Words: 1438
Pages: 6

Ales Funk
Dr. Bridget Whelan
English 2010

Controversies over land have existed since the beginning of time. Wars and many deaths have occurred as the result of the growing hunger to become the most powerful of nations. The desire to be dominant over another country or territory has often been a bloody, competitive, and gruesome fight for supreme rule. Whether for pride, honor, or respect, all of the men who have fought for land all share one thing--a need to conquer and dominate. The pain and suffering inflicted by nations can usually be justified by the perpetrator. Though most people prefer to be peace loving, there are events and circumstances that can cause a country to lash out violently. During the early 1600’s Tokuagua Shogunate took over Japan. He closed Japan to all foreigners except for limited trade with the Dutch in Nagasaki and had also centralized feudalism. There was no commercial economy for Japan in this period of time. Daimyos, also known as land holders, only had wealth through land and agriculture. Many merchants were wealthy but held no political power, while peasants suffered heavy taxes and worked to serve the Shogunate. This continued for two centuries and in 1853 Mathew Perry delivered a letter from United States President, Millard Fillmore demanding that Japan open its ports to diplomatic and commercial exchange. In 1854 the Treaty of Kanagwa demanded that Japan agree to open two ports to American ships for trade. This humiliated the Japanese because they were forced to open their ports for trade against their own will. In 1867 The Meiji Period leaders brought Japan up to the level of industrial power set forth by the western nations. Later that year, China lost the Opium Wars and this led to them being forced to sign unfair treaties. Worried, Japan thought the same thing could happen to them. This brought about a change in power by a revolt, lead by Daimyo and Samurai against the Shogunate. The Meiji Restoration lead by fifteen year old emperor, Mutshi began his reign of power in 1868. The country’s new motto was “A rich country, a strong military”. With the Restoration, Japanese reformers replaced the feudal system with a new government and industrialized economy. Members of the government were urged to travel to western countries to create a government similar to their own. Finally, in 1889, a constitution was adopted stating that all citizens are equal before the law and that the emperor now had absolute power. The Japanese adopted western technology to enhance their military, replacing ancient Samurai methods of war. All men were subject to military service. With all the reform, Japan became an industrial power and population boomed. Many peasants began to flock into the cities because of developing western methods such as modern banking systems, improved ports for trade, the construction of railroads, and communication utilizing the telegraph and postal system. By the 1890’s Japan was now strong enough to reverse the unequal treaties from the opium wars with Britain which lead to the them acquiring their own overseas empire. Japan’s expansion and overseas growth was crucial to fuel Japans desire for Industrialization. After Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, there was heavy tension between the U.S. and themselves. They expanded into colonies belonging to Europe and the U.S. after France fell to the Third Reich. Japan invaded the French colony of Indochina, prompting U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt, to end oil shipments to Japan. Japan then countered by expanding even further into the Dutch East Indies and decided it must find a way to keep the United States from interfering with its plan. This prompted the attack of the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. For a year prior to the attack, the Japanese studied the island of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. They also configured how they would descend on their enemy. Early Morning December 7, 1945 at 7:48 A.M.,