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The Meiji Restorations Affect on the Peasant and Working ClassThe Meiji Restoration despite all the good it created negatively affected the lives of peasants and laborers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries The restoration is characterized by modernization a term that symbolizes the use of present day ideals over ancient times and holding progressive opinions over earlier ones In Japan modernization was defined as an increase in industry to meet the demanding needs of the nation and foreigners In addition modernization also included Japans desire to build a stronger centralized unit through government and military that could be attained through the restoration In order to achieve this Japan needed to build an immense working class to supply all the goods demanded The Japanese went after those with the least amount of power the lower class and peasants In order for Japan to become modernized the laborers and lower class would have to suffer and endure hard times for the good of the country To ensure that they did not resist or rebel a strong sense of nationalism needed to be built up fortunately for Japan it was already an extremely nationalistic country based on the ideals of Confucianism The work and cooperation of the peasants and laborers were vital elements in Japans reformation processThere is little doubt of the lowered standard of living for the peasant and working class as a result of the Meiji Restoration Business owners and elites with pressures from the government sought out cheap labor in small communities and villages largely composed of peasant families The living conditions and quality of life of these village families deteriorated as the need for mass production of goods increased Workers in labor intensive fields such as agriculture silk production and mining all suffered areas of life that were affected included diet clothing health housing and general living conditionsThe diet of the average peasant lacked nutrition and usually consisted of rice with millet
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