Argumentative Essay on Pearl Harbor

This essay has a total of 2052 words and 9 pages.

Pearl Harbor

Causes of Pearl Harbor

"There is no choice left but to fight and break the iron chains strangling Japan"
Admiral Nagano Osami gave this statement after finding no other way to resolve relations
between the United States and Japan. The attack on Pearl Harbor was the only way Japan
sought to break away from the United States oppression of the Japanese people. Poor
relations between Japan and America were both economical and political; this caused the
attack on Pearl Harbor.

The hatred from the Japanese against the United States dated back from the 1860s. When
tension between the two nations grew due to American discrimination against Japanese
immigrants. Leland Stanford and his associates were building the western section of the
Trans- Continental railroad across the United States. They employed Chinese laborers
because they were cheaper and more efficient then European laborers. After the railroad
was complete the Chinese sought work in the American labor market. American workers began
to oppose this new labor force, the Government responded by passing the Chinese Exclusion
Acts, forcing most of the Chinese to return to China. The Japanese were also included in
the act, most of the Japanese that came to the United States worked in the fields in
Hawaii. This angered the farmers of American, because the Japanese were more skillful.

The Japanese had been coming to America at a steady rate of roughly a thousand per year.
After the annexation of Hawaii, the Japanese appeared in record numbers of twelve thousand
per year. This resulted in a panic for San Francisco. The mayor quarantined a section of
the city just for the oriental immigrants. The Japanese became offended and protested, but
the San Francisco Labor Council began to issue laws similar to the Chinese Exclusion acts.
The Japanese Government responded by stopping the issuing of passports to contract
laborers going to America even if the American employers wanted them and promised

The American Federation of Labor struggled to pass Anti- Japanese laws. The press had a
field day with the headlines causing the country to become racist against the Japanese.
The headlines were not only insulting but also untrue. Finally President Roosevelt
intervened and put an end to segregation in exchange for the Gentleman's Agreement, the
United States government agreed to limit immigration into the United States.

One of the major outcomes of the Russo- Japanese War was the development of animosity
between Japan and the United States. The Japanese, having won the war expected to share a
pleasant victory. They expected money to built battleships and tanks. President Theodore
Roosevelt graciously offered the use of America's offices to secure peace between Russia
and Japan. America acted as a referee to the two countries as the met in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. The Russians and Japanese settled all territorial expansions but when it came
to the money the Russians refused. The Americans supported the Russians decision. In the
final agreement between the Japanese and the Russians no money was exchanged. The Japanese
public was outraged by the outcome, turning the military victory into a political defeat.
A Tokyo newspaper read, "The number one enemy to Japan was the United States." Portsmouth
brought an end to the Russo- Japanese War but it only worsened the hatred from Japan
against the United States.

The Japanese felt that the Americans were too involved in Pacific Affairs, they had to
consolidate their territorial gains through secret agreements signed will all powers but
the United States. However the Japanese did try to come to a similar agreement with the
Americans, but failed. This failure was a result of the Open Door Policy. American
businessman insisted on keeping trade options open with China. Ironically the Japanese
were China's bankers.

During the Paris Peace Conference of 1920, the Japanese sought to gain racial equality
among the other nations of the world. Japan had high aspirations to build even more of an
empire. The other topic that was up for discussion at the Peace Conference was the joining
of the League of Nations. The Japanese agreed to participate, it was a matter of honor
that they did, and they were on an equal basic with the other nations. This was the most
important matter of the Conference because it began to show racial equality among the
powers of the world.

The relations between the Japanese and the Americans continued to worsen because during
the Paris Peace Conference, the United States refused to join the League of Nations. The
Japanese were deeply insulted and their distrust grew towards the United States because
the United States were so involved in Pacific Affairs, but refused to join the League. The
Japanese- American relations were in a very critical state from this point on. The
Japanese resented American racism and held them responsible for the failure of the Peace

America was looking out for China; they felt the Japanese were mistreating the Chinese.
After the Versailles Treaty was signed it gave Japan all that they had asked for in the
Pacific and China. The American diplomatists' goal in Asia was to stop Japanese expansion.
The American bankers tried to support China financially, to keep Japan away. The United
States led a movement to form a four - power consortium to finance China. Japan would be
involved but to a lesser degree. The other nations, Great Britain, France and the United
States would be in full control. If this were successful than it would threaten Japan's
hand in China.

In the summer of 1921 the Americans called for an International Disarmament Conference in
Washington D.C. This was held to limit the Japanese's colonial expansion in Asia. All the
powers with interest in the Far East were invited to attend the conference except the
Soviet Union. The Japanese saw the Washington Conference as a ploy to take away Japan's
gain of the war. They responded by asking for further information and indicated what they
wished not to discuss. Italy, France, Great Britain, and the United States accepted the
invitation. The Japanese later accepted the invitation as well.
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