The Russo-Japanese War
Japan first encountered European traders in 1542. The Europeans introduced religion and Western technology to the Japanese. Even though the Europeans and Japanese considered each other barbarians, Japanese leadership realized that their system of governmental control was antiquated. A continuing series of events and interactions with the barbarians from West encouraged Japan to move away from the rule of the Shogun and his feudal lords (or daimyo) and into a modern military and western styled society. Their decision was expedited by the expansionistic tendency of the United States (U.S.).
In 1845, the U.S. embarked on westward expansion. The declaration of “Manifest Destiny,” provided the impetus for westward expansion. The American government believed it was their God-given right to extend their economic strategies and political principles throughout North America, Latin America, and among the Asian nations. Twenty-seven U.S. ships attempted to dock in Japan between 1790 and 1853, and all ships were sent away. The purpose of the forays was to open Japanese ports and provided economic opportunities for American …show more content…
They too sought an open trade treaty with Japan. The timing of the Russian visit could not have been worse as the death of the Shogun forced them to withdraw their ships without an agreement. In February 1854 Commodore Perry on behalf of the United States dictated the terms and forced the Japanese to sign the treaty of Kanagawa on March 31, 1854. The Japanese consider the treaty to be unequal as it contained a dozen articles and promised eternal peace between the U.S. and Japan. Japan was also forced to grant U.S. ships access to two Japanese ports. The interaction was a watershed moment for the Japanese as they witness the military power of the modern American naval fleet. Out gunned the Japanese began a process of westernization including the modernization of the military and they promoted a strong sense of nationalism. In contrast to Japan’s aggressive military build-up Tsar Nicholas II began to seek reduction of armaments from the western industrialized