The Causes of Pearl Harbor Essay

The Causes of Pearl Harbor Essay

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     “There is no choice left but to fight and break the iron chains strangling Japan” (Spector 76) 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 than 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. (Hoyt 37)

     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 stoping the issuing of passports to contract laborers going to America even if the American employers wanted them and promised employment. (Hoyt 37)

     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 ...


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...ater released,
“ In various aspects the empire is losing materials: that is , we are getting weaker. By contrast the enemy is getting stronger. With the passage of time, we will get increasingly weaker, and we won’t be able to survive. Moreover, we will endure what we can be endured in carrying on diplomacy, but at the opportune moment we most take some estimates.” (Hoyt 211)

The Japanese military had several conferences to decide on what action should be taken to show the greater powers of the world that Japan wasn’t weak. The decision was made by the government leaders at this Nagano conference to continue negotiating with the United States until October 1941. If nothing were settled, then the Japanese would begin war with the United States. The United States refused to give in Japan’s requests. They were not looking to settle. (Hoyt 212)

The Japanese’s hatred towards the United States was getting increasingly stronger. Japan saw the oil cut off as the last straw. All the pent up anger and frustration that the Japanese felt towards the Americans was released on December 7, 1941. The Japanese took their revenge on the United States, with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

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