The Gentlemen 's Agreement : A Path For Maintaining Pacific Peace

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Danielle Sarkisian
AP United States History
Mrs. Phillips The Gentlemen’s Agreement: A Path to Maintaining Pacific Peace

Throughout the Progressive Era, Theodore Roosevelt struggled with immigration regulation and foreign relations. As Anti-Japanese feelings erupted across the West Coast, Roosevelt had to take action in order to maintain good relations with the Japanese both internationally and domestically. Pressured by the Japanese immigrants’ response to the unfair transition to segregated schools, Roosevelt created the Gentlemen’s Agreement in hopes to sustain a sound relationship with Japan and maintain the United States’ moral and diplomatic stature. Japan and the United States first developed foreign relations in 1853,
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After this, Japan continued to open up trade with the United States. Townsend Harris voyaged to Japan in 1856, creating another treaty between the Japanese and Americans, which continued to grow their relationship as trading partners (“Townsend Harris”). This exposure to the industrial outside world’s new innovations and technologies jumpstarted Japan’s industrial and economic growth, making them valuable and viable trading partner with United States and other European countries (Munson; Roosevelt). As the Progressive Era approached, Japan remained an important ally for the United States. By opening up trade with Japan, the United States also opened up trading relations with Asian countries such as China. Eventually during the Industrial Revolution, when the railroad companies were in extreme need of cheap labor, many Chinese workers immigrated to America, mainly on the West coast (“Commentary on 1865”). The Chinese immigrants who were already in America stayed for several years, while more continued to immigrate. However, as anti-Chinese feelings developed amongst the nation, The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was created, which prevented Chinese immigrants, “with exceptions for teachers, students, merchants, and travelers”, from coming to America. This was very important because it was “the first piece of immigration legislation in the United States that
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