Americans generally consider World War II in the Pacific as a war primarily between the Japanese Empire and the United States for mastery of that great ocean. The reality is that, for Japan, the war with the United States was a sideshow, a war it entered only because the United States opposed its attempted domination of China, a conflict engendered by two centuries of China's decline and Japan's rise. While the course will spend the appropriate amount of time on the American war, it will also consider Japan's China war, its war with the British Empire, and particularly with the Empire's great colony of India. The course will conclude with how the war brought an end to the great European empires in Asia, how it brought the communists to power in China, and how the occupation of Japan turned it from a militaristic empire to a flourishing and pacifistic democracy. Lecture (plus Questions)
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