Tensions of Pearl Harbor
The Details of How it All Began
December 7, 1941 is considered one of the most fateful days in the history of the United States of America. For those not aware, this marks the date of the Japanese bombing of United States battleships in the United States’ biggest naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Many people considered this barbaric attack on the United States a very random occurrence. And because of this attack, the United States had to go into world war two. But what people have failed to realize in today’s word is that there were many tensions growing into this catastrophe dating back to the 1930’s. So the goal of this paper is to show how the Japanese Bombing of Pearl harbor was the breaking point in the growing tensions of the United States and Japan in which catapulted the United States into involvement into world war two.
The tensions between the United States and Japan can be said to be brought back to as early as 1915, with the beginning of a sort of militaristic style of government that Japan brought to the forefront of world politics.1 Even though it really wasn’t a big thing to worry about considering that the United States was the more revered country at the time, the Japanese lifestyle was still kept under a watchful eye of most countries around the world. Minute tensions between the two countries came about with the Japanese takeover of the Marshal Islands between Hawaii and the Philippines.2 Even though the takeover was not of a huge concern to the United States, the Japanese were still now within a quick striking distance of the United States. So in reaction to this, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to move the United States Pacific fleet from California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This move helped show the world that the United States had dominance of the Pacific Ocean, and now both militaries were within striking distance of each other. This also lead to Roosevelt’s signing of the “two ocean navy act” in which gave the United States the power to build more battleships for the United States military in order to gain power in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The real tensions that started to escalate a bitter relationship between the United States and Japan was the way that world war two was going on at the time. Since the United States were so close to Britain, they knew that the must have to aid them if Britain were to be in any sort of need. But with President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the person to call when the United States goes to war, this aid that the U.S had promised was not going to happen. The real problem was that even though Roosevelt did want to help the British against the Axis powers of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, Admiral Harold R. Stark of the United states advised Roosevelt that if the United States were to help Britain and fail, Nazi Germany would easily take over the rest of Europe and possibly become dominant around the world.3 And with this great distraction of the European situation, Japan was almost neglected from being perceived as a threat to the world one again. Another problem with the assistance of the United States of going into war was their economic standpoint. General Stark strongly advised Roosevelt on how American involvement into world war two would really put the United States into a great Economic low.
Another big event that had rattled Japan’s attitude towards the United States was the way the United States helped Britain while Britain was in war.4 Even though the United States was not in the war at the time, they still significantly helped Britain with war materials. The United States gave Britain things like old war ships and also sold many fighters and bombers to the British people in order to give them a sense of security in the desperate times that they were in. This brought a sense of rivalry to the Japanese in the fact that the Japanese were more leaning towards the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy side...
Bibliography: The Public Opinion Quarterly , Vol. 4, No. 3 (Sep., 1940), pp. 387-407
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Association for Public Opinion Research
Jon Thares Davidann
"Colossal Illusions": U.S.-Japanese Relations in the Institute of Pacific Relations, 1919-1938 Jon Thares Davidann Reviewed work(s):Source: Journal of World History, Vol
Soviet Policy in the Far East
Reviewed work(s):Source: International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1931-1939), Vol
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