Edo Period

1 January 2018

There are many internal factors that helped bring about the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate.The collapse of the Edo period started to become obvious in the early 1800s.

Failure of many crops and unreasonably high taxation caused hardship for many people living in shogunate Japan. As a result of this, many people went extremely hungry. Lots of farmers were forced to sell their land so that they could make some money, but because of this, they had to become tenant farmers. The taxes for the poorer people started to increase rapidly and this was the cause of many riots/uprisings. The Shimabara Rebellion was one of the uprisings. Peasants were largely involved in this uprising, most of them being Christians. The uprising got so bad that an army of 100,000 troops was unable to stop them.

An estimate 37,000 rebels were beheaded by shogunate forces. This marked the end of the rebellion.

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This rebellion lasted from December 17th, 1838 – April 15th, 1638.The price of rice became so high because of crop failure that so many people had extremely little to eat as they could not afford enough food. The samurai and daimyo classes also suffered as they fell into debts that they were unable to repay. The Bakufu did not help the situation for the poorer people but instead cancelled the debts owed by the samurai and daimyos. The Bakufu also abolished most of the merchants and craftspeople and forced all peasants from the cities back to the countryside to become farmers.

The shoguns also decided that they wanted to isolate Japan from the rest of the world, only allowing few Dutch ships to trade there.The high taxes, crop failure and attempt to isolate to Japan from the rest of the world all hugely impacted the collapse of shogunate Japan.

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