Many hypotheses and theories exist for why that fateful day occurred in history. Was Japan trying to take over the world and the United States stood in their way? Did we deserve this? I believe Japan attacked Pearl Harbor for a combination of reasons. War is never simple and I have to believe that it is never just the fault of one. I believe that the combination of a breakdown of relations with the US, Japan’s imperialistic actions, and the US’s restriction on trade with Japan lit the fuse that resulted in the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
I believe a breakdown of relations between the US and Japan was a contributing factor to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1919 world leaders met to form a League of Nations to solve the world’s problems, however the United States failed to join. Some American leaders did not want to get involved with the problems of the world. This shocked and disappointed some of Japan’s leaders. Further, in 1924 the US passed The Immigration Quota Act.
This act affected much more than just Japan; it affected immigrants coming from eastern and southern Europe, India, and China. The Japanese wrote back in a newspaper article about this new act and how they were humiliated by it. “There is no denying that the adoption by the American Senate of the exclusion amendment to the Immigration bill has given a shock to the whole Japanese race such as has never before been felt…. The Senate has passed, with an almost overwhelming majority, an amendment they know is a most humiliating one to the Japanese race.
Japan committed what some would consider suicide, when their aircraft bombed Pearl Harbor.1 Pearl Harbor was the most important day of World War II. This was the first strike towards the US. making them enter the war. Even though the US. had been involved a little before this. The attack prompted full entrance of the US. into the war.Japan wanted to not depend on white imperialist nations, like ...
” This amendment offended the Japanese and placed a barrier on already strained relations with the US. I believe another contributing factor to the bombing of Pearl Harbor was Japan’s imperialistic actions. Japan was becoming an aggressor. In 1932 Japan created a puppet state in Manchuria which caused conflict with China. After leaving the League of Nations, in 1937 Japan invaded China. Though small they were quickly establishing themselves as a concern to the US.
To further aggravate an already unsteady situation, in September 1940, Japan signed a three-way pact with Nazi Germany and Italy. The US could not afford to fight a war on two fronts. I believe the final contributing factor was the US’s restriction on trade with Japan. In 1939, the US restricted the trade of aircraft and aircraft parts to Japan. In 1941, the US stopped all trade of oil, steel, and scrap iron. Japan feared that in two years they would have no petroleum for their military and their ships would stop moving.
Japan further feared that, without action, a strengthening of American defenses in the South Pacific and an expansion of the American fleet would cause Japan to become a third class nation. Earlier, in 1940, the US had taken precautious measures and moved its fleet from California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the closest American territory to Japan at that time. In July of the same year, Congress passed the Naval Expansion Act which promised the fleet would triple by 1944.
A year later the US temporarily stopped all the Japanese bank accounts and by August, stopped the trade of oil. I believe that the combination of a breakdown of relations with the US, Japan’s imperialistic actions, and the US’s restriction on trade with Japan lit the fuse that resulted in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Would the outcome have been different if just one of these factors not occurred; or would war have still been inevitable? I can only hope that we have learned from the mistakes of the past so that we can avoid another fateful day in our future.