HIST 212 thesis document example CJ

HIST 212 thesis document example CJ - Charles Walsh PID:...

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Charles Walsh PID: 713624216 HIST 212: Sea Power 2/12/10 Optimism and Unofficial Alliances: Causes of the U.S. Disaster at Pearl Harbor On the eve of the Japanese surprise attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Pacific fleet was completely unprepared. This lack of preparation was primarily due to the reluctance of American political leadership to accept Japan as an enemy comparable to Germany. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ultimately directed a disproportionate amount of resources to assist European nations while he hoped that the fleet's mere presence in Hawaii would be enough to deter a Japanese offensive. This underestimation of Japanese will and naval capabilities coupled with an overinvestment of money and concern for the War in Europe were the primary causes of the disaster at Pearl Harbor. Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood that the Japanese could be a major threat to the United States, but he never perceived the full extent of that threat. Roosevelt was Assistant Secretary of the Navy under the Wilson administration and he had unique experience in assessing the Japanese naval threat 1 . Even with his naval expertise, he hoped, as American's had for years preceding him, that his country would be protected by its vast ocean borders. He also hoped that the malevolent rulers of Japan would be replaced by a government more willing to extend friendship toward America. Even though President Roosevelt had these optimistic thoughts, he still pushed legislation through Congress that allowed for the expansion and further development of the American Navy 2 . 1 Friedel 25 2 Friedel 26
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The purpose of this naval build-up, when viewed through a strategic lens, was to create a deterrent rather than an offensive weapon. President Roosevelt indicated his reluctance to go to war during his 1936 presidential campaign when he said, "I hate war,…I shall pass unnumbered hours, thinking and planning how war may be kept from this nation" 3 . U.S. Public opinion also seemed to be opposed to war with Japan because when Japanese planes sunk the American gunboat, Panay , in 1937 there was no outcry when the President accepted the apologies of Japan 4 . These are not the sentiments of a president and people who are ready to combat a threat.
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This note was uploaded on 10/03/2010 for the course HIST 213 taught by Professor Caddell during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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HIST 212 thesis document example CJ - Charles Walsh PID:...

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