Empires at War: A Short History of Modern Asia Since World by Francis Pike

By Francis Pike

Empires at War provides a dramatic narrative account of ways "Modern Asia" got here into being. Ranging over the entire of Asia, from Japan to Pakistan, the trendy heritage of this crucial quarter is positioned within the context of the fight among the USA and the Soviet Union. Francis Pike exhibits that America's domination of post-war Asia used to be a continuation of a 100-year pageant for energy within the sector. He additionally argues cogently that, opposite to the principally "Western-centric" point of view, Asian international locations weren't easily the passive and biddable pawns of the superpowers, yet had a political improvement which was once either separate and exact, with a dynamic that used to be principally autonomous of the superpower clash. And, in end, the e-book strains the unwinding of yank impression and the tip of its empire, a very important improvement in foreign heritage that's already having repercussions through the world.

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It was a breathtaking assumption on the part of Polk. As an area, California, apart from Richard Dana’s book, was little known to the American government in spite of the hide and tallow trade which had started there in 1821. It was only in 1843 that Polk organised an exploration of the area under the command of the 28-year-old Second Lt John Frémont, who discovered California’s fertile lands and reached the Pacific coast with the help 18 EMPIRES AT WAR of the legendary guide Kit Carson. Frémont – soldier, explorer, adventurer and politician – would eventually join the California Gold Rush and become in 1856 the first Republican presidential candidate.

The Oregon Treaty of 15 June 1846 was a compromise agreement which both parties could live with. Whatever his expansionist instincts, Polk did not intend to add a war with Great Britain to his agenda. The final piece of the expansion to make up what now consists of America’s southern border was the purchase of another slice of Northeastern Mexico, an area to the east of the Rio Grande and incorporating such towns as Tucson and Tombstone in what is now Southern Arizona and part of New Mexico. The socalled 1853 Gadsden Purchase for US$ 10 million was done principally to aid the construction of a railroad to link the East Coast with Southern California; (the Gadsden Purchase, named after the US ambassador to Mexico who negotiated the treaty, eventually proved its worth but, as a result of the interruption of the civil war, the South Pacific Railroad project did not get off the ground until 1865).

20 The young 14 EMPIRES AT WAR American nation now faced an army sent by Napoleon to secure France’s New World possessions; conflict must have appeared inevitable when, in a classic display of Colbertist protectionism, American merchants were denied access to the strategically crucial port of New Orleans. Fortunately for the USA, on their way to America via Guadaloupe, 30,000 of Napoleon’s most experienced troops and his brother-in-law commander, General Leclerc, were lost to the ravages of yellow fever; Napoleon, in desperate need of funds to renew hostilities with Britain, instructed Talleyrand to negotiate a sale of the Louisiana territories.

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