The Manchuria Crisis

We have started working on our new topic for this year in History, The League of Nations in the 1930s.

Our teacher, Lenny, asked us to watch a video and answer the following questions.


1. How does the video open? What might the connection between the League and the opening scenes in Poland be?

The video starts by saying how the League had failed at mantaining peace, enforcing disarmament and establishing stability. The opening scenes show Hitler’s SS taking over Poland which was the start of the Second World War as Germany and the USSR, in a secret agreement in the Nazi-Soviet Pact, stated that they would attack and divide Poland.

2. What problems did Japan face? (Mention ALL of them)

The problems were that its population was booming which meant more than a million mouths to feed, she was an isolated country that needed to open up trade to get materials, it had no natural resources (agricultural failure) to exploit on its own, there was very high unemployement, it was very affected by the depression and it relied on international networks to import its goods.

3. What was the role of the army in Japan?

Step by step, Japan started being under the control of the military. The army was first, and the polititians second. The army controlled the education, they made learning martial arts compulsory.

4. What did army leaders believe Japan needed?

They thought that expanding towards eastern Asia would benefit the empire as they would get natural resources and more land for its very large population.

5. What was the value of Manchuria?

It was rich in resources that the Japanese desperately needed for their economy, it meant more land for its population and they thought it was perfect for the “elimination of the Chinese subhuman race”.

6. What happened at Mudken?

There was an explosion of a Japanese railway in Mukden, China, which was planned by themselves but blamed on the Chinese since they wanted everyone to believe that China was out of control and that they needed to intervene since they wanted and excuse to attack Manchuria.

7. What did the League do about it?

The League consulted the Japanese ambassador in Geneva.

8. What was Japan’s reaction to the decision of the League?

They thought it was impossible to accept what the report stated and decided to leave the League.