In What Ways and for What Reasons Did the League of Nations Fail to Deal with the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria in 1931?

Topics: Great Depression, World War II, Second Sino-Japanese War Pages: 5 (1690 words) Published: July 4, 2011
In what ways and for what reasons did the League of Nations fail to deal with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931?

Names: Catalina Hofmann
Malena Garcia Camara
Sofia Lena
Justina Villasboa Gedikian

Level 5 “A”

Number of words: 1,290

In 1931, the League of Nations failed to deal with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. President Wilson (USA) set up the League of Nations which its aim was to make nations sort their aguments and therefore, prevent future wars. He also wanted to improve people’s lives and jobs, as well as, public health and the eradication of slavery. The League also stated collective security and the harsh punishment against agression through sanctions. Hopefully, Wilson’s ideas would have led the world to be a better place, but unfortunately, it could not manage the situation in Manchuria and it failed. In 1931, Japan was seriously affected by an economic Depression and that might have been the main reason of its invasion to Manchuria. The aim of this essay is to asses in what ways and for what reasons the league failed to deal with the Japanese invasion to Manchuria. In order to do this, we need to analyze the immediate context of the invasion, the ways in which the League acted towards the situation, the reasons why it proved powerless and finally, the ways in which Japan acted towards the League of Nations.

Japan’s idea of expansion was one of the main causes of its invasion to Manchuria[1]. To begin with, Japan wanted to be recognized among the major powers; although the Japanese were not in favour of the idea of self determination, they wished to acquire a larger empire for reasons of security and economic strenght, as well as to prove they were a respected and recalled country[2]. By the 1920s, Japan was a major power. It had a very powerful army and navy, a strong industry, which exported goods to the USA and China; and a grownig empire, which included the Korean Peninsula. Added to this, in order to show that she was still a strong nation, she needed to achieve more power[3]. Furthermore, Japan was badly affected by the Great Depression[4] and Manchuria was a great oportunity to do away with the Japanese economic problems[5]; it was the source where much Japans imported raw materials such as coal and iron ore. Both China and the USA put up tariffs against Japanese goods. To make matters worse, the Depression determined the collapse of the American market, which was Japan’s main trading partner. Therefore, Japan’s solution to its problems was the building up of a Japanese empire by force, otherwise, Japan could not be able to feed its people.

In September 1931, a short stretch of railroad track belonging to the South Manchurian Railway, which was controlled by the Japanese army, was blown up by officers of Kwangtung Army and sabotaged by the Chinese[6]. This issue called the Makden incident, gave Japan the initiative to overran Manchuria[7]. Therefore, the Japanese army threw out all Chinese forces. A year later, they set up a puppet government in Manchuria, which did exactly what the Japanese army told it to do[8]. Later in 1932 Japanese aeroplanes and gunships bombed Shanghai, but the civilian government in Japan told the Japanese army to withdraw[9]. Japan ignored the civilian governmet’s instructions. What Japan was doing was considered unlawfull because it did not comply with what the League of Nations stated[10]. Therefore, we can clearly say that the army was imposed to the government’s rules[11]. China appealed to the League but Japan excused himself saying she was not acting as an agressor, instead, she was doing it to overcome her local difficulties[12]. The League took this issue as a serious test. As Japan was a leading member of the League, it needed careful handling[13]. They took a very long time to asses the situation in Manchuria, and finally in September 1932, the League presented their report about how they would act...
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