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Guarding The Gates Of Our East Asia: Japanese Reactions To The Far Eastern Crisis (1897–98) As A Prelude To The War

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Chapter Summary

The question of Sergei Witte's role in the origins of the Russo-Japanese War is particularly contentious. Published as Russian Far Eastern Diplomacy, the book long remained a standard English-language account of tsarist foreign policy leading up to the war. The case of Sergei Witte is particularly interesting, since his notions about the primacy of economic forces were relatively unique among tsarist statesmen. Like Karl Marx, Sergei Witte defined historical progress according to modes of production. In August 1905, the emperor sent him to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at the head of Russia's delegation to negotiate an end to the disastrous war with Japan. His ardor for the Trans-Siberian Railway, partnership with the Qing dynasty, and the Far East's pénétration pacifique all played a major role in arousing Nicholas' dreams for empire on the Pacific Ocean.

Keywords: Nicholas II; pénétration pacifique; Qing dynasty; Russian Far Eastern Diplomacy; Russo-Japanese War; Sergei Witte



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