AdvisorBernstein, Gail Lee
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis examines the significance of gold and silver in the process of political consolidation and socioeconomic change in Japan from 1550 to 1737. I argue that the role of precious metals in the transformation of early modern Japan demands reassessment for several reasons: (1) control of the gold and silver mines had a significant impact on the ability of the warring overlords to consolidate their rule; (2) possession of gold and silver was indispensable to the establishment of the Tokugawa hegemony, a stable polity that lasted for 260 years; (3) gold and silver facilitated Japan's rapid commercialization; (4) gold and especially silver drew Japan into the dynamic system of international trade, which constituted the newly emerging world system of economic interdependence; and, (5) Japan's withdrawal from the world market system in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was related to the large losses of silver due to exports and the decline in mining production.
Degree ProgramGraduate College