- China: Was a weak country. There had been chaos between the Chinese warlords for control since the death of the last Chinese Emperor in 1911.
- Japan: was a strong country. It had taken over Korea in 1910 and wanted more power!!
- 1929 - World Economic Depression: Japan’s trade had slumped (USA was its main trading partner). Japan’s industry was near to collapse and it needed essential raw materials. China was still in chaos.
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- An explosion took place on the South Manchurian Railway Line (owned by Japan). Who could have done this?
- Japan immediately sent troops into China and forced the Chinese troops away from the railway line areas.
- February 1932: A Japanese puppet government was set up in Manchuria. The Japanese claimed that China were unable to control the area. China asked the League of Nations for help.
- The League first crisis: The League was worried –Japan was a leading member with a permanent seat on the Council. Japan could VETO any decision made by the League.The League followed its rules and told Japan to take her troops out of Manchuria. Japan ignored!
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- March 1933 - Japan left the League.
- 1937 – Japan invaded China.
- The League imposed Economic Sanctions on Japan, but Japans main trading partner was the USA!
Countries impose sanctions
- Britain was worried about imposing economic sanctions on Japan. Britain made a lot of money from trading with Asian countries and didn’t want to affect this!!What should the League do next?
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- The league did NOTHING else and unsurprisingly Japan kept control of Manchuria and invaded further into China.
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Impact of this crisis on the LON
- It showed the LON was poorly organised as it took a year to decide what to do.
- The permanent members (Japan was one) could VETO action suggested by the council
- It showed that the LON was powerless. It didn’t impose sanctions as they felt the USA would continue to trade with Japan & they did not have a standing army to use force.
- USA not being a member undermined the LON power.
- Europe was watching –Mussolini & Hitler would make future decisions on foreign policy based on this failure
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