Pearl Harbor DAY OF INFAMY

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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As I was flying over the Pacific Ocean, my thoughts were on the mystery of the islands ahead. As they came into view, they looked like large stepping stones. When we flew closer I saw enormous battleships and airfields and knew I was approaching Pearl Harbor. My thoughts started to drift back to December 7th, 1941, when the island was attacked. As we circled back around, I felt myself skipping across each island, and going back to that country that started it all, Japan.

During 1941 the United States was unaware of Japan?s master plan to dominate Southeast Asia. We must look back on Japans past to see how this all played out. On July 5th, 1853, Commodore Matthew C. Perry sailed into Edo Bay (now Tokyo Harbor) with four American warships and 560 men.

Perry brought a letter from President Franklin Pierce asking if the United States could stop in Japanese Ports to use coal for re-fueling, thereby opening Japan to western trade.

(Rice, 13) Japan was no longer isolated when it became exposed to western culture, industry, and military. They started to view themselves as an empire and started to expand. In less than eighty years, Japan trained, built, and had an army and navy equal to the other major European nations.

Japan became established as a major military power when it attacked China following a disagreement over Korea. It gained possession of Taiwan. The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) also let Japan prevail over Korea. (Rice 15) Japan entered World War I in 1914. The United States started to become aware of Japan as an emerging Asian power.

Both the United States and Japan sided with the allies in WWI. Japan sought to take back its territories that the Germans had gained earlier. These were areas in China and...