Is It Correct To Identify The Entrance Of The West As The Reason For The Fall Of The Tokugawa Shogunate? The fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan marked the beginning of a new and long-lasting era for Japan. The fall of this shogunate saw Japan emerge to be one of the strongest and richest nations in the world. There are many attributes to the eventual downfall of the Tokugawa Shogunate. While the entrance of the West is mentioned in many accounts of this historic occurrence, it is not the main reason for the fall of the shogunate. As a matter of fact, it was only one of the many factors that led to the ultimate fall of the shogunate.
The entrance of the West into Japan may not have been a strong reason for the downfall of the Tokugawa Shogunate, but this incident played a great role in hastening the revolution that came to be known as the Meiji restoration. During this period, the emperor was reinstated on the throne and the shogunate was done away with forever.
Japan opening up to the western and the rest of the world could not by itself be held responsible for the developments that happened in Japan a short while after. For one, the people of Japan were growing restless with the ruling and elite class. Most of the Japanese were in the lower class, and since the leaders used a feudal system, their lives were almost unbearable. They were disgruntled with the manner in which they were treated and yet it was their labor that funded the nation and made their Samurai lords’ wealthy.
There was also a lot of internal disorder on the Shogunate government system. Japan would not have survived for a long time on the hands of a weak government. It was bound to change its leadership whether the Whites showed up or not. But they did show up, and this served as a catalyst for the downfall of the ailing Tokugawa Shogunate. As history shows, it only took 15 years for the reigning Tokugawa to resign after the entrance of the west. There was also the threat of an imperial take over by the traditional emperors and dissatisfaction among the elite daimyo.
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