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Explain why Britain formed an alliance with Japan in 1902

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Introduction

Explain why Britain formed an alliance with Japan in 1902 (24) "Splendid Isolation" is the expression that was used to describe Britain's state in foreign policy from 1895-1900 under the Conservative party, which was led by Lord Salisbury. It was not that Britain deliberately refused to have anything to do with the rest of the world; Britain was isolated in the sense that Salisbury kept her aloof from binding alliances in case they committed her to military action, in which case she wouldn't be restricted by any kind of contract. At the time of the Splendid Isolation Britain believed they could fight the entire world on their own, and win. ...read more.

Middle

Lansdowne was determined to form some sort of alliance to check Russian ambitions. However there was a widespread feeling of hostility toward Britain following the Boer War, and finding an ally proved difficult. So it was important to find a country with similar interests to Britain. They found that interest in the Japanese who wanted to check Russian power towards Korea. The Japanese were determined not to allow the Russians control both Korea and Manchuria. So, both Japan and Britain found common interest in containing Russia. The British also had concerns in the form of the French and the Germans. ...read more.

Conclusion

The British had found it difficult to defeat the Boers and they were farmers with little/no fighting experience; what would happen if Britain were to be attacked by one or more of the great powers? The terms of the 1902 agreement were: * Japan recognized Britain's interests in China and the Pacific, and Britain recognized Japan's rights in Korea. * If Japan was involved in a war with Russia, Britain would remain neutral, but if another power (presumably France) joined in to help Russia, Britain would help Japan. The alliance resulted in both powers having a greatly strengthened position in the Far East. This alliance also played a part in gaining Britain her second ally, France in 1904. ...read more.

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