In the late Nineteenth Century, the expanding Russian and Japanese spheres of influence began to collide in Korea and Manchuria - the Russian occupation of Manchuria in 1900 led to war by February 1904. At the outset, the Russians were supremely confident, but it was the far better prepared Japanese who won victory after victory in a series of immense land and naval battles. Both nations were exhausted by the summer of 1905, and peace was concluded in September in a conference hosted by Theodore Roosevelt.
The war was a disaster for Russia. The humiliating defeats weakened the Czar's authority and set off a revolution that contributed to the eventual triumph of the Bolsheviks a dozen years later. Indirectly, the war’s effects on Japan were equally unfortunate, as its ambitions - especially in China - began to grow uncontrollably.
|(1): The Background, from the 17th Century to January 1904|
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Colin MacKerras. Modern China: A Chronology from 1842 to the Present. 1982
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Ian Nish. Japanese Foreign Policy 1869-1942: Kasumigaseki to Miyakezaka. 1977
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