December 7th, 1941 was the date of a horrific attack on a United States naval base in a harbor in Hawaii. On that day the harbor was attacked by both the air and sea. As about 350 Japanese aircraft flew over the naval harbor, out of their planes dropped bombs (Pearl Harbor day of infamy, 2013). With the help of Japanese submarines, they both would damage 8 battle ships, with 4 of them sunk in the harbor. On that day about 2,403 Americans were tallied up in the casualties, and over 1,178 navy and civilians were wounded. As people say the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack from the Japanese — or was it? Some people believe that the United States provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor so that the U.S. could get into the war and jump-start their economy again, and not only do they believe that the U.S. provoked the attack, but these people also believe that FDR and his administration knew about the attack and just sat back in their chairs and watched the whole event unfold. I would have to agree with the account that the United States provoked Japan into the attack; I would also have to agree that FDR sat back and let it happen.
The United States and Japan have had bad blood between each other ever since the end of the First World War, not just during World War Two. Both the United States and Japan were major industrial powers at the turn of the 1900s, competing with each other on the world stage (Ember, 2011). Also, going back to World War One, the United States, Great Britain, France, and Italy all had leaders that were key in the making of the Treaty of Versailles (Buchanan, 2001). The “Big Four” did not feel the need to allow any country other than them to contribute to the treaty. The countries that wanted to have a say in the treaty were Japan, Germany, Vietnam, and other smaller countries.
Not to mention that during the 1910’s and the 1920’s Japan was on the rise to becoming a major world player, but nations like Great Britain, France, and even the United States did not formally recognize Japan as an up and coming world power. Japan especially felt like they were just as much of a world power as Britain and America. The U.S. proposed an idea that would limit the number of tons of steel used for warships and it would set up a ratio system of how many tons of steel one country could use to build a warship and the other counties would have a ratio of how much steel of that they could use (The Washington Naval Conference). France and Italy could both have about 1.67 tons and Japan could have 3 tons of steel to use to the United States’ and Britain’s 5 tons of steel built. So the ratio was 5: 5: 3: 1.67: 1.67 and their countries U.S: GB: Japan: France: Italy, respectively. This became known as the 5-Power Treaty; it was also known as the Washington Naval Treaty. Japan believed they should be a part of the 5 tons instead of the United States. Japan argued that since they were an island, they should have the right to have a...