America and Japan go to war..... In 1853.

In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry sailed to Japan in order to open up the country for trade. In OTL Japan accepted the treaty and opened up to the west and would adopt more western policies including imperialism eventually creating the Empire of Japan and would kick off the pacific war in WW2. But what if Japan had refused and instead murdered Perry and his men starting a war with the United States... What would happen next? How would this affect Japanese and American history? Would this delay or accelerate the start of the Civil War? And although I can't see this happening would the US annex Japan? Discuss!

Edit: Mods move this to before 1900 I misclicked
 
Four words if the USA and Japan started fighting "Blood in the water." other European nations would see this and go "I too would like a slice of this pie." And there's not much that the Japanese can do against the Western nations.
 
Japan would go the way of China, with unequal treaties being the norm. Ironically the US might get the smallest slice of that pie. They are not yet the naval power they will become and will be pretty distracted in a few years time. If there is more unequal treatying to come then the US may be too distracted to take part.
 

CalBear

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Japan would go the way of China, with unequal treaties being the norm. Ironically the US might get the smallest slice of that pie. They are not yet the naval power they will become and will be pretty distracted in a few years time. If there is more unequal treatying to come then the US may be too distracted to take part.
Oh, absolutely. The RN and French are right there in China and other Pacific outposts, and Spain is in the Philippines, even the Dutch have a decent presence in the DEI. The U.S. navy is small, the Army is more or less non-existent beyond a Frontier Constabulary, and the American West Coast outside of San Francisco is literally the Wild West.
 
Unequal treaties between Japan and the US, the Americans open the Japanese market and maybe snatch themselves a port or two. Enter one fine gentleman called the British Empire, which, having dealt with matters in India, decides it wants those rights to, so another war another set of treaties. The Americans will be told politely to keep their grubby claws to themselves else they loose them. Then come French and Russians, the later to seize Hokkaido, the former because not having what Britain has just won't do. At this point the Brits might politely offer to help the Japanese kick the Russians out of Hokkaido in exchange for some strings on the Shogunate. Maybe they actually drive the Russians out, maybe they fail spectacularily. The Dutch and Spanish will be there too, but the Dutch won't risk getting too involved where France and Britain are already present, and the Spanish really have other things to worry about. That said, the Dutch might seize Ryukyu.

Inside Japan, the Emperor will serve as a rallying point for anti-western sentiment. There'll be rebellions against the Shogun, who'll need Franco-British support to crush the Clans. This has the long term effect of turning the Shogun into a puppet of western interests. Meanwhile European wares flood the Japanese market, driving local traders and artisans into poverty, leading to additional unrest. If the Imperialists are smart, they'll ignore this. If they are dumb, they march into Tokyo and arrest the Emperor, which definitely triggers an all out revolt. This revolt is surpressed by Franco-British forces and harsher measures are instated by the Shogunate to keep the peasants in line. All the while Japanese will be trying to flee to Europe or North America. Western thought keeps pouring into Japan, one of which is a pamphlet by one Karl Marx.

By the 1870s, a new kind of foreigner shows up who talks like zis and has an axe to grind with the French. Germany might try to get into Japan, but it won't move beyond trade so long as Bismarck is in charge.

In America the loss of further Japanese prospects causes grumbling and anti-British sentiment. Maybe the pig war turns hot, in which case the Americans get their teeth kicked in by the Royal Navy and Britain snatches a few ports in the Pacific. This may lead to a succesful secession, but already we're dealing with a lot of ifs. Equally likely it just makes luke-warm relations even more luke-warm. The main impact on America is a weaker Pacific presence than in OTL.

Finally Japan would be a thoroughly radicalized society. Everybody would hate the foreigners and by proxy the Shogun. In the cities there are Democratic and Communist rebels, and in the central mountains lurk clan remnants, monarchists and ultra-nationalist guerillas. There is a huge divide between the splendour of a westernized court in Tokyo and the quite poor rural population. Western companies and their puppets run all aspects of state and economy, however there is a small middle-class of pro-european Japanese in the big cities. By the turn of the century, Germany shoulders in and gets maybe a port or two.

Beyond this point this get very sketchy due to distance from the POD. Japan'd be pretty out of the way for a hypothetical WW1, which might just see Russia on the side of the Powers if they ally with Germany on the joint ambition in the Sinosphere. If everything shapes us even a little like OTL, Japan has a revolution either after WW1 or 2. The Shogunate is deposed and replaced with a struggling Republic/Constitutional Monarchy. Perhaps the government gets overthrown by commies or fascists some point down the line, but that's really hard to say.
 
Not a lot changes, honestly, maybe someone important dies when the American fleet bombards Edo, but the Shogunate was losing support and the Japanese were way too interested in not turning into China anyway.
And Japan was already subjected to unequal treaties and treaty ports, the Meiji government spent a good chunk of its first 30 years renegotiating it.
 
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