Instructor: Tennent Lee
On July 8, 1853, Commodore Perry sailed four steam-powered U.S. Navy warships into Tokyo Bay. On December 7, 1941, Japanese Admiral Yamato sent 353 Imperial Japanese fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes, launched from six aircraft carriers, to attack Pearl Harbor. This course will examine those intervening 88 years to see what brought the two nations to war. Topics will include the rise of the Japanese Empire from a feudal society to a modern industrial power, the factors leading to the death of democracy in Japan, and the rise of militarism and imperial expansion. We will also cover prevailing public attitudes in the United States, including racial prejudice against Asians, immigration laws, and trade embargoes; the build-up of naval forces on both sides; the intelligence failures which left the U.S. woefully unprepared when the attack finally came; and the conspiracy theories which remain with us to this day.