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p. 422. Imperial revolution: embracing modernitylocked

  • Christopher Goto-Jones


‘Imperial revolution: embracing modernity’ shows how Japan endeavoured to transform itself into a modern, imperial nation in the second half of the 19th century. Japan needed to modernize in order to renegotiate the Unequal Treaties. This involved the creation of a political constitution and rule of law. The constitution limited suffrage, so as to control the emergence of political consciousness. Samurai privileges were removed, and provinces nationalized. This allowed for national taxation and a national army. Ambassadors were sent out to gather Western knowledge to speed modernization. The Shinto religion and shrines to imperial soldiers, as well as the Bushido code, helped foster nationalism and preserve a Japanese identity.

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