Theodore Roosevelt’s the Threat of Japan Essay

Words: 1628
Pages: 7

Document: Theodore Roosevelt: The Threat of Japan, 1909 [At Mt. Holyoke]

For my history assignment, I chose the document “Theodore Roosevelt’s The Threat of Japan”. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, modernization took place, bringing Japan to the height of power equivalent to a western power after defeating both China and Russia. United States was maintaining its policy of isolationism but was slowly transitioning to self interest imperialism, keeping control over countries with economic benefit such as open door policy with China. A summary of this article would be Roosevelt’s changing ideas of how US should change their foreign policy with regard to the dynamic change in the balance of world powers in 1909. My
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In essence, despite the anti-Japanese agitation of the people with their measures in place, Roosevelt found it hard to openly support them as he hopes to continue their mutual corresponding efforts in diplomacy and restrain from any form of conflict.

Paragraph 4: White Men’s Supremacy
An uncertainty would be that Roosevelt may be slightly bias due to the prevalent widespread ideology of “White men’s supremacy” at that point of time. In the height of imperialism, the poem of “The White Man’s Burden” by Rudyard Kipling bought about feelings of superiority and condescending view over the less developed countries mainly Asia. The Whites have the obligation to rule over the indigenous population through colonialization and civilizing mission to educate them. The relationship between US and Japan was marked with tensions with regard to economic and commercial interest over Asia. Roosevelt may view Japan in a negative light such as an aggressor because he felt that only US has a legitimate rule and control over China, unlike an inferior Asian country like Japan

However in Roosevelt’s analysis, the rest of the US has a different impression of Japan. He claims that “the moment everything is smooth and pleasant, there will be a clamor for a stoppage in the building up of the navy.” It can be inferred from Roosevelt that US is