Boshin War

Partitioning the North Pacific

the Arctic 1869.0127

Boshin War

Alaska Purchase, Rupert's Land Act, Amur, Opening of Japan (27 January 1869)

Historical Map of the Arctic & the Far North

In Japan, the instability which had followed the arrival of Perry's ships had ultimately led to the termination of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the concentration of power in the hands of Emperor Meiji and his supporters. A final attempt to reassert Tokugawa power in the Boshin War was defeated in 1868-9, as imperial forces chased the rebels north into Ezo. Following this victory, Japan formally annexed the Ainu lands of Ezochi, embarking on a policy of rapid consolidation and modernization.

Main Events

Canadian Confederation

Under the terms of the British North America Act of 1867, the Dominion of Canada was formed by the unification of the United Province of Canada with the colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The act reestablished Ontario and Quebec as separate provinces, this time as part of the new dominion.

Transfer of Alaska

In a formal ceremony in Sitka, capital of Alaska, Russian and US soldiers paraded in front of the governor's house. To the sound of artillery, the Russian flag was lowered and the American flag raised, marking the formal transfer of Alaska from the Russian Empire to the United States of America.

Meiji Restoration

After being petitioned to step down by Japanese lords seeking the restoration of the Emperor, Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu declared himself at Emperor Meiji's disposal and resigned, bringing an official end to the Tokugawa Shogunate. In January 1868, the Emperor formally announced the end of Shogunate and the restoration of Imperial rule.

Boshin War

Following the Meiji Restoration, the Tokugawa Shogunate, led by Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, attempted to reassert power over the Japanese Imperial Court, under Emperor Meiji. The Tokugawa attempt to seize Kyoto was defeated by the smaller but more modern imperial troops, leading to Yoshinobu's surrender. Remnant Tokugawa loyalists retreated to northern Honshū and later to Hokkaidō, where they were ultimately defeated.

Republic of Ezo

Tokugawa loyalists under Enomoto Takeaki established the independent Republic of Ezo in Hakodate, in what is now Hokkaido, Japan. In April 1869 the Imperial Japanese dispatched a small modern fleet and a 7,000-strong infantry force to the island, defeating the republic's forces at the Battle of Hakodate.

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