Japanese Expansionism 1880-1941
Vander Klok, Cole A.
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In the year 1639, while China was again being overrun by foreigners, Japan adopted a policy of limiting its contact with the Western world to a small amount of trading with the Dutch. Japan adhered to this policy until 1853, when Commadore Perry of the United States established trade and diplomatic relations with the country through "gunboat diplomacy", that is to say, a show of-force and the threat to use it. Japanese society at the time was highly feudal and militaristic and while it had a cultural debt to China, it had distinctive language and life style as well as being geographically separate from China and the rest of the world. In short, they already had a strong sense of separate identity which amounted to a feeling of nationalism." Being of a militaristic background, the Japanese recognized,the strength of Perry and rather than resist this strength; it was decided to submit to this strength and adapt to it in hope of avoiding the same fate of China, that is to say, Western colonization. Japan went to great lengths, an almost total restructuring of its society, to loosen the Western grip on Japanese affairs and it was the Japanese tradition and submission to strength that allowed them to successfully deal with this problem. In less than fifty years Japan had not only rid itself of Western colonization, but was also becoming recognized as a world power, largely through its own show of force. In summary, the purpose of this paper is to study Japan's expansion and rise to world power from the late 1800's to 1941 and to attempt to relate the events af this expansion to Japan's entrance into World War II.If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email email@example.com to request access to this SIP.