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By Seung-young Kim (auth.)

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Extra info for American Diplomacy and Strategy toward Korea and Northeast Asia, 1882–1950 and After: Perception of Polarity and US Commitment to a Periphery

Sample text

He was GREAT POWER RIVALRY AND US ASSESSMENT AT THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 33 a natural leader with astonishing intellectual and physical vigor and displayed an almost instinctive feel for the major currents of his era. 34 He saw the world as inextricably interdependent by the turn of the century and urged Americans to assume, in an honorable manner, the responsibility bestowed upon them. 35 Such a view was motivated by both real politik calculations and a belief in the need to spread Western civilization.

It was the most profitable gold mine in East Asia and was secured by Allen’s assiduous efforts as legation secretary. 21 Other financial undertakings started by Americans included street railways, the water main system, and electric lights in Seoul. American businessmen enjoyed very favorable terms for the contracts, and the Korean Emperor was directly involved as partner, owner, or shareholder in such concessions. 22 However, these interests were of no comparison to the US economic interest in Japan and in Manchuria.

74 In contrast, the Russian minister, Pavlov, helped the Korean government to telegraph its declaration of neutrality by way of the French consul in Chefoo in north Shantung. Pavlov did this service because Korean telegraphic services, under Japan’s control, were interrupted from mid-January onward. 75 In this way, France and Russia assisted Korea’s declaration of neutrality, and Britain, among others, agreed to this declaration. But the United States did not show support, to the disappointment of the Korean government, despite the Korean government’s expectation based upon the good office clause of the US-Korean treaty of 1882.

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