Research Papers on the Russo-Japanese War
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The Russo-Japanese war was the outcome of the territorial expansion of both the Russian and Japanese Empires that brought them into direct conflict over control of the Far East. Russo-Japanese War research papers began by noting that during the last decades of the 1800s, and the first decade of the 20th century, Russia expanded its empire into Siberia, building a Pacific fleet at Port Arthur. Russian imperial ambitions ran into similar expansion on the part of the Empire of Japan. On February 8, 1904, Japan launched a surprise attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur (a move they would repeat at Pearl Harbor in 1941).
While the Japanese won numerous victories, both sides exhausted themselves militarily, and agreed to arbitration led by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905. On September 5, 1905, the Treaty of Portsmouth was signed with the following terms:
- Russia surrendered its lease to Port Arthur
- Russia ceded the southern half of Sakhalin Island
- Russia evacuated Manchuria
- Russia recognized Korea as a Japanese sphere of influence.
President Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Both Empires sought to increase their influence over China and some of the territories that China formerly controlled such as Korea, which was a response to the deteriorating political and military power of China. For Russia, control over the northern Chinese territories including Korea was a logical extension of centuries of expansion in Siberia and East Asia. For Japan, control over China was part of its embryonic agenda to establish the East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere that would function not only to increase Japan’s power and influence, but also to demonstrate to Europe that Japan was a world power in its own right. The Russian defeat in the war severely damaged its position in the Far East by reducing its prestige and reducing its ability to project military power through the destruction of its fleet at the Battle of Tsushima. At the same time, the domestic turmoil caused by the war cause the Russian government to focus more heavily on domestic issues and to abandon its imperialist aspirations in the Far East.