Read the background below and examine the poster that follows, then answer the questions. Be prepared to discuss your answers.
The Empire of Japan was formed, or more accurately restored, in 1868 following the Meiji restoration. Before the restoration, Japan had been living in relative isolation in a more or less feudal state as the rest of the world bowled ahead into the industrial age. With the restoration came rapid modernization. By 1905, Japan was a match for any world power, as it showed through its victories in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905. By the late 1920s and early 1930s, Japan had developed a desire to expanding beyond its traditional borders in the hopes of exerting its influence across the entire Pacific region. The strong militaristic and nationalist traditions of Japanese culture fueled this drive for expansion.
By the early 1930s, Japan had invaded Manchuria and by 1932, the nation was at war with China. What resulted was a long and bloody conflict that put on display the true horror and strength of the Japanese military.
This aggressive expansion inevitably created growing tensions between the Japanese and the United States. Since the late 1890s, the United States had exerted a strong influence in the region. It had claimed territories across the south pacific and benefited greatly from the trade they produced. Tensions between the two countries grew as the United States placed tighter and tighter trade restrictions on the Japanese. Finally, after the United States placed an oil embargo on the Japanese, they felt they had to act. Their gamble came in the form of a surprise attack upon the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor Hawaii on Sunday, December 7, 1941.
- What was happening in the Pacific in the 1930’s
- What happened on December 7, 1941
- What is the objective of the poster?
- How does the poster attempt to achieve this objective?
- Do you believe it is effective?