The “Motivation Hierarchy:” Japan’s Motivations for Imperialism in Late Meiji

Tyler Ian McGinnis

Abstract


Through the construction of a "motivation hierarchy" this work illustrates the relations between the motives that shaped Japan’s imperialism in the late 1800s. Despite a large number of differing scholarly works asserting a singular overarching theme for Japan’s imperialism, it is my assertion that Japan’s imperialism was poly-causal, with motives building on and strengthening each other. This momentum would result in Japan’s acquisition of the Korean peninsula by the early 1900s. By examining the relations among Japan’s imperialistic motives, we may reach a more thorough understanding of Japan’s imperialism past to present.

Keywords


Japan; Imperialism; Motivation; Korea; Meiji

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