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C O U R S E 
A History of the World since 1300
Jeremy Adelman, Princeton University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
1868 Japan: The Meiji Restoration
Notes taken on November 26, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
development of state power is a condition for national identities
the way nations were created often showed characteristics of the entities which nations wanted to overthrow, namely, empires
so empires didn't slide off the historic stage but get reconstituted
three categories of regimes after Napoleon
1. some parts of the world still had empires which were in a steady but ineluctable state of long disintegration
Austro-Hungarian Empire
Ottoman Empire
multi-cultural, multi-denominational, multi-religious, often multi-linguistic
had great trouble with states that could re-imagine themselves with the homogenous or claimed homogenous foundations of a nation
these older stages become weaker as nations become stronger
2. those in internal flux
Spanish America
unable to reconstitute themselves as older imperial relics
unable to mold themselves to mold themselves along national lines
3. process of reconstituting themselves as nations
political systems wielding resources that could bring national formations into being
often absorbing features of empires in new ways
these emerging states reconstituting themselves as nation in fact begin to feed off the old, disintegrating empires
Ottoman Empire
to lay claim to a national grandeur
best example was Britain
a national empire
Britain could imagine itself of a nation state
with cousin members
South Africa
later re-branded itself as the Commonwealth (1949)
most countries were trying to do what the British was doing
another example: Japan
Tokugawa shogunate (1600–1868)
had lived for a long state of relative isolation
the shogunate had kicked out foreigners, the Dutch and the Portuguese
had begun the process of integrating a unified state of feudal lordship
sovereign emperor
was hard to keep these foreigners out
especially with the arrival of steam
1853: Admiral Matthew Perry
Perry was assigned a mission by President Millard Fillmore to force the opening of Japanese ports to American trade, through the use of gunboat diplomacy if necessary
steamships known as The Black Ships
the military elites of Japan very quickly understood that the game had changed
the samurai realized that they had to meet this new challenge
there was a technological gap
highly motivated, they played a game of catch up
tried to get rid of the fetters of progress
tried to strengthen the military capability
often in fact borrowing models of modernization from Europe and other places
1868: Meiji Restorers
overthrow of the old Tokugawa regime
consolidated the political system under the Emperor of Japan
introduced the Meiji period which spanned from 1868 to 1912 and was responsible for the emergence of Japan as a modernized nation in the early twentieth century
the idea was that Meiji would restore the splendor and grandeur of Japan
asserting the Emperor of the controlling force
a national regime
centralize power
get rid of the old, localist systems
national business elites supported by the states
economic and social ballast for the new centralizing, powerful integrating regime
were able to show off this grandeur in a series of conflicts
took on some emperial features
took advantage of older regimes
extruded outwards against China and Korea
humiliating to the Chinese
annexed many of the mainland
enabled the Japanese to portray itself as a larger, integrated nation
created schools
literacy campaigns