Essay about The Life of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry

Essay about The Life of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry

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Before Commodore Matthew Perry’s expedition, Japan was mostly isolated from outside influences with the exception of China and some minimal Dutch interaction. Due to this extreme isolation, Japan as a nation was weak and primitive comparatively. However, once Japan was forced to open up to the West, they recognized the urgency for their nation’s military and technological advancement. From abolishing the Samurai class, opening opportunities for former peasants to advance and grow, to building modern industries, the Japanese made necessary changes in pursuit of becoming a world power. The Japanese also sent their people to America and Europe to study the different nations’ military organizations and strategies observe how they spread colonies around the world, and they especially learned from China’s fate and made sure to avoid becoming just another colony beneath one of the European powers or America. With the motivation in place, Japan had their Meji Restoration, which was implemented in order for Japan to modernize socially as well as economically. Japan strengthened itself enough to remain a sovereign nation in the face of Western colonizing powers, experienced extraordinarily rapid industrialization and military power, and soon after created a Constitution that set up a representative democracy with liberal individual rights. Japan quickly went from being an antiquated country with little to no merit to a nation with one of the top ranked economies in the entire world. Simply, Commodore Matthew Perry’s visits in opening up Japan acted as the well needed catalyst to the Japanese transformation from 1854 to current day.
Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry was from an illustrious family of Naval Officers. His father was Captain Ch...


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...n possible if it was not for the efforts of Commodore Matthew Perry. He was the first to break down the barriers that separated Japan from the West. Perry set off on his expedition to Japan with one goal, “with God’s Providence, I may still hope with [the Mississippi] and other vessels of my squadron to accomplish something that may redound to the honor and credit of the country.” While his accomplishment of getting Japan to sign the Treaty of Kanagawa resulted in immediate recognition, little did he know what the future had in store for Japan. Once the Japanese signed the treaty, more and more demands flowed in. With these demands came acceptance, and as a result modernization. Japan became more Westernized, and with that more driven, curious, and hungry to be acknowledged as a world power. Ultimately, Commodore Matthew Perry was the catalyst that started it all.

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