The conflict between Russia and Japan had its roots over the prior decade in the simultaneous ambitions of both Japan and Russia to develop 'spheres of influence' in Manchuria and Korea, mainly at the expense of China. After the surprise attack at Port Arthur, a series of quick Japanese victories, which astounded the world, soon followed. The Japanese were successful in their capture of Port Arthur (Jan., 1905), victorious under General Oyama at Shenyang (Feb.-Mar., 1905), and Admiral Togo's fleet defeated the Russian Baltic Fleet under Zinovi Rozhdestvenski, which had sailed a distance of over 18,000 miles to act as reinforcements, at Tsushima (May, 1905). The Russo-Japanese War ended, through the mediation of President Theodore Roosevelt, on September 5, 1905 with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth (New Hampshire).
The Russo-Japanese War brought recognition to Japan as a major world power. Russia's defeat in the war increased the Russian public's dissatisfaction with the Tsarist government and precipitated substantial social upheavals in 1905 - and ultimately led, as a consequence of the massive costs of the war, to the collapse of the Tsarist regime in 1917.
The early Japanese successes [in the Russo-Japanese War] made it easier for Japan, and harder for Russia, to obtain the foreign loans necessary for the continuation of hostilities - this was very much a "fight now, pay later" kind of war.
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