History Podcasts

Shogun Timeline

Shogun Timeline

  • 1147 - 1199

    Life of Minamoto no Yoritomo, clan leader of the Minamoto and first shogun of Japan.

  • 1192 - 1333

    The Kamakura Shogunate rules Japan.

  • 1192 - 1199

    Minamoto no Yoritomo is shogun in Japan.

  • 1202 - 1203

    Minamoto no Yorie is shogun of Japan.

  • 1203 - 1219

    Minamoto no Sanetomo is shogun of Japan.

  • 1203 - 1205

    Hojo Tokimasa acts as regent to Japan's shogun, the first of 16 such regents

  • 1221

    The Jokyu Disturbance - Japan's emperor Go-Toba launches a failed coup against the Kamakura Shogunate.

  • 1225

    The position of vice-regent to the shogun (rensho) is created in Japan.

  • 1327 - 1333

    Hojo Moritoki reigns as shogun in Japan, the last of the Kamakura Shogunate.

  • c. 1333

    Nitta Yoshisada attacks and destroys Kamakura, capital of Japan's Kamakura Shogunate.

  • 1333 - 1336

    The Kemmu Restoration when the Japanese emperor Go-Daigo uses rebel warlords to oust the Kamakura Shogunate.

  • 1333

    The position of deputy shogun (kanrei) is created in Japan.

  • 1338

    Ashikaga Takauji becomes the new shogun in Japan, it is the beginning of the Ashikaga (Muromachi) Shogunate.

  • 1338 - 1573

    The Ashikaga (Muromachi) Shogunate rules Japan.

  • 1338 - 1358

    Ashikaga Takauji rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1350 - 1352

    Japan's shogun Ashikaga Takauji battles his brother Tadayoshi.

  • 1359 - 1368

    Ashikaga Yoshiakira rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1368 - c. 1394

    Ashikaga Yoshimitsu rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1395 - 1423

    Ashikaga Yoshimochi rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1397

    The Kinkakuji or 'Golden Pavilion' is built in Heiankyo (Kyoto) by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.

  • 1423 - 1425

    Ashikaga Yoshikazu rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1429 - 1441

    Ashikaga Yoshinori rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1442 - 1443

    Ashikaga Yoshikatsu rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1449 - 1474

    Ashikaga Yoshimasa rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1460 - 1483

    Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) is built in Heiankyo (Kytoto) Japan by Ashikaga Yoshimasa.

  • 1467 - 1477

    The Onin War between rival warlords rages in Japan.

  • 1467 - 1568

  • 1474 - 1489

    Ashikaga Yoshihisa rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1490 - 1493

    Ashikaga Yoshitane rules in his first spell as shogun of Japan.

  • 1494 - 1508

    Ashikaga Yoshizumi rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1508 - 1521

    Ashikaga Yoshitane rules in his second spell as shogun of Japan.

  • 1521 - 1546

    Ashikaga Yoshiharu rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1546 - 1565

    Ashikaga Yoshiteru rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1568

    Ashikaga Yoshihide rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1568 - 1588

    Ashikaga Yoshiaki rules as shogun in Japan (but is exiled by Oda Nobunaga from 1573 CE).

  • 1573

    Oda Nobunaga exiles the last Ashikaga shogun, Yoshiaki.

  • 1600

    Tokugawa Ieyasu wins the Battle of Skeigahara against those generals who supported Toyotomi Hideyoshi's son. End of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period.

  • 1603 - 1868

    The Tokugawa Shogunate rules Japan.

  • 1603 - 1605

    Tokugawa Ieyasu rules as shogun in Japan.

  • 1868

    The Meiji Restoration eliminates the position of shogun in Japan.


Tokugawa Tsunayoshi

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Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, (born Feb. 23, 1646, Edo, Japan—died Feb. 19, 1709, Edo), fifth Tokugawa shogun of Japan, known as the “Dog Shogun” because of his obsession with dogs.

Proclaimed shogun in 1680, Tsunayoshi presided over one of the most prosperous and peaceful periods in Japanese history. His major accomplishments were in cultural affairs, in which he worked to promote the Neo-Confucianism of the 12th-century Chinese scholar Chu Hsi, whose philosophy emphasized loyalty to the government as man’s first duty. Toward the end of his career, however, Tsunayoshi tended to ignore the duties of government for the pleasures of his palace, and the government became somewhat lax and at times eccentric, as evident in his notorious decrees relating to the welfare of dogs.

Born in the Year of the Dog, Tsunayoshi was influenced by a Buddhist monk who told him he had been a dog in his previous existence. As a result, Tsunayoshi decreed the death penalty for anyone who harmed a dog, insisted that dogs be addressed only in honorific terms, and kept an estimated 50,000 of them at government expense, feeding them on a choice diet of rice and dried fish.


Japan Under the Shoguns

In the year 710, the first permanent Japanese capital was established in Nara
Most of Japanese society during this period was agricultural in nature and centered on villages
Most of the villagers followed a religion based on the worship of natural and ancestral spirits called kami.

Heian Period

The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto
It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height

Kamakura Shogunate

Officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo
The heads of the government were the shoguns
Shogun was a military dictator in Japan
The Kamakura shogunate was a Japanese feudal military government

Japan drives back the Mongol invasion

Muromachi Shogunate

Muromachi bakufu was a dynasty originating from one of the plethora of Japanese daimyo
It was named for a district in Kyōto, where the first Ashikaga shogun, Takauji, established his administrative headquarters


Good Samaritan Catholic College La Salle Learning Centre: Year 8 History Japan and the Shoguns

Japan under the Shoguns For nearly 700 years, Japan was ruled by a series of military leaders known as shoguns. The first half of this clip provides a chronological timeline of key events from the imperial Nara and Heian periods through to the three shogunates: Kamakura, Muromachi and Tokugawa. The second half looks at s ocial class hierarchy and the way of life in shogunate Japan (social, cultural, political and economic).

The way of the Samurai In the early sixteenth century, Japan is a warlike society ruled by samurai and their daimyo warlords. When Portuguese merchants arrive in 1543, they are the first Europeans to set foot in Japan. Missionaries quickly set out to convert the nation to Christianity. A samurai boy named Tokugawa Ieyasu is born to a low-ranking daimyo family. Ieyasu reclaims his family's domain and allies himself with the most powerful rulers in Japan: Oda Nobunaga, and his successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.


The Tokugawa Era, the Meiji Restoration, and the Rise of Japanese Nationalism

Japan was engulfed in political conflicts and wars between the 12th and 16th centuries. This period of upheaval ended during the reign of the Three Unifiers (Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu). Wary of foreigners and their influence, the shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu issued the sakoku edicts in 1635 and started the self-imposed isolation of Japan in 1639. The country would remain isolated until Commodore Matthew Perry and his “Black Ships” arrived off the coast of Japan in 1853. Japan was forced to open itself to the West, but its people resented the concessions it was forced to give to America and other European nations. This resentment of Western Imperialism would evolve into excessive nationalism and motivate Japan to prosperity by the end of the 19th century. These events are recorded on the Bible Timeline with World History during that time period.

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The End of the Sengoku Period (1467-1603) and the Rise of the Tokugawa Era (1603–1868)

During the early 1550s, Oda Nobunaga overcame rival daimyōs and started the long process of unifying a country during the last years of the Sengoku Period. He and his army terrorized the Japanese people, but were able to bring stability to a country torn by civil war. He and his soldiers were armed with Portuguese arquebuses which they used to the full extent to subdue daimyōs, samurais, and civilians alike. Oda Nobunaga died in 1582 after he was forced to commit seppuku by one of his vassals. He was succeeded by one of his generals, the brilliant and equally ruthless Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

By 1590, Toyotomi Hideyoshi had defeated most of his enemies to become the most powerful man in Japan. Brutal yet more flexible than his predecessor, he consolidated power by playing off rivals until they eliminated each other. He viewed European missionaries with suspicion and started the persecution of Christians in his domain. He led the Japanese invasion of Korea which devastated the kingdom during the last years of his reign.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi died in 1598 and was succeeded by his young son who was to be guided by appointed regents until he came of age. The regents and various generals promptly ignored him and soon embroiled themselves in a civil war. They came to a head in the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 which was won by Tokugawa Ieyasu and his supporters. He also defeated Hideyori, Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s son, when the boy came of age.

Tokugawa Ieyasu took for himself the prefectures of Nara, Kyoto, Edo, Nagasaki, and Osaka as fiefs. He ruled as shōgun (military dictator) starting in 1603, but soon abdicated in favor of his son Hidetada. Although he was technically a retired shogun, he still wielded considerable power up until his death in 1616.

Portuguese, Spanish, English, and Dutch traders and evangelists flocked to Japan during the early years of the Tokugawa shogunate. The Europeans played each other off in their quest to dominate the Japanese market and acquire converts, but their strategies soon backfired. Tokugawa Ieyasu had always been wary of foreign and Christian influence on his subjects, leading him to prohibit trading and evangelization activities in his domain. (The only exception to the rule were the Dutch traders whom the Japanese perceived as pragmatic and cooperative.) In 1614, Japanese and European Christians alike were persecuted. The shōgun’s heirs maintained the anti-Christian policies until the end of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 19th century.

The Tokugawa shogunate’s anti-foreign stance hardened during the mid-1600s. The deep-seated suspicion on foreigners led the shōgun to impose the edicts of seclusion (sakoku) starting in 1635. Japanese citizens were not allowed to travel abroad, while foreign traders and European missionaries were ordered to leave Japan. Those who left and dare to come back were punished with death. The shōgun ordered the destruction of large ships to discourage the Japanese people from leaving the country.

Although feudal and backward, the Tokugawa era was generally a period marked by peace and stability. Though Japan still had an emperor, he and his family faded into obscurity. The shōgun was the head of the bakufu (military dictatorship) and was at the top of the hierarchy. He was followed by various daimyōs and samurais. Those who were at the bottom of the hierarchy (peasants, artisans, and merchants) were expected to toe the line.

Cracks in the Tokugawa shogunate started to appear during the 1830s when Japan was plagued by droughts. Famine set in, and people soon died of starvation. The hoarding done by ruthless traders led to the rising prices of grain. Starving people engaged in protests, but these assemblies sometimes led to riots. The bakufu implemented reforms, but these measures often came too late.

Even samurais were not immune to changing fortunes during the last decades of the Tokugawa shogunate. They were forced to work other jobs, as well as contribute a part of their stipend to an incompetent government. Unable to maintain them any longer, some daimyōs were forced to let their samurais go. These masterless samurais (rōnins) sometimes became bodyguards of wealthier people or mercenaries.

Japan remained irresistible to the West despite its self-imposed isolation. Britain tried to initiate trade but was rebuffed by the bakufu. During the late 1700s and early 1800s, news of Russia’s colonization of eastern Siberia reached Japan. The bakufu prepared for any eventuality by tightening its control on the Ainus of Hokkaido. American ships also made attempts to land in Japan but were turned away.

Japan’s isolation was finally lifted when the American Commodore Matthew Perry and his flotilla of steamships arrived in the Edo Bay on July 8, 1853. Perry insisted on delivering a letter from President Fillmore to the “emperor” (it was, in fact, the shōgun). The letter contained a request for trade and diplomatic relations, shelter and provisions for stranded American whalers, and coal for their ships. The presence of the large steamships and the volley of the gunner’s practice shots compelled the Japanese authorities to receive Commodore Perry’s letter. Perry and his flotilla left, but not before promising to return to Japan one year later.

Despite Japan’s isolation, the bakufu was aware of China’s defeat and humiliation at the hands of Britain and her allies during the First Opium War. They feared that the Americans would do something similar, so some daimyōs counseled the shogun to resist any attempts to open the country to foreigners. Other daimyōs, however, acknowledged that Japan had remained isolated for so long that its weapons and army had become outdated. They simply would not stand a chance against foreign forces in the event of an invasion.

Perry and his flotilla returned in early 1534. Representatives of the bakufu signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with Perry but gave few concessions to their American counterparts. Perry, however, was satisfied with the outcome and left Japan in the same year. His visit was followed by Townsend Harris who became the first American consul general in Japan. He succeeded in forcing the bakufu to sign the Treaty of Shimoda in 1858 after insinuating that the humiliations China suffered might also happen to Japan if it did not comply.

The Treaty of Shimoda included terms that were advantageous only to Western nations. Apart from trade concessions, the treaty also granted Europeans and Americans the right to reside in or near the treaty ports and enjoy the benefit of extraterritoriality. Although it was not included in the treaty, foreigners began to bring Christianity back to Japan’s shores. Cheap goods from the West flooded Japan’s market, rendering local manufacturers unable to compete.

Japan was also forced to set the tariff on imported goods at a measly 5 percent, as well as grant the Most Favored Nation status on all Western nations which traded in its ports. What angered the Japanese authorities most was the fact that they were bound to this treaty forever. There was also no way for them to revise the terms without the consent of all concerned foreign powers.

The enemies of the Tokugawa shōgun felt that the bakufu had conceded much in dealing with the “barbarians.” They believed that this behavior was unbecoming of a shōgun and that he no longer held the privilege to rule them. Enemies of the Tokugawa shōgun—particularly the daimyōs of Satsuma and Chōshū—saw their chance to topple him during the early 1860s. They formed the Satchō Alliance with the intent of restoring the emperor to the seat of power after getting rid of the shōgun.

The humiliations Japan suffered after the bakufu signed the Treaty of Shimoda gave way to nationalism. To counter their feelings of inferiority, traditionalists asserted that Japanese culture and religion were superior to those of the “barbarian West.” The clamor to restore the emperor also became louder among the Japanese population.

Taking a cue from China, the nation embarked on its own “self-strengthening” program. Intellectuals learned about Western science and technology and translated Western books into Japanese. For the first time, Japanese students were allowed to leave their homeland and travel to the United States to study. Samurais were also sent by their daimyōs abroad to learn Western military tactics and acquire knowledge on Western weapons. Unlike in China, however, Japan’s “self-strengthening” program was a success story.

The Fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate

As years passed, the anti-foreign feelings of nationalistic Japanese often manifested in violence against Europeans and Americans living in the country. Foreign envoys promptly protested to the bakufu, but the shōgun’s position was already tenuous among his people so there was nothing he could do. The foreigners retaliated by bombarding Shimonoseki (the stronghold of the Chōshū clan) and Kagoshima (the stronghold of the Satsuma clan). The Satsuma clan secretly befriended the British to get them to stop the bombardment, and claimed that members of their clan had managed to drive the enemy away. This was done so they could save f ace.

The Satsuma clan was now subdued, so the Chōshū clan took up the slack. In 1863, the emperor decided to once again isolate Japan and gave the foreigners an ultimatum. When the foreigners refused to leave, the Chōshū clan fired upon Western ships off the coast of Shimonoseki. The American, Dutch, English, and French fleet promptly retaliated and overcame the Chōshū clan in September 1864.

Frustrated in their efforts to dislodge the foreigners, the Satsuma and Chōshū daimyō focused on toppling the Tokugawa shogunate and strengthening the Japanese military instead. The shogun died in September 1866, and it was followed by the emperor in the following year. This emboldened the daimyōs to convince the new shōgun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, to retire. The shōgun agreed and allowed the restoration of Japan’s Yamato Dynasty to the seat of power. The 15-year old Prince Mutsuhito acceded the throne and took the name Emperor Meiji (“Enlightened One”) in 1868.

A short civil war (the Boshin War) ensued when the former shogun refused to give up his extensive lands and return them to the crown. The Tokugawa forces, however, were soon defeated and the family was forced to give up their claims to the lands. From then on, the Emperor and h is ministers were free to implement reforms and usher Japan into the 20th century.

Meyer, Milton Walter. Japan: A Concise History . Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2012.


Medieval Shogunate Japan

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The Shogunates of Japan

A ‘Shogun’ was a Japanese general of armed forces, but he was also chief of a system of government which dates from the end of the 12 th century. He was a ‘barbarian-quelling-gemeralissimo’ (seii-tai-shogun), a title bestowed by the Emperor himself.

Probably the most important in Japanese history were the Tokugawa – shoguns from 1603 to 1868 – nearly three centuries – who ruled as military dictators while the Emperor was merely a figurehead, with little or no actual power. The rule of the shoguns controlled and regulated life in Japan down to the tiniest detail, and was naturally unpopular, though fear of these peerless Samurai kept noses to the grindstone. The shogunates were terminated during and after the Meiji Restoration (q.v.).

1192 – 1199 Minamoto Yoritomo

1202 – 1203 Minamoto Yoriie

1203 – 1219 Minamoto Sanetomo

1226 – 1244 Fujiwara Yoritsune

1244 – 1252 Fujiwara Yoritsugu

1252 – 1256 Munetaka Shinno

1266 – 1289 Koreyasu Shinno

1289 – 1308 Hisaaki Shinno

1308 – 1333 Morikuno Shinno

The Kamakura Shogunate was overthrown in 1333 and replaced by the Ashikagas. Their government was based in Kyoto they were an offshoot of the Minamoto family.

1338 / 58 Ashikaka Takaujii

1358 / 67 Ashikaga Yoshiakira

1368 / 94 Ashikaga Yoshimitsu

1394 / 23 Ashikaga Yoshimochi

1423 / 5 Ashikaga Yoshikazu

1429 / 41 Ashikaga Yoshinori

1442 / 3 Ashikaga Yoshikatzu

1449 / 73 Ashikaga Yoshimasa

1473 / 89 Ashikaga Yoshihisa

1490/3 A.Yoshitane (Ist reign)

1494 / !508 Ashikaga Yoshizumi

1508 / 21 A. Yoshitane (2 nd reign)

1521 / 46 Ashikaga Yoshiharu

1546 / 65 Ashikaga Toshiteru

1568 / 73 Ashikaga Yoshiaki

Under the 3 rd shogun, Yoshimitzu, the imperial schism caused by Daigo II’s exile and the establishment of a rival court south of Kyoto was healed with the fusion of the two imperial families in 1392 But during the fifteenth century the increasingly powerful military governments eroded imperial authority leading to a series of blood-letting wars. As a result, the last of Ashikaga shoguns were in the not very gentle hands of their leading vassals, most of whom were themselves Samurai, with their own armies.

Japan’s third warrior government was established by Tokugawa Ieyasu when he was given the hereditary title of Shogun after his victory over rival warrior families at the great battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Thus began the Tokugawa Shogunate, with government based in Edo (now Tokyo). This third shogunate proved to be the most durable of the three, providing peace and stability until the middle of the nineteenth century, when external pressure from Western powers was applied to make radical changes in Japan’s domestic, social and economic policies. Modernity, in other words. The shogunates were doubtless a form of centralized feudalism. The Samurai elite ended by becoming indebted to the rapidly emerging commercial and industrial classes.


Shotshell Cartridge History

During the years 1959-1962 I collected shotshells, when my father took me hiking in the El Paso, Texas area (see my webpage on ghost towns) and also during 1956-66, when my father took me hunting. I stopped collecting shotshells in 1966.

Please do not send me your questions about shotshells, because all of the information that I have is in this webpage. I neither identify nor appraise old cartridges.

  1. corporate cannibalism in mergers and acquisitions
  2. environmental pollution at manufacturing plants from lead — as well as mercury compounds used in old, corrosive primers
  3. marketing of one company's products under a tradename or brand name formerly associated with another company (e.g., selling Remington's cartridges under the Peters brand name).

General

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were many different manufacturers of shotshells in the USA. As with many other industries in the USA, mergers and acquisitions resulted in just three major manufacturers of shotshells in the USA by 1960: (1) Remington-Peters-UMC (owned by DuPont), (2) Winchester-Western (owned by Olin), and (3) the smaller Federal Cartridge Co.

Shotgun cartridges were invented in the 1860s. Most early shotgun cartridges had a brass case, just like rifle and pistol cartridges. A few manufacturers during 1870-1900 offered shotshells with paper cases, but the early paper cases swelled when wet and paper cases could not be reloaded as many times as brass cases. Paper cases were later impregnated with wax, to make them water resistant. In 1960, Remington introduced shotshells with plastic cases.

Most shotshells in the USA had a red color, but Remington used a distinctive green color and Peters used a distinctive blue color. In 1960, Federal introduced purple 16 gauge hulls and yellow 20 gauge hulls, to help prevent inserting a smaller diameter shell into a larger diameter shotgun (e.g., 10 or 12 gauge), with consequent barrel blockage and explosion of the barrel. Soon after, all brands of 20 gauge shotshells were yellow.

Early shotshells used black powder, which produced lots of smoke and relatively weak pressures inside the shotgun barrel. In the mid-1890s, Peters introduced so-called smokeless powders that were more powerful. Since the mid-1930s, nearly all commercially loaded shotshells have used smokeless powder. However boxes of shotshells continue to the present day to be marked with the number of drams of black powder that would deliver equivalent muzzle velocity. (1 dram = 3.89 grams)

Shotshells with paper hulls often developed pinholes where the powder burned through the paper hull. To prevent such pinholes, the brass base was extended up the side of the case to cover the entire volume of powder inside the case. Shotshells with large shot for hunting larger animals (e.g., ducks, geese, turkeys, and with buckshot: deer) had a high brass base, because of the larger volume of black powder inside these shells. Shotshells for games (e.g., trap and skeet) as well as hunting small birds (e.g., doves, quail) had a low brass base, to cover the smaller volume of black powder inside these shells. Modern smokeless powder requires a much smaller volume than the equivalent amount of black powder, so that low brass bases would be adequate for all shotshells today. However, because of tradition, long-range shotshells continue to have a high brass base.

    Jon Farrar's Article on history of shotshell boxes. alternative link

Manufacturers

Remington - Peters

Remington

In 1888, Winchester and UMC jointly purchased Remington, a manufacturer of firearms and ammunition. Eight years later, in 1896, UMC purchased Winchester's share of Remington, and then UMC was the sole owner of Remington. In 1933, DuPont acquired 60% of UMC and Remington. In 1980, DuPont purchased the remaining stock in Remington, and Remington then became a wholly-owned subsidiary of DuPont.

In 1970, Remington began making ammunition in a new plant in Lonoke, Arkansas and Remington closed its historic plant in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Peters

Peters Cartridge Corp. was founded in 1887 near Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1934, Remington purchased Peters. In 1944, production at Peters plant in Ohio stopped. The buildings are now abandoned. After 1944, Peters ammunition was made in Remington's plant, and was identical to the Remington product, except for the cartridge cases and boxes. The Peters brand shotshells, with their distinctive blue color, continued to be sold separately until the late 1960s. The continuation of the Peters brand for more than 30 years after the merger with Remington is testimony to the strength of the Peters trademark and earlier reputation.

Webpages about Peters:
photographs of abandoned buildings at Peters plant in Ohio. shot tower, Former Peters buildings now used as a Halloween "haunted house".

More photographs of old Peters buildings.

Union Metallic Cartridge Co. (UMC)

Union Metallic Cartridge Co. (UMC) was originally formed to provide firearms and ammunition to the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. UMC was reincorporated in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1867. UMC began to sell unloaded brass shotshells in 1868, which is said to be the first commercially available shotshell in the USA. Twenty years later, in 1888, UMC began to sell loaded shotshells.

Today, the UMC brand continues only for rifle and pistol cartridges for military use (e.g., copper-alloy, fully jacketed bullets).

U.S. Cartridge Company

The U.S. Cartridge Company in Lowell, Massachusetts began producing shotshells in 1879. U.S. Cartridge went out of business at the end of 1926, although Winchester continued producing shotgun shells in Connecticut under the U.S. brand for a few years, until sometime around 1931 or maybe 1936. U.S. Cartridge shotshells were sold under their brand names of Defiance (inexpensive, low brass), Climax (medium brass) and Ajax (high brass).

    history, including biographies of early owners and operators

Winchester - Western

Winchester

Winchester ammunition was made at New Haven, Connecticut, beginning in 1866.

In 1926, Winchester purchased the U.S. Cartridge Co. from National Lead.

In 1931, Olin, the owner of the Western Cartridge Company, purchased the Winchester company. The former Western plant in East Alton, Illinois continues to make Winchester brand ammunition today.

Winchester sold shotgun cartridges under brand names Ranger (low brass) and Leader (high brass). These retail shotshell brands were discontinued in the 1940s (?). Thereafter, the Western shotshell brands (e.g., Xpert and Super-X) were sold under the Western name, then the combined Winchester-Western name, and more recently only the Winchester name. Currently, the Ranger brand name is used for Winchester's cartridges that are intended for use by law enforcement personnel.

    unofficial history of Winchester firearms

Western

In 1898, Franklin W. Olin established Western Cartridge Co. at East Alton, Illinois, to add to his existing powder manufacturing business. In 1931, Olin purchased the bankrupt Winchester company. In the mid-1960s, the separate Western brand of cartridges was discontinued, and only the combined Winchester-Western name was used thereafter.

Federal Cartridge Company

Federal Cartridge Company was founded in 1917 in Anoka, Minnesota. In addition to selling cartridges under its own name, Federal made cartridges that were sold by Sears Roebuck & Company, Montgomery Wards, Gambles, Western Auto Supply Company. Most large towns in the USA had at least one of these stores.

Firearms archaeology

  • Colorado Coal Field War of 1913-14 in Berwind, Colorado: strikers had shotguns, mine owners had rifles and machine guns.


Edo Period (1603 - 1868)

Tokugawa Ieyasu was the most powerful man in Japan after Hideyoshi had died in 1598. Against his promises he did not respect Hideyoshi's successor Hideyori because he wanted to become the absolute ruler of Japan.

In the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Ieyasu defeated the Hideyori loyalists and other Western rivals. Hence, he achieved almost unlimited power and wealth. In 1603, Ieyasu was appointed Shogun by the emperor and established his government in Edo (Tokyo). The Tokugawa shoguns continued to rule Japan for a remarkable 250 years.

Ieyasu brought the whole country under tight control. He cleverly redistributed the gained land among the daimyo: more loyal vassals (the ones who supported him already before Sekigahara) received strategically more important domains accordingly. The daimyo were also required to spend every second year in Edo. This meant a huge financial burden for the daimyo and moderated his power at home.

Ieyasu continued to promote foreign trade. He established relations with the English and the Dutch. On the other hand, he enforced the suppression and persecution of Christianity from 1614 on.

After the destruction of the Toyotomi clan in 1615 when Ieyasu captured Osaka Castle, he and his successors had practically no rivals anymore, and peace prevailed throughout the Edo period. Therefore, the warriors (samurai) were educating themselves not only in the martial arts but also in literature, philosophy and the arts, e.g. the tea ceremony.

In 1633, shogun Iemitsu forbade travelling abroad and almost completely isolated Japan in 1639 by reducing the contacts to the outside world to strongly regulated trade relations with China and the Netherlands in the port of Nagasaki. In addition, all foreign books were banned. Selected daimyo were also allowed to trade with Korea, the Ryukyu Kingdom and the Ainu in Hokkaido.

Despite the isolation, domestic trade and agricultural production continued to improve. During the Edo period and especially during the Genroku era (1688 - 1703), popular culture flourished. New art forms like kabuki and ukiyo-e became very popular especially among the townspeople.

The most important philosophy of Tokugawa Japan was Neo-Confucianism, stressing the importance of morals, education and hierarchical order in the government and society: A strict four class system existed during the Edo period: at the top of the social hierarchy stood the samurai, followed by the peasants, artisans and merchants. The members of the four classes were not allowed to change their social status. Outcasts, people with professions that were considered impure, formed a fifth class.

In 1720, the ban of Western literature was cancelled, and several new teachings entered Japan from China and Europe (Dutch Learning). New nationalist schools that combined Shinto and Confucianist elements also developed.

Even though the Tokugawa government remained quite stable over several centuries, its position was steadily declining for several reasons: A steady worsening of the financial situation of the government led to higher taxes and riots among the farm population. In addition, Japan regularly experienced natural disasters and years of famine that caused riots and further financial problems for the central government and the daimyo. The social hierarchy began to break down as the merchant class grew increasingly powerful while some samurai became financially dependent of them. In the second half of the era, corruption, incompetence and a decline of morals within the government caused further problems.

In the end of the 18th century, external pressure started to be an increasingly important issue, when the Russians first tried to establish trade contacts with Japan without success. They were followed by other European nations and the Americans in the 19th century. It was eventually Commodore Perry in 1853 and again in 1854 who forced the Tokugawa government to open a limited number of ports for international trade. However, the trade remained very limited until the Meiji restoration in 1868.

All factors combined, the anti-government feelings were growing and caused other movements such as the demand for the restoration of imperial power and anti western feelings, especially among ultra-conservative samurai in increasingly independently acting domains such as Choshu and Satsuma. Many people, however, soon recognized the big advantages of the Western nations in science and military, and favoured a complete opening to the world. Finally, also the conservatives recognized this fact after being confronted with Western warships in several incidents.

In 1867-68, the Tokugawa government fell because of heavy political pressure, and the power of Emperor Meiji was restored.


Japan 1648 CE

The Tokugawa shoguns have isolated Japan from the rest of the world.

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What is happening in Japan in 1648CE

After 1467, Japan disintegrated into more than 100 years of civil war. The daimyo governed their territories as independent fiefs, taxing the peasants and administering justice. This was the golden age of the samurai. It was a violent period, but one that saw the full development of the chivalric code of “Bushido”. This is an unwritten set of moral principles stressing frugality, selfless loyalty to one’s lord, mastery of martial arts, and death rather than dishonour.

At length, Japan was re-unified, under the dictatorship of Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1590). Having secured his power at home, he led two great – but unsuccessful – campaigns in Korea (1592-3 and 1597-8), aiming to conquer China.

Ieyasu Tokugawa then fought his way to the Shogunate (1603). He thus becomes the first of the Tokugawa shoguns. Under this, Japan has been organized as a federation of daimyo (feudal lords), under the shogun’s tight control. The daimyo are required to spend half their time at the capital, Edo (modern Tokyo), whilst leaving members of their family at Edo at other times, as hostages.

The country is largely cut off from the rest of the world. Overseas trade has been severely limited, and the Japanese are forbidden to leave the country. In particular, Western influences have been surpressed: firearms have been outlawed and Christianity ruthlessly prohibited. In a sense the Tokugawa represents the high point of feudal Japan, with the anarchic forces of feudalism dragooned within a tightly controlled politico-social structure.


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