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 1 ass’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 Lignite 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 191 5, with the beginning of a sort of militaristic style of government that Japan brought to the forefront of world politics. 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 as 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.
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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 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 CO. 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 of the war.
Another huge step in these growing tensions between the United States and Japan was the United States trade embargo on all war related goods that Japan got. This slowly began to cripple the Japanese military in the fact that the Japanese needed these materials in order to have a strong military and continue on their tear of French Indochina. 5 And even though the United States did tell the Japanese to leave the territory the belonged to France alone, the Japanese refused; causing the embargo on these goods that the Japanese needed in such a desperate way. The U.
S embargo on Japanese goods hardly stopped the Japanese’s intentions of taking over the majority of china. So in this case, Japan made the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Spheres which completely reset a whole new way in Japan getting war related goods. Japan demanded that many Asian countries must trade their war related goods with Japan. And if any of these countries were to resist this trading demand, they would be considered an enemy of Japan. Shortly after Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity, the Japanese decided to sign “The Tripartite Pact” on September 27, 1940.
This officially made the Japanese a part of the European Axis Powers which included Nazi Germany along with Fascist Italy. This Pact was a mutual agreement between the countries indicating that if one country were to be attacked in any sort of manner, the other countries will come to assist. This agreement helped solidify Japan’s smooth capturing of land throughout the Chinese empire. This huge movement by the Japanese almost completely solidified the showing hat Japan was a huge thing to be dealt with by any country attempting to stop this evil growth of Nazi Germany along with the Axis Powers.
Along with this “Tripartite Pact” came the eventual signing of Japanese non- aggression with the Soviet Union. This became more of a mental attack for Japan against the United States in the fact that Japan was attacking almost anybody they saw,7 but they decided to become non-aggressive with one of the most powerful countries in the world. This was almost a slap in the face to the United States from a Japanese respect standpoint. Possibly the greatest escalation of the tensions between the United States ND Japan was the continuing of Japan’s takeover of territories in China.
And since Japan insisted on this constant pursuing of eastern Chinese land, President Roosevelt decided to embargo all oil and fuel trade with Japan along with the steel embargo already occurring. And since the United States did it, Britain decided to immediately follow suit and stop their trades with Japan. This became an immediate impact on Japan in the fact that the Japanese now had no source of fuel for their military. And although they did have a fuel storage system in Japan, it was calculated that the fuel that had en saved would only last about two years.
And all the United States insisted was that Japan Abandon their order in China along with getting rid of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity that the Japanese had created. This was also a fair deal brought by the Americans in the fact that they did not ask the Japanese to abandon their order in Manchuria, which was originally Chinese territory. But the Japanese were still resistant in getting rid Of any Chinese territories along with any eastern Asia territories.
With all of this escalation between the United States and Japan going on, it mimed as if both of the countries wanted to go to war with each other. But even though there was a great sense of rivalry, there was an attempt by people from both sides to stop these tensions from getting out of hand. A main person in trying to prevent this was the Japanese Prime Minister, Prince Fumigator Kenyon, who made Japanese Admiral Chivalrous Murmur ambassador to the United States in April 1 941 , instructing him to attempt to reach an agreement with the Americans that WOUld still keep Japan’s control in East Asia secure.
But this just could not be brought to an agreement in the act that the United States believed that the Japanese had no business whatsoever in controlling china. Also with this, Prime Minister Kenyon was soon to no longer be this big deal in Japan. So since these sanctions and agreements on Japanese trade had failed once again, the Japanese had even more of a reason to hate the United States, in the fact that the United States was working against all of the activities that Japan was doing.
And with this Japan decided to retaliate by replacing Prime Minister Kenyon on October 18 1941 with General Hide Togo, who was possibly the most eager person in Japan to go to war with the United States. Then, in November of 1941 , Togo decided to threaten the United States by saying that if the United States did not go by all Japanese demands by November 25, 1941, Japan would attack the United States. This plan by the Japanese was in order to take control of the American controlled Philippines, simply because the Philippines belonged to the United States.
And since the United States resisted this demand, Japan was ready to battle. A huge fact in the United States non preparation for the attack was based almost completely on two facts. These two facts were that the United States as very overconfident and Pearl Harbor was in no shape to become in battle. It was very evident to the rest of the world that the United States was a very powerful country at the time of world war two. Other than the Axis powers, almost every country wanted Americans on their side. But the bad part about this was that even the United States knew how powerful they were.
It was almost as if the United States really didn’t care if anybody hated them because they “knew” that nobody would really attempt to attack them. And this conceited attitude of the United States was the main cause of the second fact of how the United States was unprepared for a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This second reason was the state that the naval fleet of Pearl Harbor was in. Yes Pearl Harbor was a very strong military base, but it was over 2,200 miles of ocean away from any other source of United States military aid.
And this fact was very enlightening for the very great Japanese Admiral, Scissor Hampton, who was eager for a war with the United States. Hampton had realized that in order for Pearl Harbor to have full military strength, it would take over a year due to the fact of the United States selecting their own defense system at Pearl Harbor. Even though he did acknowledge the power of a full strength United States military, he knew the right time to strike the united States when they didn’t have that full strength mentality.