July 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Wickman Thesis: China and the Origins of the 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance

Ohio University graduate History student Peter Wickman published his master’s thesis on “China and the Origins of the 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance” on OhioLINK.

British imperial policy in East Asia during the latter decades of the 19th century was informed primarily by a strategic agenda. It was focused on preventing Russia from gaining control of ports of population centers on the periphery of the Eurasian landmass. Using a combination of primary and secondary sources, this paper will argue that Britain’s initial interest in East Asia was primarily economic, by 1895 both diplomatic and economic policy had been thoroughly subsumed by strategic imperatives. However, by that same decade British resources were stretched maintaining security commitments at a variety of points around the globe. A new imperial contest in East Asia presented fresh challenge to these already strained budgets. An alliance with a technologically modernizing Japan represented an effort by both Britain and Japan to limit Russian expansion, and to prevent any future conflict that did break out from spreading into a global conflagration.

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