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Unformatted text preview: IR 360: International Relations of the Pacific Rim Notes 1-14-2010 The USA Foreign Policy towards Europe & Asia: Between Alliance and Self-determination 1945-1949 • Historical background o 1930s: Japan’s expansion to China: After taking over Manchuria in 1931, Imperial Japan invaded China proper in 1937 The USA sent material aid to the Chiang Kai-shek The Axis (Germany, Italy, and Japan) signed an alliance pact in September 1940 o 1940 – 1941: increased US engagement in Europe’ In late 1940 – FDR declared the USA as “the arsenal of democracy” In December 940 – FDR proposed Lend-Lease Aid to Great Britain January 1941 – FDR’s ‘four freedoms’ speech and the FDR-Churchill announced the Atlantic Charter in August • Significance of The Atlantic Charter o Cal for a new world order based economic liberalism and decolonization of the European empires. Note the differences between FDR and Churchill on “self determination” o Get the USA out of its “Isolationist” shell and export American ideals to the rest of the world o Ignite nationalist aspirations for independence against colonial powers around the world • How did the US enter the Pacific War? o July 1941 – Japanese troops’ move to occupy all of French Indochina (in retrospect, it is a critical juncture) o FDR Administration froze Japanese assets in the USA and denied Japan essential petroleum shipments o November 1941 – Japan staged a diplomatic proposal for USA and Japan o December 7, 1941 – imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor o December 8 – FDR got the Congress to declare war on Japan o December 11 – Hitler declared war on the USA o By early 1942, Japan drove the British and the Dutch out of SE Asia and forced the French to surrender its Indochina colony • The Yalta Conference, February 1945 o Stalin’s condition (agreed to by USA and Great Britain) for entering the war against Japan: Take back its claimed territory, Sakhalin and Kurile Islands lost in the Russo- Japanese war in 1904 – 1905 Access to and joint control with China over Manchuria railroad to expand USSR reach in East Asia • The Dropping of Atomic Bombs on Japan o Moral Reason – Is it necessary to defeat Japan by dropping these weapons of mass destruction? Racism? (John Dower) o Political Reason – as the instrument to dictate post-war world order on the American terms rather than a military necessity. (Alperovitz) o Political and Military Reasons – end the war quickly and save American lives, prevent the Soviet Entry into the war, and put the USA on stronger stance against the USSR (Bernstein) • The USA Containment Policy: Iron Curtain in Europe and hot wars in Asia o February 1946 – George Kennan’s “long-telegram” forms the basis of “the Truman Doctrine of March 197” (In Europe) o The Marshall Plan (1947 on) – to build a stable and democratic Western Europe as a bulwark against the Soviet Communist expansion o Until after the communists’ victory China in October 1949, the US priority was...
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