Commodore Perry & Japan

We’ve been talking about American trade, and last week we discussed the international aspects. One important and defining moment in American and World History is directly linked to the U.S. Navy and maritime trade interests.

It wasn’t a war or even a battle. Instead, an American fleet broke through the isolationist “walls” surrounding Japan, opening opportunity for the Asian country and establishing firm diplomatic relationships between the countries. Taking place in 1853 and 1854, it signaled a positive beginning of maritime trade with Japan – an arrangement which could benefit both countries.

Understanding this event is a key foundation to examining the history of American roles, influences, and diplomacy with Asia. Today, we present some overview history of the American commodore, the Japanese shogun, the first American ships to enter Japanese harbors, and the first treaty between the countries.  Continue reading