Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders"; as of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to 65% of the state's population. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years, thousands of engravings remain throughout the region, making it one of the richest in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites. During his first Pacific voyage in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to chart the eastern coast of Australia, making landfall at Botany Bay and inspiring British interest in the area.
In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, led by Arthur Phillip, founded Sydney as a British penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Phillip named the city Sydney in recognition of 1st Viscount Sydney. Penal transportation to New South Wales ended soon after Sydney was incorporated as a city in 1842. A gold rush occurred in the colony in 1851, over the next century, Sydney transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. After World War II, it experienced mass migration and became one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney. In the 2016 Census, about 35.8% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 45.4% of the population reported having been born overseas, making Sydney the 3rd largest foreign born population of any city in the world after London and New York City, respectively. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the 2018 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities.
It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance and tourism. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Australia's financial capital and one of Asia Pacific's leading financial hubs. Established in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia's first university and is regarded as one of the world's leading universities. Sydney is home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826. Sydney has hosted major international sporting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics; the city is among the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city's landmarks. Boasting over 1,000,000 ha of nature reserves and parks, its notable natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in the country.
Built attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House are well known to international visitors. The main passenger airport serving the metropolitan area is Kingsford-Smith Airport, one of the world's oldest continually operating airports. Established in 1906, Central station, the largest and busiest railway station in the state, is the main hub of the city's rail network; the first people to inhabit the area now known as Sydney were indigenous Australians having migrated from northern Australia and before that from southeast Asia. Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity first started to occur in the Sydney area from around 30,735 years ago. However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Western Sydney's gravel sediments that were dated from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would indicate that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought; the first meeting between the native people and the British occurred on 29 April 1770 when Lieutenant James Cook landed at Botany Bay on the Kurnell Peninsula and encountered the Gweagal clan.
He noted in his journal that they were somewhat hostile towards the foreign visitors. Cook was not commissioned to start a settlement, he spent a short time collecting food and conducting scientific observations before continuing further north along the east coast of Australia and claiming the new land he had discovered for Britain. Prior to the arrival of the British there were 4,000 to 8,000 native people in Sydney from as many as 29 different clans; the earliest British settlers called the natives Eora people. "Eora" is the term the indigenous population used to explain their origins upon first contact with the British. Its literal meaning is "from this place". Sydney Cove from Port Jackson to Petersham was inhabited by the Cadigal clan; the principal language groups were Darug and Dharawal. The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, cooking fish. Britain—before that, England—and Ireland had for a long time been sending their convicts across the Atlantic to the American colonies.
That trade was ended with the Declaration of Independence by the United States in 1776. Britain decided in 1786 to found a new penal outpost in the territory discovered by Cook some 16 years ear
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
General Electric Company is an American multinational conglomerate incorporated in New York and headquartered in Boston. As of 2018, the company operates through the following segments: aviation, power, renewable energy, digital industry, additive manufacturing, venture capital and finance and oil and gas. In 2018, GE ranked among the Fortune 500 as the 18th-largest firm in the U. S. by gross revenue. In 2011, GE ranked among the Fortune 20 as the 14th-most profitable company but has since severely underperformed the market as its profitability collapsed. Two employees of GE—Irving Langmuir and Ivar Giaever —have been awarded the Nobel Prize. During 1889, Thomas Edison had business interests in many electricity-related companies including Edison Lamp Company, a lamp manufacturer in East Newark, New Jersey. P. Morgan and the Vanderbilt family for Edison's lighting experiments. In 1889, Morgan & Co. a company founded by J. P. Morgan and Anthony J. Drexel, financed Edison's research and helped merge those companies under one corporation to form Edison General Electric Company, incorporated in New York on April 24, 1889.
The new company acquired Sprague Electric Railway & Motor Company in the same year. In 1880, Gerald Waldo Hart formed the American Electric Company of New Britain, which merged a few years with Thomson-Houston Electric Company, led by Charles Coffin. In 1887, Hart left to become superintendent of the Edison Electric Company of Missouri. General Electric was formed through the 1892 merger of Edison General Electric Company of Schenectady, New York, Thomson-Houston Electric Company of Lynn, with the support of Drexel, Morgan & Co. Both plants continue to operate under the GE banner to this day; the company was incorporated in New York, with the Schenectady plant used as headquarters for many years thereafter. Around the same time, General Electric's Canadian counterpart, Canadian General Electric, was formed. In 1896, General Electric was one of the original 12 companies listed on the newly formed Dow Jones Industrial Average, where it remained a part of the index for 122 years, though not continuously.
In 1911, General Electric absorbed the National Electric Lamp Association into its lighting business. GE established its lighting division headquarters at Nela Park in Ohio; the lighting division has since remained in the same location. Owen D. Young, through GE, founded the Radio Corporation of America in 1919, after purchasing the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, he aimed to expand international radio communications. GE used RCA as its retail arm for radio sales. In 1926, RCA co-founded the National Broadcasting Company, which built two radio broadcasting networks. In 1930, General Electric was charged with antitrust violations and decided to divest itself of RCA. In 1927, Ernst Alexanderson of GE made the first demonstration of his television broadcasts at his General Electric Realty Plot home at 1132 Adams Rd, New York. On January 13, 1928, he made what was said to be the first broadcast to the public in the United States on GE's W2XAD: the pictures were picked up on 1.5 square inch screens in the homes of four GE executives.
The sound was broadcast on GE's WGY. Experimental television station W2XAD evolved into station WRGB which, along with WGY and WGFM, was owned and operated by General Electric until 1983. Led by Sanford Alexander Moss, GE moved into the new field of aircraft turbo superchargers. GE introduced the first set of superchargers during World War I, continued to develop them during the interwar period. Superchargers became indispensable in the years prior to World War II. GE supplied 300,000 turbo superchargers for use in bomber engines; this work led the U. S. Army Air Corps to select GE to develop the nation's first jet engine during the war; this experience, in turn, made GE a natural selection to develop the Whittle W.1 jet engine, demonstrated in the United States in 1941. GE was ranked ninth among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts. Although, their early work with Whittle's designs was handed to Allison Engine Company. GE Aviation emerged as one of the world's largest engine manufacturers, bypassing the British company, Rolls-Royce plc.
Some consumers boycotted GE light bulbs and other products during the 1980s and 1990s. The purpose of the boycott was to protest against GE's role in nuclear weapons production. In 2002, GE acquired the wind power assets of Enron during its bankruptcy proceedings. Enron Wind was the only surviving U. S. manufacturer of large wind turbines at the time, GE increased engineering and supplies for the Wind Division and doubled the annual sales to $1.2 billion in 2003. It acquired ScanWind in 2009. In 2015, GE Power garnered press attention when a model 9FB gas turbine in Texas was shut down for two months due to the break of a turbine blade; this model uses similar blade technology to GE's newest and most efficient model, the 9HA. After the break, GE developed heat treatment methods. Gas turbines represent a significant portion of GE Power's revenue, represent a significant portion of the power generation fleet of several utility companies in the United States. Chubu Electric of Japan and Électricité de France had units that were impacted.
Royal-class cruise ship
The Royal-class cruise ships is a class of cruise ships operated by Princess Cruises. The lead vessel of the class, Royal Princess, was delivered in June 2013 for Princess Cruises; the 2015 MV Britannia is operated by P&O Cruises. In early 2010, Fincantieri and Carnival Corporation & plc reached an agreement to build two cruise ships for Princess Cruises; the agreement is subject to the execution of a definitive contract and other customary conditions. The contract was finalised on 4 May 2010. While in the midst of economic downturn, Princess managed to continue the contract with the help of Italian Export Credit Companies SACE S.p. A; the two ships are designed to have a tonnage of 141,000 GT, with a passenger capacity of 3,600. The new ships are predicted to enter service in mid-2013 and 2014 and will be the largest newbuilds to date for Princess Cruises; the ship's design will be evolutionary, from the current Princess fleet and will offer new innovations in the fleet. 100 % of its outside staterooms will have balconies.
The signature Piazza atrium will have an expansion. Other innovations is yet to be unveiled in the upcoming months; the first of the two ships will become the new Royal Princess. In mid-March 2011, Princess released a video of their new Royal Princess, planned to debut in spring 2013. New features include a cantilevered walkway and bar on the top deck, an enlarged Sanctuary bar, an adult-only pool and the largest Movies Under The Stars screen Princess has built so far, it was announced on 29 August 2012, that the sister ship to the new Royal Princess would be named Regal Princess. On 9 April 2013, Princess announced that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, would be godmother to Royal Princess and would attend its naming ceremony in Southampton, UK, on 13 June 2013. On 22 September 2013, Royal Princess suffered a power outage while sailing between Mykonos and Naples in the Mediterranean; the power failure occurred at 1:30 pm local time and emergency generators kicked in to provide hotel services to the passengers.
Prior to the power loss, the anchor motor failed and left 90 feet of anchor hanging for over four hours until a new motor could be installed. It delayed the ship on its trip from Mykonos to Naples; the second half of the cruise was cancelled and all of the passengers were flown home early with flights out of Rome and Naples. The Royal Princess cancelled her visits to Rome, Livorno and sailed directly to Barcelona effecting repairs on the way and embarked her next cruise in Barcelona as planned. On 30 July 2014, Princess announced a third sister to Royal Princess and Regal Princess planned for delivery in 2017, the new vessel will have a increased tonnage at 143,000 GT. More details would be released into the coming months, it what is announced that she will be named Majestic Princess and she will be based in China. Two more ships are planned for delivery in 2019 and 2020. On 1 June 2011, Carnival Corporation & plc announced an order from Fincantieri for a new 145,000 ton cruise ship for P&O Cruises.
The ship, unnamed at the time of the announcement, is to have a capacity of 3,611 people, will enter service in 2015. According to the P&O Peninsular club magazine, the new ship will have 14 passenger decks and 1,819 cabins. P&O Cruises have teamed up with British Hotel designers, Richmond International to design the interior of the new ship. On 15 May 2013, the keel of the new ship was laid at the Monfalcone shipyard of Fincantieri near Trieste, in Italy; the keel laying involved the placement in the dry dock of the first section of the ship’s hull. The ceremonial float out took place on the afternoon of the 14 February 2014, with the traditional champagne bottle smashed against the vessels hull. On 24 September 2013 it was reported. Britannia arrived in Southampton on 6 March 2015, was named by HM Queen Elizabeth II on 10 March and entered served on 14 March 2015
Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan by population, the most populous municipality of Japan. It is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture, it lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area. Yokohama's population of 3.7 million makes it Japan's largest city. Yokohama developed as Japan's prominent port city following the end of Japan's relative isolation in the mid-19th century, is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Nagoya, Hakata and Chiba. Yokohama means "horizontal beach"; the current area surrounded by Maita Park, the Ōoka River and the Nakamura River had been a gulf divided by a sandbar from the open sea. This sandbar was the original Yokohama fishing village. Since the sandbar protruded perpendicularly from the land, or horizontally when viewed from the sea, it was called a "horizontal beach". Yokohama was a small fishing village up to the end of the feudal Edo period, when Japan held a policy of national seclusion, having little contact with foreigners.
A major turning point in Japanese history happened in 1853–54, when Commodore Matthew Perry arrived just south of Yokohama with a fleet of American warships, demanding that Japan open several ports for commerce, the Tokugawa shogunate agreed by signing the Treaty of Peace and Amity. It was agreed that one of the ports to be opened to foreign ships would be the bustling town of Kanagawa-juku on the Tōkaidō, a strategic highway that linked Edo to Kyoto and Osaka. However, the Tokugawa shogunate decided that Kanagawa-juku was too close to the Tōkaidō for comfort, port facilities were instead built across the inlet in the sleepy fishing village of Yokohama; the Port of Yokohama was opened on June 2, 1859. Yokohama became the base of foreign trade in Japan. Foreigners occupied the low-lying district of the city called Kannai, residential districts expanding as the settlement grew to incorporate much of the elevated Yamate district overlooking the city referred to by English speaking residents as The Bluff.
Kannai, the foreign trade and commercial district, was surrounded by a moat, foreign residents enjoying extraterritorial status both within and outside the compound. Interactions with the local population young samurai, outside the settlement caused problems. To protect British commercial and diplomatic interests in Yokohama a military garrison was established in 1862. With the growth in trade increasing numbers of Chinese came to settle in the city. Yokohama was the scene of many notable firsts for Japan including the growing acceptance of western fashion, photography by pioneers such as Felice Beato, Japan's first English language newspaper, the Japan Herald published in 1861 and in 1865 the first ice cream and beer to be produced in Japan. Recreational sports introduced to Japan by foreign residents in Yokohama included European style horse racing in 1862, cricket in 1863 and rugby union in 1866. A great fire destroyed much of the foreign settlement on November 26, 1866 and smallpox was a recurrent public health hazard, but the city continued to grow – attracting foreigners and Japanese alike.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the port was developed for trading silk, the main trading partner being Great Britain. Western influence and technological transfer contributed to the establishment of Japan's first daily newspaper, first gas-powered street lamps and Japan's first railway constructed in the same year to connect Yokohama to Shinagawa and Shinbashi in Tokyo. In 1872 Jules Verne portrayed Yokohama, which he had never visited, in an episode of his read novel Around the World in Eighty Days, capturing the atmosphere of the fast-developing, internationally oriented Japanese city. In 1887, a British merchant, Samuel Cocking, built the city's first power plant. At first for his own use, this coal-burning plant became the basis for the Yokohama Cooperative Electric Light Company; the city was incorporated on April 1, 1889. By the time the extraterritoriality of foreigner areas was abolished in 1899, Yokohama was the most international city in Japan, with foreigner areas stretching from Kannai to the Bluff area and the large Yokohama Chinatown.
The early 20th century was marked by rapid growth of industry. Entrepreneurs built factories along reclaimed land to the north of the city toward Kawasaki, which grew to be the Keihin Industrial Area; the growth of Japanese industry brought affluence, many wealthy trading families constructed sprawling residences there, while the rapid influx of population from Japan and Korea led to the formation of Kojiki-Yato the largest slum in Japan. Much of Yokohama was destroyed on September 1923 by the Great Kantō earthquake; the Yokohama police reported casualties at 30,771 dead and 47,908 injured, out of a pre-earthquake population of 434,170. Fuelled by rumours of rebellion and sabotage, vigilante mobs thereupon murdered many Koreans in the Kojiki-yato slum. Many people believed. Martial law was in place until November 19. Rubble from the quake was used to reclaim land for parks, the most famous being the Yamashita Park on the waterfront which opened in 1930. Yokohama was rebuilt, only to be destroyed again by U.
S. air raids during World War II. An estimated seven or eight thousand people were killed in a single morning on
Tokyo Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world; the urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603, it became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is referred to as a city but is known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo; the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo were Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, it merged with Tokyo Prefecture and became Tokyo Metropolis with an additional 26 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture, the Izu islands and Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo.
The population of the special wards is over 9 million people, with the total population of Tokyo Metropolis exceeding 13.8 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area called the Greater Tokyo Area with over 38 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy; as of 2011, Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time. Tokyo ranked third in the International Financial Centres Development Index; the city is home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. Tokyo third in the Global Cities Index; the GaWC's 2018 inventory classified Tokyo as an alpha+ world city – and as of 2014 TripAdvisor's World City Survey ranked Tokyo first in its "Best overall experience" category. As of 2018 Tokyo ranked as the 2nd-most expensive city for expatriates, according to the Mercer consulting firm, and the world's 11th-most expensive city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's cost-of-living survey.
In 2015, Tokyo was named the Most Liveable City in the world by the magazine Monocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo was ranked first out of all sixty cities in the 2017 Safe Cities Index; the QS Best Student Cities ranked Tokyo as the 3rd-best city in the world to be a university student in 2016 and 2nd in 2018. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the 1979 G-7 summit, the 1986 G-7 summit, the 1993 G-7 summit, will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Tokyo was known as Edo, which means "estuary", its name was changed to Tokyo when it became the imperial capital with the arrival of Emperor Meiji in 1868, in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word capital in the name of the capital city. During the early Meiji period, the city was called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tokyo", making it a kanji homograph; some surviving official English documents use the spelling "Tokei".
The name Tokyo was first suggested in 1813 in the book Kondō Hisaku, written by Satō Nobuhiro. When Ōkubo Toshimichi proposed the renaming to the government during the Meiji Restoration, according to Oda Kanshi, he got the idea from that book. Tokyo was a small fishing village named Edo, in what was part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred from Mikawa Province to Kantō region; when he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century, but Edo was Tokugawa's home and was not capital of Japan. The Emperor himself lived in Kyoto from 794 to 1868 as capital of Japan. During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city.
The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. However, this prolonged period of seclusion came to an end with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Commodore Perry forced the opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, leading to an increase in the demand for new foreign goods and subsequently a severe rise in inflation. Social unrest mounted in the wake of these higher prices and culminated in widespread rebellions and demonstrations in the form of the "smashing" of rice establishments. Meanwhile, supporters of the Meiji Emperor leveraged the disruption that t