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Tokugawa Period (Edo Period) Essay

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The relevance of the Tokugawa Period (Edo Period) to the development of Modern Japan is based on the fact that it marked the restoration of imperial rule and ushered in the beginning of the development of early modern Japan (Bryant 2005).  The innovations that were introduced during this period included the increase in commerce through the encouragement of the shipping of commodities.  This resulted in the economic expansion of Japan on a domestic scale initially and eventually foreign commerce.

This also saw the flourishing of construction trades as well as banking facilities and merchant guilds (Bryant 2005).

  Through these economic developments, Japan quickly saw the urbanization of its society and the rising economic independence through the increase in agricultural production and the spread of rural handicrafts which greatly revitalized the economy and helped convert a population that was comprised of 80 percent (80%) peasants into a more mercantile population.

            The Qing Dynasty (Manchu Dynasty) was the last ruling imperial dynasty of China.  The fall of traditional China was caused by the weakened military power during the 1800’s and the massive rebellions that shook China during the same period.

  By the early 20th century, the death of Ci Xi and the Guangxu emperor had left the imperial family relatively powerless and unstable against the mass civil disorder that had begun (Bartlett 1991).

The ultimate humiliation for the Qing dynasty was the loss of imperial power that it had when it relinquished control over the military to Yuan Shi-kai and his Beiyang commanders and the establishment of a Republican constitutional reform.  This led to installation of Yuan Shi-kai as the president of the Republic pursuant to the negotiations with Sun Yat-Sen.  Finally, in 1912, after 12 rounds of negotiations, Longyu issued the Imperial Edict bringing about the abdication of the child emperor Puyi and thus marking the fall of traditional imperial China (Bartlett 1991).


Beatrice S. Bartlett. Monarchs and Ministers: The Grand Council in Mid-Ch’ing China, 1723–1820. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991.

Anthony J. Bryant Sekigahara 1600: The Final Struggle for Power, Praeger Publishers; September, 2005

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