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You Want Oil? STOP EXPANDING!

October 25, 1941

Hi again. There have been some really weird things going on around here lately. Recently, people have been talking about “intervention” almost like they want President Roosevelt and Congress to declare war on Japan. I should probably explain, since you may or may not follow the news, I don’t know if you do. So it all started in 1931, at least that’s where I think it started. Japan had been wanting to expand in Asia for a while now because they thought they were being treated unfairly by the League of Nations and they wanted to be seen as equals by the Western nations. Since the US and Great Britain were busy picking themselves up from the devastation caused by the Great Depression, the Japanese figured it was the perfect time to invade China. One day, a bomb exploded on a Japanese railway in Manchuria, China. The Japanese blamed China and invaded Manchuria in retaliation. Eventually it was found out that Japan had set the bomb off. The League of Nations was furious but did nothing to punish Japan because they really didn’t want to start another war (they were still focused on the Depression). Japan declared itself leader of Asia in the Asian Monroe Doctrine in 1933. Believing that expansion was everything it wanted, the Japanese government invaded Beijing in 1937 (the China Incident) and captured the city of Nanking soon after. As a result of these two expansionist measures, Americans began leaning more towards the prospect of interventionism rather than isolationism. They were appalled by the things Japan was doing to invade and they wanted to do something about it without getting involved in a full-out war. In 1938, Japan formed the New Order, threatening all the US possessions in the Pacific, including Hawaii. As a result, the United States moved their Pacific fleet from California to Hawaii (for more protection) and put an embargo on Japanese oil. The United States was angry at Japan for messing with their possessions in the Pacific so they stopped selling Japan oil; oil that Japan needed if it wanted to continue to expand in Asia. Honestly, I think the embargo was a smart idea on the US’ part. If the only way to stop Japan from taking over Asia (and maybe later the world) is to take away their oil then so be it. The only issues I, and most others, have is that it might cause Japan to retaliate in a way that will most surely be worse that taking away oil. That’s the only reason I think the US shouldn’t have done this, but besides that, great move! It was a way to keep Japan at bay without full out starting a war! GO AMERICA! At the time of the embargo, Japan and the US were extremely angry with each other, but the US desperately wanted to stay away from entering the war that was already starting in Europe.  Oh no! I forgot to mention what was going on in Europe! You must be so confused. I’ll explain it all another time. I have so much homework to get done before Halloween. BOO-BYE!

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