Primary Source Analysis Paper #2 essay

PrimarySource Analysis Paper #2

Dueto pressure from the American people, the President of the UnitedStates, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1941 wrote a compelling letterto the then Emperor of Japan. The central theme in the letter was arequest for peace between the two nations. The basis for this standwas due to the then military actions that Japan was undertakingwithin French Indo-China (Lillian Goldman Law Library, 2008). Theseactions were seen as aggressive and not defensive in any way. Thisessay analyses the contents of the letter and addresses its keycomponents.

Theauthor’s purpose was to write to a leader of a sovereign state tocall for peace within the two nations after the escalation of thepotential conflict. The message relayed was about the longstandingpeace between the two states and how there was no need to destroythat situation. The information is passed using facts about themilitary movement within Indo-China. The author’s argument is thatJapan should withdraw all its military involvement within FrenchIndo-China or else there might be forceful retaliation. The author,however, insisted that they would prefer the peace for the good ofthe entire human race (Lillian Goldman Law Library, 2008).

Asa reader, I am persuaded by the argument. The reason is that theauthor is clearly objective and refrains from bringing up issues thatare not related to that situation. The Japanese military wasapparently planning on invading French Indo-China. This act wouldhave caused a lot of death and destruction not only to the Chinesepeople but also the neighboring countries (Lillian Goldman LawLibrary, 2008). Judging from all the historical facts, it is apparentthe author used reliable information to pass on his message andconvince the intended audience. Such information includes themovement of Japanese military as far as Southern Indo-China in largenumbers (Lillian Goldman Law Library, 2008).

Theauthor’s background is from an affluent life that exposed him tothe finer things in life and top level education (Dulles et al.,pp1-3). This context clearly influences what he says and how he saysit. He speaks in an effective manner, passing across his messagewhile still being polite and respectful. This manner of speakingclearly shows that his upbringing played a significant role in how hecan express himself and argue his points effectively using reliableinformation and not through emotions. This characteristic speaksvolumes about the actions and beliefs of the upper class. The mannerthat he argues in the letter shows that the upper apparently expectimmediate response and action to their message. However respectfulthe letter was, the veiled threat was apparent. The Japanese Emperorwas to either remove their troops from Indo-China or an eminentattack was possible. The primary source was written from theperspective of the American people that were keen to keep the peaceand end the Second World War (Lillian Goldman Law Library, 2008).

Historicalquestions that can be answered from the primary source include thereason why the US and Japan were having issues, why the Americanpeople were feeling uneasy about peace within the Pacific region, andthe actions that Roosevelt tried to broker the peace between the USand Japan. The questions that are not answered from the sourceinclude the reason behind Japan’s invasion of Indo-China and thereason why Japan decided to attack the United States (Lillian GoldmanLaw Library, 2008).


Fromthe primary source, it is evident that the author, Roosevelt,intended on seeking for peace between the US and Japan. Heeffectively passed on his message using facts in a convincing mannerthat any reader was bound to be persuaded. The upper-class backgroundthat he came from played a vital role in enabling him to convey hismessage in a firm though respectful way. He was, however, speakingfor the American citizens. Several historical questions were answeredsuch as the action that Roosevelt took to try and create an amnestyduring World War II. Nevertheless, some issues such as the reasonthat Japan attacked Pearl Harbor were not answered. Overall, thisletter from Franklin Roosevelt to the Emperor shows that the USgovernment was set on maintaining peace without the need for war.From the events that followed this letter being delivered, it isclear that Japan was keen on war.


Dulles,Foster Rhea, and Gerald E. Ridinger. &quotThe Anti-Colonial Policiesof Franklin D. Roosevelt.&quot&nbspPoliticalScience Quarterly&nbsp70.1(1955): 1-18.

LillianGoldman Law Library. “Message from the President to the Emperor ofJapan December 6.” 127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511 (2008).Retrieved from on May 17, 2016.