The Causes And Consequences Of Social Instability In Japan In The 1920s And Early 1930s

1837 words - 7 pages

The Causes and Consequences of Social Instability in Japan in the 1920s and Early 1930s

Japan was an old-fashioned, ancient country in 1860s. With the help of
the reforms during the Menji Period (1868-1912), Japanunderwent the
processes of modernization and westernization. The military power,
economic, political conditions, etc. of Japan hugely improved and the
society was stable, steady and prosper. However, after the end of the
First World War, things turned bad. The society became instable. Riots
and assassinations of politicians were common. There were a number of
factors led to the social instability, which did cause a number of
impacts in later years.

If the needs of every social class were satisfied, it was hard to see
any social instability. What were the needs of the Japanese in 1920s?
The farmers or tenants looked for stable income and low land rent. The
urban workers didn't want to see unemployment. The factory owners
longed for a good oversea market. Therefore, their products could be
sold easily and made a profit. Militarists and ultra-nationalists
wanted to bring glory to Japan. Most of the people didn't want a
corrupt government while all wanted a powerful and prestige Japan.

Among the factors that led to the social instability, the economic
ones had a large extent leading to the social instability during the
1920s and early 1930s. During the First World War, the traditional
European powers, such as England, Germany, focus on producing the arms
product. The daily goods were produced by the United Statesand Japan,
which both made a huge profit. However, the economic and industry boom
failed to continue when the war ended in 1918 and collapsed in 1920.
The return of European powers diminished the market of Japanese goods,
especially in Chinese market. The zaibatsus were not hugely affected
while the small businesses did. Many small factories closed and urban
workers lost their job. There were discontented among the small
businessmen and urban workers.

The economic of Japan remained silence in the mid-1920s but there was
another big blow to the Japanese economic in the late 1920s. The Wall
Street Crash in the United Statesin 1929 led to the later Great
Depression. The worldwide depression made most of the countries
adopted a protective tariff. For example, in 1930, the US raised
import duties on Japanese goods by 23%.Moreover, trade union were
formed among the countries on the American continent and British
Common Wealth. Because of these measures, the export of Japanese goods
was hugely affected. As a result, unemployment occurred. Once again,
the urban workers discontented as they were poor and hard to earn a
living.

The poor economic condition of Japan was worsen by a series of natural
disasters. For example, in 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake hit the
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