To what extent did the Manchurian Crisis Affect the Credibility of the League of Nations?

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Since the 1900’s, the Japanese had been a rapidly growing nation. By the 1920’s, Japan was a major power. It had a strong army and navy, and had a flourishing industry that exported goods to China and the United States. It had a vast growing empire in the North Korean Peninsula and was one of the leading members of the League of Nations, claiming a permanent seat on the Council. Though in the 1920s, Japan had been badly hit by the Depression; their exports had fallen by 50% between the years of 1929 and 1931 leading to a great decline in their once very strong industries. Without exports, Japan could not buy the imports she needed, forcing the country to take action; thus becoming one of the main causes for the Manchurian Crisis. This poses as a period of great significance in the history of the League of Nations because of how they had responded to the situation. It is also one of the many reasons as to why it had been deemed powerless shortly after. Japan felt that they needed to expand their empire in order to overcome the effects of the Depression by finding living space and raw materials required to support their overcrowded country. Japan looked at China as a large field for economic exploitation. They had chosen Manchuria because it was rich in agricultural land, forestry and minerals and was very weak at the time; poverty stricken, seemingly ungovernable, torn by warlords, banditry and civil war. It was the ideal situation for the Japanese, and gave them all the more reason to invade. Though they needed a reason to invade, Japan had no problem setting it up as they owned the South Manchurian Railway; to which they used to their advantage. On the evening of September 18th 1931, the Japanese had staged the Mukden Incident in which they had set off an explosion along the Southern railway, just outside the city of Mukden. The Japanese army claimed that this was an act of sabotage by the Chinese and had permission from the government to

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