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Economy and Slavery

The economic realities of slavery influenced lived experiences of enslaved persons’ throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth century by creating harsher conditions to stabilize and maintain the institution. One reason that slavery and the economy were so closely linked was the south’s reliance on the institution to drive its economy. As the southern economy was predominantly based on agriculture, the south was almost entirely dependent on the use and exploitation of enslaved labor. As time progressed, enslaved persons began to seek freedom. Worsening conditions and harsher regulations were initiated due to enslaved persons seeking freedom and the rise of abolitionism. Slave masters feared a

"Evil Customs of the Past Shall be Broken off": The Meiji Restoration as Revolution

On 3 January 1868, following an edict from the young Emperor Meiji, imperial rule was reasserted in Japan, marking the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate’s nearly three centuries in power. The edict was, in fact, the culmination of fifteen years of reformist agitation led primarily by a clique of lower ranking samurai who believed their education and ability were being wasted by the Tokugawa Shogunate as it attempted to deal with Western encroachment following the arrival of Commodore Mathew Perry in 1853. This small group of men, which included some who would later prove to be influential in modern Japan’s early government such as Saigō Takamori and Kido Takayoshi, essentially led a coup that to

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