To What Extent Did David Low’s Cartoons Accurately Portray European Appeasement Policy Towards Japanese Aggression in the Manchurian Crisis?

Topics: League of Nations, Mukden Incident, Manchukuo Pages: 9 (2499 words) Published: February 18, 2013

To what extent did David Low’s cartoons accurately portray European Appeasement Policy towards Japanese aggression in the Manchurian Crisis?

Name: Linda Brownwood
Word Count: 1,848
Number of Pages: 14

Section A: Plan of Investigation
In 1931, a supposed Chinese act of aggression in Manchuria1, dubbed the Mukden Incident, led Japan to respond with a full invasion. By doing so, Japan had broken the oath of non-aggression that it had sworn to the League of Nations. Japan’s failure to comply with any proposed resolutions by the League should have resulted in economic sanctions and/or collective military enforcement. However, the League did neither. Thus, to what extent did David Low’s cartoons accurately portray European Appeasement Policy towards Japanese aggression in the Manchurian Crisis? To determine this, the Investigation will examine relevant works by David Low and their implications along with the justifications behind European Appeasement Policy.

Word Count: 110


1 Due to the highly orchestrated nature of the Japanese move, others speculated that the bomb may have been planted by mid-level officers in the Japanese army to provide a pretext for the subsequent military act.

Section B: Summary of Evidence
Manchurian Crisis
* After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the United States raised tariffs on Japanese goods in order to protect their industries.2 * Japan’s economy suffered from this and they decided that the only way to solve its economic problems and show that it was still a strong nation was through expansion.3 * In September 1931, the Japanese owned railroad from Manchuria to the coast was vandalized at Mukden. Due to the highly orchestrated nature of the event, the explosion was most likely staged to provide a pretext for the subsequent military attack.4 * China did not put up much of a resistance because they were busy directing their attentions toward defeating communism in China and creating a more stable government.5 * Instead, China appealed to the League of Nations to try and dispel Japan from their territory. The League of Nations tried to negotiate with Japan, but Japan refused their efforts because they wanted to negotiate directly with China.6 * The following negotiations between China and Japan failed, and the Japanese proceeded to control the rest of Manchuria.7 * The League of Nations commission dispatched Lord Lytton to Manchuria to evaluate the situation, and they produced another report concluding that Japan needed to withdraw from Manchuria.8 * Japan ignored this and abandoned the League of Nations completely.9 -------------------------------------------------

2. GSCE History, "The Manchurian Crisis 1931-1933." 3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid.

David Low’s cartoons
* Image 110 – depicts a woman writing in a book titled “International Law”, while a Japanese official is sawing a leg off of her chair inscribed with the words “Moral Authority” * Image 211 – depicts a cat with the words “Moral Statesmanship” written on him being cornered by a mouse * Image 312 – depicts a rolled document with the title “Unanimous vote on Manchuria”, and a diverse group of individuals are crowded behind it. On the other side is a Japanese official declaring “Wow! Bandits!” * Image 413 – depicts a Japanese official shooing an array of foreigners out of a door labeled “EXIT”. Nearby, a pile of letters is burning labeled “Foreign Influence”. * Image 514 – depicts a woman that resembles an innocent goddess holding the Kellogg-Briand Pact looking on in disappointment as a Japanese official smothers an individual representing Manchuria. * Image 615 - depicts a Japanese official standing on top of the League of Nations while another League...

Bibliography: Low, David. “The Cat and Mouse Act.” Cartoon. Evening Standard, Feb 17, 1933. From British Cartoon Archive.
Low, David. “The Doormat” Cartoon. Evening Standard, Jan 19, 1933. From British Cartoon Archive.
Low, David. “The Great Wall of China.” Cartoon. Evening Standard, Feb 27, 1933. From British Cartoon Archive.
Low, David. “The Open Door Policy in China” Cartoon. Evening Standard, Apr 25, 1934. From British Cartoon Archive.
Low, David. “Will the League stand up to Japan?” Cartoon. Evening Standard, Nov 17, 1931. From British Cartoon Archive.
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