PSC 1003 Chapter 4: Summary 4
Course CodePSC 1003
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While other theoretical perspectives may be used to explain the cause of The
Pacific War most, including liberalism, are inadequate in their explanation. The
realist IR theory best explains the origin of the outbreak of this war.
The liberalist theory attempts to explain this origin through focusing on the
inevitability of social progress and harmony of interests. It expects that diplomacy
replaces competition and force. Its interests are in maximizing personal choice,
through promoting and protecting democracy. While there is some evidence that
the United States acted in the interest of protecting democracy and freedom, a
better explanation can be provided through the perspective of realism. The cause
of the war was because of the power-driven nature of these states.
The realism perspective argues that war is connected with human behavior,
and are inevitable. Because states must work in an anarchical system, there is an
absence of higher authority, therefore no rules applied in the international realm.
Instead it is driven by the law of human behavior, and emphasizes the protection or
expansion of the security of the state.
In the video, Why we Fight, it was proclaimed that “war was to be
outlawed” after the end of the first World War. However due to the results of the
nature of human beings, cooperation between countries was not held, and there
was the inevitability of war lingering. Prior to the start of the Great Pacific War the
United States took drastic measures to strengthen their military, a sign that this
inevitable war was becoming evident to these countries. By improving the military,
the focus of the United States was on being a dominant force, preparing for war. In
addition to maximizing action through power internally by military, they also
focused on external action through their alliances. The United States Congress
passed the Export Control Act, which withheld materials (to a certain extent) from
countries that the United States were fearful of. The US was in fear that these
materials could be used against them, yet cutting these countries off would provoke
them to take action against the United States. Furthermore, the US not only limited
resources to countries they were fearful of, they also supplied resources for nations
that were against Japan, especially China. Japan’s actions proved their desire for
accumulating power, and were focused on expanding their land and amount of
resources in order to do so. The US posed a threat to this mission, especially with
their bases nearby in the Philippines, and Japan was determined to eliminate this
problem in their quest for dominance. After the attack on Pearl Harbor which
threatened the power and influence of the United States, there was an immediate
response from the United States. This cause is a result of the power-driven nature
of these countries, fighting to dominate the other and be in control.
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