||The British Policy of Free Trade with Japan at the end of the Edo Period; Focusing on the Shimonoseki war in 1864
52 , 2016-12 , 大島商船高等専門学校
This paper aims to clarify the British policy of free trade with Japan at the end of the Edo Period, especially focusing on the Shimonoseki war in 1864. The British diplomatic policy at the time was the Imperialism of Free Trade. In 1858, the Tokugawa government, which had a policy of national isolation, finally acceded to the demands of Western countries and made a commercial treaty with them. The Choshu Clan, one of the feudal lords, attacked foreign ships in the Strait of Shimonoseki in 1863 to exclude foreign countries from Japan. A year later, the combined squadrons of Britain, France, the Netherlands and America attacked the Choshu Clan in retaliation, which is called the Shimonoseki war. According to one of the British documents at the time, British Prime Minister Palmerston said about the war, “I am inclined to think that our relations with Japan are going through the usual and unavoidable stages of the intercourse of strong and civilized nations with weaker and less civilized ones.” Therefore, it can be said that the British government described Japan as a weaker and less civilized nation and needed the Shimonoseki war, in order to progress with free trade with Japan.