Are there any sucessful historical examples of top down social engineerinh

Mar 2018
724
UK
#21
One could surely point to Augustus, and to the introduction of the Tokugawa shogunate.
Ivan the Terrible's attempt to bring Russia into the modern world?

Imperial Germany creating a modern European country out of a bunch of semi-feudal minor states?
I read somewhere that this was Bismarck's doing
I wouldn't call those societal engineering. For me, that involves changing the culture and attitudes of the average man in the street/farm/etc. Those two example are reforms of the top levels of government, but didn't target broad swathes of society.
 
Mar 2018
724
UK
#23
I don't know enough about the shogunate to comment to be honest, I was thinking more of Augustus. That was a major reform of the state, but not really of society.

One example that does come to mind now is the modernisation of Japan. Perhaps the most drastic case of societal engineering (changing what everyone was wearing in the space of a few years) and really rather successful.
 

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