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Portsmouth, Treaty of

PORTSMOUTH, TREATY OF

Signed September 5 (August 23 O.S.), 1905, in Portsmouth, Maine, this treaty terminated the Russo-Japanese war. U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt had offered to mediate between the warring parties, fearing that continued fighting would destabilize the Far East and jeopardize U.S. commercial interests in China. (Roosevelt went on to win the Nobel Prize for Peace for his efforts.)

Russia recognized Japan's interests in Korea, and ceded its lease over the Liaotung Peninsula to Japan, as well as the southern half of Sakhalin island and control of the Southern Manchurian railroad to Chang-chun. Russia also pledged that Manchuria would remain a part of China.

The treaty ended any Russian hope of establishing protectorates over Manchuria and Korea. In addition, it represented the first defeat of a European Great Power by an Asian state during the modern age.

The fall of Port Arthur, the defeat of the Russian Army at Mukden, the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet at Tsushima, and the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution convinced the government of Tsar Nicholas II that the war had to end. Count Sergei Witte was sent as plenipotentiary with orders to secure the best possible deal for Russia. A cunning negotiator, Witte skillfully used the U.S. press to swing international opinion against Japan. He also realized that Japan lacked the resources to follow up on its initial military victories and that he could afford to prolong the talks. In the end, Japan dropped its demands for a sizable indemnity and the complete evisceration of Russia's position in the Far East. Witte's diplomacy helped to compensate for Russia's military weakness.

Nevertheless, the Treaty of Portsmouth was perceived as a defeat for Russia and diminished its international stature, notably in the 1908 Bosnia crisis. Josef Stalin was to justify the Soviet entry into the war against Japan in 1945 in part on the grounds of reversing the 1905 "defeat."

See also: russo-japanese war; witte, sergei yulievich

bibliography

Fuller, William C., Jr. (1992). Strategy and Power in Russia, 16001914. New York: Free Press.

Riasanovsky, Nicholas V. (1984). A History of Russia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nikolas Gvosdev

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"Portsmouth, Treaty of." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Portsmouth, Treaty of." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/portsmouth-treaty

"Portsmouth, Treaty of." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/portsmouth-treaty

Portsmouth, Treaty of

Treaty of Portsmouth, 1905, treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War. It was signed at the Portsmouth Naval Base, New Hampshire, on Sept. 5, 1905. Negotiations leading up to the treaty began in the spring of 1905 when Russia had suffered severe defeats and Japan was in financial difficulties. Therefore, both nations indicated a desire for peace. Germany, the United States, and Great Britain were instrumental in forcing conciliation between the belligerents. However, the United States and Britain exacted certain concessions from Japan before smoothing the way for the treaty. President Theodore Roosevelt demanded that Japan follow the Open Door policy in Manchuria and return the region to Chinese administration. In the Taft-Katsura agreement of July, 1905, Roosevelt agreed to Japanese dominance in Korea in return for American freedom of action in the Philippines. Great Britain had the Anglo-Japanese treaty extended to cover all of E Asia and in return also gave Japan a free hand in Korea. Under the terms of the Portsmouth agreement, Russia was compelled to recognize Korea's independence and the "paramount political, military, and economic interests" of Japan in Korea. Russia also agreed to place Manchuria again under the sovereignty of China, and all foreign troops were to be removed. The railway lines in S Manchuria, constructed by Russia, were ceded to Japan without payment. The disputed Liaodong peninsula (see Liaoning), containing the ports of Dalian and Port Arthur (see Lüshun, was turned over to Japan, as was the southern part of the island of Sakhalin. Japan also obtained fishing rights in the waters adjacent to the Russian Far East. The Treaty of Portsmouth marked the temporary decline of Russian power in East Asia and the emergence of Japan as the strongest power in the area.

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"Portsmouth, Treaty of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Portsmouth, Treaty of

PORTSMOUTH, TREATY OF

PORTSMOUTH, TREATY OF. Russia and Japan accepted President Roosevelt's offer to help end the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905 and agreed to meet with him and Governor John McLane in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Russia agreed after losing major naval and land battles. Japan, which had begun the war with a surprise attack on Port Arthur in Manchuria, agreed after running out of money to finance the war.

On 10 August 1905, the Japanese presented twelve terms. They negotiated daily, but by 19 August, they had reached an impasse. Roosevelt worked to reach compromises on war reparations by Russia to Japan, returning captured Japanese vessels, curtailment of Russia's Pacific navy, and Russia's buying back half of Sakhalin Island for $40,000,000. Russia's envoys were under strict orders not to authorize any kind of payment.

From 20–30 August, Roosevelt persuaded the Japanese to forego reparations and Russia's purchase of southern Sakhalin. Russia agreed to allow Japan to occupy the southern half of Sakhalin and to leave Korea. Both agreed to return Manchuria to China, to restrict their activities in China, and to divide the fisheries they had claimed. The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed on 5 September 1905. In 1906, President Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the negotiations.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Russo-Japanese War Research Society. Available at http://www.russojapan.com.

Westwood, J. N. Russia against Japan 1904–1905: A New Look at the Russo-Japanese War. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986.

Kirk H.Beetz

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"Portsmouth, Treaty of." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Portsmouth, Treaty of." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/portsmouth-treaty