Japan 1914 CE

Japan has created a modern society in the space of one generation.

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What is happening in Japan in 1914CE

Japan has been home to one of the most outstanding achievements in world history – the transformation of a feudal society into a modern, industrial one in the space of one generation. This is known in Japanese history as the “Meiji Period Restoration”.

The aim of the group of Japanese government has been to end the “unequal treaties”. To do this, they have modernized Japan. They created a conscript army and a modern navy. They introduced a modern money and banking system, built railways and factories, imposed a western-style education system (Japan now achieves the highest literacy rates in the world), encouraged private ownership of land, and promulgated a constitution modelled on that of the German Empire.

The “unequal treaties” have, one by one, been ended, and has gained an overseas empire: a war with China (Sino-Japanse War, 1894-5) gave it Taiwan and other territories, and Japan’s astonishing victory over the huge Russian empire (Russo-Japanese War, 1904-5) announced to the world, in clear tones, that a major new power had arrived. In 1910 Japan annexed Korea.

The achievements of this period make Meiji Japan one of the most extraordinary episodes in world history.

Next map, Japan in 1960

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