Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Arts

Primary Major


Second Major

Political Science

Primary Minor

International Studies

Thesis Advisor

Jordan Lieser, PhD


The Tokugawa Shogunate of the Edō Period in Japan was one that ruled for over 250 years, but dissolved rather quickly. There has been a significant research about this topic that explains why the Tokugawa Shogunate collapsed. However, after compiling several sources that examine the most instrumental cause of the dissolution of the Shogunate, this thesis finds that the Tempo Crises were a significant factor in the dissolution of the Tokugawa Shogunate. So why were the Tempō Crises the most instrumental factors to the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate? When trying to understand the failing of the Tokugawa government system, there are several factors that contribute weight in the dissolution. Important causes include: hierarchical shifts within the class system, the failure of isolationism and influence from outside nations, including the Dutch and Americans, and unrest within different feudal domains. These causes are the true collapse of the Shogunate, but a starting point at the Tempō Crises is what lit the fire underneath a need for change, and emphasized the characteristics of the Shogunate that were bound to fail.