Chapter

The Sinews of War, 1904–1914

Mark Metzler

in Lever of Empire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780520244207
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931794 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520244207.003.0004
The Sinews of War, 1904–1914

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This chapter looks at the new gold standard in action, as it was employed to fund the construction of Japan's Asian empire in the years before 1914. The Anglo-Japanese alliance became effective in January 1902. Its result was to ensure that Japan could fight a war with Russia without fear of another European power intervening. By October 1903 war appeared imminent, and in December the Japanese minister in London approached the British government for a war loan. On the night of February 8, 1904, Japanese naval forces launched the war with a surprise torpedo attack on the Russian warships stationed at Lüshun in southern Manchuria and landed troops at Inchon in Korea. It cost the Japanese government the previously unimaginable sum of 1.9 billion yen — almost six times the central government's total spending in 1903. Forty percent of the expenses were paid by overseas borrowing.

Keywords: Asian empire; gold standard; war loan; Anglo-Japanese alliance; overseas borrowing

Chapter.  10010 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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