Manchurian Crisis

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  • Manchurian Crisis: 1931
    • Why Japan invaded Manchuria
      • Depression
        • Japan had very few natural resources
        • Japan relied on silk exports: luxury item not being bought during Depression
        • Japanese army was strong and people of Japan wanted good news after Depression
      • Manchuria's appeal
        • Japan already had large industries there: South Manchurian Railway
        • Manchuria had fertile farmland, industry and natural resources
    • The Mukden Incident
      • September 1931: explosion on South Manchurian Railway. Japanese claimed train was attacked by Chinese soldiers
      • The Japanese (Kwantung) army used this as an excuse to invade Manchuria
    • League's role
      • League's reluctance to act
        • League didn't want a fight- thought Japan had a right to Manchuria
        • Too far away from headquarters
        • Confusion as to what happened
      • What the League did
        • Issued a moral condemnation and told Japan to withdraw troops
          • Japan refused
          • Couldn't afford to send troops so far away and Britain and France still faced Depression
          • Could issue economic sanctions: Japan's main trading partner was USA, which was not a member of the League
          • closest powerful to Japan was USSR but couldn't be asked for help as they weren't a League member (joined in 1934)
        • Did an inquiry: Lytton report
          • Published in October 1932- took a year
          • pointless: concluded what people already knew: Japan invaded
        • League's findings were official, yet Japan ignored them and left the League
    • Why the League failed
      • League acted slowly and achieved nothing
      • Own member of the League had undermined it and left
      • Long term damage was limited
        • Many still thought League would be able to deal with problems
      • Failed to stop an act of war
        • Hitler and Mussolini given idea that they could also get away with stuff

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