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Chapter Twenty-One. The End of an Era: Theodore Roosevelt and the Treaty of Portsmouth

Eugene P. Trani and Donald E. Davis

Subject History » International History
Political History » Diplomacy and International Relations

Place Asia

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

People Roosevelt, Theodore

Key-Topics colonialism, First World War, war

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444331400.2011.00023.x


More than a century has passed since Theodore Roosevelt mediated the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. That effort resulted in the Treaty of Portsmouth. It is almost that long since TR delivered his Nobel Peace Prize lecture on May 5, 1910, having been awarded the prize for his mediation. This centenary has resulted in a number of articles, op-eds, and books reviewing the events of so long ago, particularly because President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Obama became only the third American president to win the prize for activities while president. This literary avalanche, most notably Steven Ericson's and Allen Hockley's volume, The Treaty of Portsmouth and Its Legacies , have detailed serious reinterpretations of the events of 1904–1910, using new sources of information and a variety of research technologies. Others, such as James Bradley's The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War (2009a) and his op-ed of December 6, 2009, in the New York Times , “Diplomacy That Will Live in Infamy” (2009b) , have sensationalist and unfounded interpretations of the 1904–1910 period. Bradley, for example, holds TR responsible, at least in part, for the Japanese decision to bomb Pearl Harbor in 1941: “the consequence of Theodore Roosevelt's recklessness” in his relations with Japan during both the Russo-Japanese War and afterwards. It is, therefore, timely to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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