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Studies in the Anglo-Japanese alliance (1902-1923)

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Daniels examined British media views of Japan by sampling local and national dailies, with emphasis on The Times and The Economist and magazines like Punch, The Graphic and The Illustrated London News. While the metropolitan papers were broadly supportive, some provincial journalists, favouring free trade, were critical of Japan and the alliance. Hunter contrasted Britain's dominance in the international economy in 1902 with her weakened position commercially and financially after the first world war. While economic factors were a secondary consideration in the formation of the alliance, it probably led to the growth of the Japanese economy overall. Steeds pointed to the contrast that, while the alliance started in the days of the Pax Brittanica, it was brought to an end in the days of growing American hegemony. After 1905 the United States increasingly looked suspiciously at the alliance as a bulwark protecting and encouraging Japan whose wartime activities in China and Siberia had antagonized the US. Nish looked at the Japanese enthusiasm for the alliance in its early stages and the disillusion which crept in between her and Britain because of Korea and China. When the big decision on continuing the alliance had to be made in 1921, it divided opinion in both countries between League of Nations enthusiasts who wanted the alliance to end and more pragmatic politicians who were ready for it to continue.

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