Name three important consequences of the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912).
The Meiji Restoration resulted in the creation of a centralized bureaucracy, a transportation system, and an industrial economy. Previously, a feudal government headed by a shogunate ruled Japan, resulting in a country that was ruled by competing feudal lords. With the restoration of the emperor came a centralized government ruled by ambitious young men that created a national military and draft that set the stage for the formation of a powerful, well-trained armed forces. They also formed a national tax system, paid in money instead of rice, that allowed the government to fund other projects. These investments resulted in the creation of an effective national transportation system that resulted in a much more fast-paced market that stimulated the economy. It fueled new industrial economic sectors established by the government. These industries were later sold to private investors, and as such provided a great incentive for men of all classes to get involved in private industry, since no one was bound to a feudal lord any more. By 1912, Japan had transformed into a nation that could compete with Western industrialized nations. These advancements set the stage for later Japanese expansion and war against other East Asian countries, particularly China and Korea, and for World War II.
What are the defining characteristics of English Romanticism?
Romanticism, in large part a backlash against the writing styles of the Enlightenment period, focuses on nature and individuality as opposed to the logic and reason of the Enlightenment. To writers of that period, nature was seen not as something to dominate and control, but rather as something in which to revel and delight, but also as something to respect. They celebrated rural life and folk ways and customs from earlier periods, such as the Middle Ages, but also those of foreign lands. The senses and the complexity of the human psyche feature heavily in these works, while the stiff morals supported by Bourgeois society of the time are decried. Some notable writers from this period are Lord Byron, William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats.
What was the Hanseatic League, and why was it important in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance?
The Hanseatic League was a guild formed by northern German market towns in order to protect their market interests. They dominated the trade of the Baltic Sea by the early 13th century and were vital to the trade of the Rhineland, Low Countries, and England. These towns were positioned between those two markets, and could therefore control the trade in and between them. They included Luebeck, Hamburg, and Danzig. In the 15th century, towns in the league began to look out for their own interests as nations such as Denmark and England started to gain more power. As trade began to focus more towards the Atlantic Ocean and the Americas, this league lost its importance. The League was defunct by the 17th century.