Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Meji Restoration of Japan

In 1853 four American warships under the command of Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Tokyo to request that Japan open up their ports for trade with the U.S. The Japanese leaders saw these large, sail less ships and were intimidated by them because they felt that if they didn't agree forceful actions would occur. So on March 31,1854 a treaty was signed between the United States and Japan that effectively opened two ports to the United States. Along with the warships, Perry brought a toy train. This really fascinated the Japanese because they never have seen technology like that before. Not everyone in Japan agreed with the treaty and it ultimately led to the downfall of the Tokugawa shogunate and the Meiji Restoration. However Emperor Meiji was restored to power and later set Japan on a path of modernization.
The Meiji Era
The Japanese experienced a lot of economic change during the Meiji era. Emperor Meji sent people to different countries to get ideas for their new government. Millions of people were free to choose their occupation without restrictions. The new government had more advances in technology and industrial work. Because of this, railways, shipping lines, and the telephone system were created. The government also introduced an education system that allowed everyone to attend public school.

Japan is an archipelago. An archipelago is a chain or group of islands surrounded by water. The Archipelago extends from north to south along the eastern coast of the Eurasian Continent. The archipelago consists of more than 3,000 islands, including the four Main Islands (Hokkaidō, Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Karl Marx and Communism

The idea of Communism is that everything is owned by the government so that there would be no arguing and fighting among the people. In communist governments people get paid the same amount of money. Karl Marxs' idea of communism is when everybody is treated equally, social classes don't exist, and everything is owned by the people. Marx felt that communism was the best type of government because all things would be shared and that would bring peace to everyone. Karl Marx felt that the bad guys were the bourgeoisie. They were the business owners that bossed everyone around. They were always looking for ways to earn more money and trying to get ahead. Marx saw the proletariat as the good guys. They were the working class. It seemed like they would never get ahead in the world because the bad guys wouldn't let them. The proletariat were getting taken advantage of.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Karl Marx and the Industrial Revolution

Karl Marx was best known as a 19th century revolutionary. His ideas were very influential and other countries through the years praticed them, however not in the same pure form Marx invented. Karl Marx felt that the Industrial Revolution allowed the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. The industrial revolution inspired Marx to invent communism because he thought the working class was doomed to forever work for low wages. He believed that since there were more workers than owners, the workers would eventually get fed up, start a revolution and take over. Marx did encourage the workers to start a revolution. Communism to Marx meant that everyone would make the same amount of money. Society would produce only what it needed. Everyone would be treated the same and there would be no social classes. Also there would be no private ownership, everything would be owned by the state or the government. This was known as the pure form of communism.