The Manchurian Crisis

Japan wanted to Expand its Territory

1. Japanese industries had grown while Europe was busy fighting WWI

2. When the Depression wrecked Japanese industries, military leaders and business owners in Japan called for military expansion to strengthen the country.

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Japanese Aggression led to the Manchurian Crisis

1. Japan had a large army and navy. Since 1905, it had controlled the territory of the South Manchrian Railway.

2. In September 1931, it used a disturbance as an excuse to capture the town of Mukden and send troops to take over the rest of Manchuria.

3. The Japanese pretended to give Manchria independence. They put a weak leader in charge so they could control him.

4. The LoN sent Lord Lytton to assess the situation. He produced a report, which said the Japanese had been wrong, but the League didn't do anything else - it failed to stop Japan and end the crisis.

  • Japan refused to accept Lord Lytton's report and withdrew from the League in 1933.
  • In 1933, the Japanese invaded China's Jehol Province, which bordered Manchuria.
  • Japan signed a treaty with Germany in 1936, and in 1937 started to invade China - again the League did nothing to stop it.
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The League was Weakened

1. Japan was an important trading partner for many countries in the League. This made them reluctant to either put sanctions on Japan, or stop selling them weapons. This suggested that countries wouldn't support the League if it was against their own interests.

2. Countries like France and Britain were also reluctant to commit money and troops to stopping Japan because they were preoccupied with dicttors like Hitler closer to home.

3. However, the League's failure to act just showed dictators like Hitler the obvious weakness of the League.

In the first major challenge for the League, everyone saw it fail to confront Japanese aggression.

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