Which social class suffered most during the early Tokugawa period? A. Daimyo B. Samurai C. Peasants D. Merchants


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The social class which suffered most during the early Tokugawa period was the Daimyo class.

  • What does Daimyo mean?

"Daimyo" was the word used to describe some of the most powerful landowners in Japan. These landowners were usually from a high ranking in the Japanese military, and the Daimyo were those who exercised territorial ownership of a certain piece of land.

  • What was Tokugawa?

The Tokugawa period, sometimes known as the Edo period, was the era in Japan in which a feudal system was introduced to the country by the Tokugawa family. The Tokugawa feudal system was first established in 1603, and was maintained until the latter half of the 19th century, when it was overthrown by a group of Daimyo.

Although the Daimyo were at the top of this feudal system, second to only the emperor, they suffered under the Tokugawa regime. This was because the Tokugawa family and feudal system slowly but surely took power away from the Daimyo until they had no legitimate power whatsoever - they could not enforce rules in the land they owned, for example. As a result, many Daimyo were taken hostage and overthrown, and the process of being overthrown was often bloodthirsty and dangerous.

In addition, the Daimyo were ranked according to how much rice they produced on their land. Many Daimyo felt this was unfair - a Daimyo could have a lot of land and money, but if his land did not produce a lot of rice, he could lose his power.

This loss of power to the Tokugawa regime was the reason why a group of Daimyo collaborated in order to overthrow the regime in the 19th century. Power was then handed back to the emperor of Japan, because although the emperor never officially lost his power, he was rendered powerless by the force of the Tokugawa regime.

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