The Impact of U.S. Railroad Policies in Manchuria on American-Japanese Diplomatic Relations 1909-1910
Deason, Anne M.
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My original inquiry concerned President Taft's role in the making of his administration's Far Eastern policy. Why did Taft, with a special sense of amity and respect for Japan and the Japanese leaders, allow the antagonism to develop between his own country and Japan over the rivalry of building railroads in Manchuria? Due to a lack of concrete answers in the source material, I soon directed my research beyond the President, and sought to discover precisely what nature of antagonism did occur, what view the State Department held of Japan, and what kind of impact the Manchurian affairs created on Japanese-American relations. Under the labels of "Dollar Dip1omacy" and the "Open Door," Secretary Knox attempted to engage American investments in railroad building in China's northern province, where Japan operated the South Manchurian Railway, and where Russia.was strategically concerned. The Chinese concession for a railroad from Chinchow to Aigun and the ensuing plan to neutralize the ownership of all Manchurian railroads were the schemes Knox promoted. Was his campaign motivated by economic goals primarily, or were political considerations perhaps of equal or' greater weight?