What Initial Demand Was Not Met By The Kanagawa Agreement

In the short term, the U.S. was pleased with the deal, as Perry had achieved his main goal of breaking Japan`s Sakoku policy and laying the groundwork for protecting U.S. citizens and a possible trade deal. On the other hand, the Japanese were forced to make this trade, and many saw it as a sign of weakness. The Tokugawa shogunate could point out that the treaty had not really been signed by the shogun or any of his rōjū, and that it had at least temporarily avoided the possibility of an immediate military confrontation. [21] Despite years of debate over isolationist policies, Perry`s letter sparked great controversy within the highest levels of the Tokugawa shogunate. The shogun himself, Tokugawa Ieyoshi, died a few days after Perry`s departure and was replaced by his young son Tokugawa Iesada, who left the effective administration in the hands of the Council of Elders (rōjū) under the leadership of Abe Masahiro. Abe believed that it was currently impossible for Japan to resist US demands through military force, but was reluctant to act alone in an unprecedented situation. In an attempt to legitimize every decision made, Abe asked all the daimyos for their opinions. It was the first time that the Tokugawa shogunate turned its decision-making into a public debate and had the unintended consequence of portraying the shogunate as weak and indecisive. [14] The results of the investigation also did not provide a response to Abe, as of the 61 known responses, 19 were in favor of accepting the U.S. requests and 19 were also opposed. Of the others, 14 gave vague responses expressing concern about a possible war, 7 suggested making temporary concessions, and two advised that they would simply agree with whatever was decided.

[15] “The Americans came to Japan and sought access to ports and friendship. They got what they wanted through the Treaty of Kanagawa. The Japanese hesitated and were dragged to the treaty table in a way. However, the treaty later proved to be very profitable for Japan. The Treaty of Kanagawa was primarily responsible for Japan`s rapid transformation from an isolated and feudal empire to one of the most powerful and prosperous nations in the world. Kathleen Ran`s Texas History Day, “The `Knock Knock Who is There` Moment for Japan: The Signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854,” examines the historical impact of this landmark agreement on Japanese society. It argues that important political, economic and cultural changes took place as a result: externally, the treaty led to the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Japan, the “Harris Treaty” of 1858, which allowed the establishment of foreign concessions, extraterritoriality for foreigners and minimum import taxes on foreign goods. The Japanese struggled under the “unequal treaty system” that characterized Asian and Western relations at the time. [22] The Treaty of Kanagawa was also followed by similar agreements with the United Kingdom (Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty, October 1854), the Russians (Treaty of Shimoda, February 7, 1855) and the French (Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between France and Japan, October 9, 1858). .