Russo-Japanese War

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Russo-Japanese War,

1904–5, imperialistic conflict that grew out of the rival designs of Russia and Japan on ManchuriaManchuria
, Mandarin Dongbei sansheng [three northeastern provinces], region, c.600,000 sq mi (1,554,000 sq km), NE China. It is officially known as the Northeast.
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 and KoreaKorea
, Korean Hanguk or Choson, region and historic country (85,049 sq mi/220,277 sq km), E Asia. A peninsula, 600 mi (966 km) long, Korea separates the Sea of Japan (called the East Sea by Koreans) on the east from the Yellow Sea (and Korea Bay [or West Korea
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. Russian failure to withdraw from Manchuria and Russian penetration into N Korea were countered by Japanese attempts to negotiate a division of the area into spheres of influence. The Russian government, however, was inflexible, and it was willing to risk an armed conflict in the belief that Japan was bound to be defeated and that a Russian victory would head off the growing threat of internal revolution in Russia. Japan broke off negotiations and severed (Feb. 6, 1904) diplomatic relations with Russia. Two days later, without a declaration of war, Japan attacked Port Arthur and bottled up the Russian fleet. A series of quick Japanese victories, which astounded the world, culminated in the fall of Port Arthur (Jan., 1905), the victory of troops under General Oyama at Shenyang (Feb.–Mar., 1905), and the destruction of the Russian fleet under RozhdestvenskiRozhdestvenski, Zinovi Petrovich
, 1848–1909, Russian admiral. Commander of the Baltic fleet at the time of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5, he was ordered to take his fleet to East Asia.
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 at TsushimaTsushima
, two Japanese islands in Korea Strait. The islands are rocky, and fishing is the main occupation. Nearby, in May, 1905, occurred the major naval battle of the Russo-Japanese War.
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 by Admiral TogoTogo, Heihachiro
, 1846–1934, Japanese admiral, Japan's greatest naval hero. He studied naval science in England (1871–78), gained international recognition for his service in the First Sino-Japanese War, and contributed greatly to the development of Japanese sea
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's fleet (May, 1905). Through the mediation of U.S. President Theodore RooseveltRoosevelt, Theodore,
1858–1919, 26th President of the United States (1901–9), b. New York City. Early Life and Political Posts

Of a prosperous and distinguished family, Theodore Roosevelt was educated by private tutors and traveled widely.
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, peace was made in September at Portsmouth, N.H. (see Portsmouth, Treaty ofPortsmouth, Treaty of,
1905, treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War. It was signed at the Portsmouth Naval Base, New Hampshire, on Sept. 5, 1905. Negotiations leading up to the treaty began in the spring of 1905 when Russia had suffered severe defeats and Japan was in financial
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). The disastrous outcome of the war for Russia was one of the immediate causes of the Russian Revolution of 1905. Japan gained the position of a world power, becoming the first non-European and non-American imperialist modern state.


See I. Nish, The Origins of the Russo-Japanese War (1985); J. N. Westwood, Russia against Japan (1986).

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