A Letter to an Emperor

1678 WordsJul 17, 20187 Pages
A letter to an Emperor This source of document basically shows how the Americans came to Japan and practiced “Gun-boat diplomacy” on Japan in order to open up its country and abandon its closed-door policy. The writer wrote that America back at the homeland was clouded by “the horrors of the Civil War” and many other domestic problems like buying over Native American lands in the north and dealing with Western nations like the British to remove them out of America’s lands. The term “manifest destiny” in the 1840s, based on America’s perspective, refers to America’s aspiration in assisting countries in other parts of the world to realize their full potential of becoming a modern and self-governance state (Merk, 1995). All in all, from…show more content…
However, similar to the British in the Opium War against China, the Americans used the “Gun-boat diplomacy” to divulge the potential military demolition prowess in the eyes of the Japanese. With past historical events like the Opium War, the writer specifically acknowledge that the western power like the Americans were purely attempting to threaten the Japanese to discard its closed-door policy and open up to western nations and ideas. This could also demonstrate that the Japanese were powerless and were caught unprepared militarily during that period and the decision to let in the Americans were made final by “prince” Toda Izu, a Shogun official, and not the emperor. Moreover, the attempt to gather feedback and advice from the Emperor was regarded as only the “last resort” as it would reflect negatively that the Shogun was incapable and incompetent to make important decision. On the other hand, it might be that the decision made together with the emperor would mean better management to keep American officials at bay from not creating such unequal treaties. On the other hand, we could argue that the Shogun had the ability to foresee that the coming of the west was one to be profit with. The fact that China was heavily defeated by the British in the Opium War; it was a living example that it is useless to fend off western powers as they were not in par with the western military prowess, let alone to even stand a chance of winning. Welcoming the Americans for
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