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To what extent did the United States force Japan to attack Pearl Harbor and why?

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6. To what extent did the United States force Japan to attack Pearl Harbor and why? Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 1941 suddenly, which marked the preamble of Pacific war. For century, historians made grave effort to investigate the reasons for this sudden attack. For most of the traditional interpretation, blame was put on Japan for her boundless ambition. On the other hand, some revisionist interpretation blamed against American on her rigid and inflexible policy toward Japan, worse still, some even argued that the war was a conspiracy that attracted Japan to attack. From my perspective, blame should be put, to a large extent, on American despite the fact that Japan should also need to bear the grudge on such an attack.(Central idea) The aim of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was crystal clear, that was for the control of recourse. Japan, being an island state, which was devoid of natural resource, was fatal to her military expansion. To support her military need, a huge amount of iron ore was needed. The iron ore was mainly located on South East Asia, thus an attack on South East Asia seemed unavoidable. By 1941, the biggest obstacle to Japan was only the Pacific Fleet on the Pearl Harbor. A large group of navy in Pearl Harbor could move to the Philippines, an American colony, within a very short period. ...read more.


For one thing, after the fall of France in 1940, Japan formally allied with Germany in anti-comintern Pact. Thus, Japanese expansion would become a global issue which demanded more attention. For another thing, Japanese conquest of Indo-China as well as the Southern China which began in 1938 affected the whole balance of power in Far East, but more importantly, it was undoubtedly a threat to the Philippines, an American colony, which was also an American interest. Thus, the changing environment was another reason that led to his vigorous policy on Japan. As for the consequence, besides stifling the final talk, his vigorous policy also helped to conjure up a very poor imagine of America as compared to other nations in many Japanese eye.(Topic sentence 4, related to topic sentence 2)Even Britain and France would like to please Japan, because of their home-front's German threat. In 1934, Britain proposed a non-aggression pact with Japan. Later, she even accepted the Wang government in Nanjing in 1937. There was limit oil exportation to Japan in 1941. Only was the Roosevelt policy was not suiting the taste of Japan, that why American image grew to be so poor in Japan. Worse still, Dover argued that the ancient sentiment of outsiders was ingrained and exposed in this case3. Outsiders (American) were considered as evil, ghost, barbarian, or monster in Japanese eyes. ...read more.


To sum up, American policy or even more correctly the policy of Roosevelt created an environment that to Japan; sudden attack was the only one means to solve the current difficulties. On the other hand, we should also blame Japan on her ambition as well as her over-confidence on her force. Central idea: To a large extent, Blames should be put on America State the faults of Japan first, then to argue the blames of America Reason 1: Stopped the talk between America and Japan-->because of the wrong perception on Japan, and the changing environment Reason 2: poor image to Japan Reason 3: conspiracy theory-->we did not know if it is true-->no comment Conclusion 1 Frederick W. Marks, "Pearl Harbor Revisited". New York, 1995. Prelude to Pearl Harbor: The Diplomatic Dress Rehearsal. 2 Herbert Feis, "The road to Pearl Harbor: the coming of the war between the United States and Japan". New York, 1962. 3 John W. Dover, "War without Mercy race and power in the Pacific War". Toronto, 1986. The Demonic Other. 4 John W. Dover, "War without Mercy race and power in the Pacific War". Toronto, 1986. Pattern of a race war. 5 Charles Tansill, "Black door to war: Roosevelt foreign policy, 1933 to 1941". Chicago, 1952. 6 John Keegan, "The Second War" USA, 1989. The War in the Pacific 1941-1943 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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