system of education first (30, Miocevich). Through this change in education, the body of the ruling class consisted mostly of former warriors that had become well-educated. The Japanese looked at the new education system as a path for their better improvement for each person, paving an opportunity for the Japanese to equalize with the West. Japan declared the social classes from feudal Japan equal in the process of modernizing, therefore everything was based on merit, allowing the Japanese people to draw out their own individual potential. The Japanese population was able to become well educated because since they were all declared as equals, and that meant all children, whatever the status, had to have at least four years of primary school. (30, Miocevich) In order to become an intellectually prepared modern nation-state, scholars were sent to Western countries to study. Through the scholars studies, Japan was able create a new constitutional monarchy based off Prussia (P9, Szczepanski). The modernization of the Japanese economy benefited them as well because they were able to catch up to Western standards, by building modern systems. The modernizing Japan saw their change in ability as they began to catch up to Western standards. Their newly built economy began “increasing rapidly as a consequence of an economy which has been expanding at a...

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