Paul&Jihyung 15.4
Jennifer&Erica 15.4

Aggressors on the March


Background

By the time the world reached 1930s, powerful countries during World War 1: United States, Britain, France were having economical difficulties because of the Global Depression. Many people were afraid of another war. Therefore, people depended on the League of Nations, hoping for peace.
As fascism spread in Europe, Asia was influenced by Europe and started to change into a similar system. On 1920, Japan became the country with military rule.

Democracy Struggles in Japan

During the 1920s, Japan became more democratic and opened. Not only that in 1922, they signed a treaty agreeing to respect China's borders. Also in 1928, Japan signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact saying that they will NOT fight in wars anymore.

Militarists Take Control of Japan

Japan was prosperous and the government was respected. However, when the Great Depression was struck, the Japanese government was blamed for all the economic problems that Japan faced. The government lost power and military leaders won control of Japan. They didn't try to make a new government system. They wanted to keep their traditional way. The leaders were different from the fascists in Europe such as Hitler and Mussolini. Even though military leaders had all the power, they made the emperor their symbol of power.

Japanese military leaders were great nationalists. They wanted to solve their country's problems caused by The Great Depression. They decided that foreign expansion could help them. However in the US, instead of expanding territories, they used a program called "The New Deal."


Japan Invades Manchuria

Japan wanted China because its rich resources and has room for Japan's population. Therefore, Japan started carving up Manchuria, a province part of China. Manchuria was rich in iron and coal. As I mentioned before Japan needed raw materials. In 1931, finally, Japanese army seized Manchuria. The Japanese parliament didn't agree on this. Therefore, Japan made China's former region a puppet state and called it Manchukuo. Not only that they made Manchuria's last emperor Henry Pu Yi to rule that province. Basically, Henry was a puppet who was controlled by the Japanese soldiers.

Japanese attack on Manchuria was the first direct challenge towards the League of Nations. Members of the League of nations protested against Japan, when Japan captured Manchuria. They also criticized what Japanese did. However, the Japanese weren't listening. They ignored these protests and withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933 at last.
300px-Manchuria.png This is a picture of where Manchuria was.

Here's a little video clip for you when the Japanese invaded China.



Japan Invades China

After Japan withdrew from the League of nation, Japan and China had a little fight at a bridge near Beijing. Japanse soldiers went to capture China. China's army was led by Jiang Jieshi. You've probably learned about this on Fall of Qing Daynasty (14.3) Eventhough China had ALOT of people but they couln't win the better equipped and trained Japanese.

By the time Japan reached 1937, they've captures Nanjing. Japanese troops killed many chinese soldiers and people. This event was called "the rape" of NANKING. Jiang Jieshi backed up and made a new capital at Chong qing. At the same time Mao Ze dong's communist army was fighting against the Japanese army.

As you know, China was in between a Civil war. However, they decided to work together to maintain China. This kind of incident happened before Japan. When the warlords were trying to take over Chinese land and power, the KMT (Kuomintang) and CCP (Chinese Communist Party) fought together to protect China.
jp-infantry-manchuria.jpg

Here's a little video clip for you about "The rape" of nanking




Italy Re-conquers Ethiopia

external image africa.gif
This is a map of Africa during the Age of Imperialism.(link)

As Japan took over Manchuria, Mussolini was encouraged by this and wanted to take Ethiopia just like Britain and France which had many colonies. In the age of Imperialism, around 1890s, Ethiopia resisted from Italy by using diplomatic skills and bringing n modern weapons. But in October 1935, when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, they could no longer resist due to stronger weapons such as airplanes, tanks, guns, and poison gas. The Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie sent urgent messages to the League of Nations for help, but they ignored the message. Even Britain opened the Suez Canal(the fastest and the easiest way on foot to attack Ethiopia)- for the Italian troops who were carrying supplies. Britain and France thought giving Ethiopia to Italy would be a way to keep the world in peace.

The Broken Versailles Treaty

After World WarⅠ, the Allied powers: Britain, France, U.S. signed the Treaty of Versailles with Germany. The treaty put sanctions on Germany. Germany had to give Rhineland to France and surrendered all of oversea colonies. They were also limited to the size of its army, making weapons, buying submarines, and having an air force. The whole responsibility for World War I was put on Germany and they had to pay $33 billion to the Allies.
Despite Germany's strict sanctions, they developed their army secretly and broke the Treaty of Versailles. In March 1935, Hitler publicly announced that Germany would no longer obey the sanctions. Then, on March 7, German army moved into Rhineland. Noticing that France didn’t want to have a war, Britain suggested an appeasement; giving something in to the aggressor for peace. When France gave Rhineland to Germany this caused more trouble. The generals who opposed to Hitler, started to obey him and the balance of power started to tilt to one side because now France and Belgium were totally opened to Germany. Though Germany kept taking up the land no country challenged Germany. This made Hitler to expand his army and territories. As Mussolini saw this, he wanted to make an alliance with Germany. So they made an agreement called Rome-Berlin Axis. Later on, Japan joined, which became the Axis Powers in World War 2.

Spain, in Confusion

external image SpCW4.jpg
↑The map of Spain in Civil War.(link)

Spain was under a monarchy until 1931, then a new Republic was made. But Spain started it with insecurity. The government was led by both Liberals and Socialist. Liberals and Socialists had many conflicts. In July 1936, a Spanish general named Francisco Franco revolted. Then the civil war between Liberals and Socialists began. Since Germany and Italy was totalitarian states, they helped the Socialist side which was called the Nationalist. The liberals, Republicans, had little support from the west countries. Due to the mass losses nearby countries had from World WarⅠand global depression, all countries didn't want to be involved in wars. An International Brigade of volunteers and few advisers and equipment were sent from Soviet Union. Eventually, the Republicans were in no match against the Nationalists. So in early 1939, Nationalists took over Spain and Franco became the Spain’s dictator.


Western Democracies Fail to Halt Aggression

Britain and France made concessions for peace instead of fighting back against the aggressors. Britain and France didn't interfere with the Axis Powers because two countries were having hard times economically. Not only that but also they didn't want another war like World War 1 because it was so terrible. In addittion, they felt that Japan, Italy and Germany taking land is a small price to pay for the world's peace.

United States Follow an Isolationist Policy

Many Americans didn't want US to be the new world leader. Many people in US had this belief called Isolationism- The belief that political ties to other countries should be avoided. Some of these Isolationists thought that entering World War 1 was a huge mistake.

In 1935, Congress passed "THREE NEUTRALITY ACTS." This law banned the selling of weapons to other nations. The isolationists believed this law was going to keep US out of all wars.

The German Reich Expands

On November 5, 1937, Hitler announced that he will capture Austria and Czechoslovakia in to the Third Reich (German Empire). Hitler started off with Austria. Hitler sent his army to Austria and captured it. Surprisingly, many Austrians supported unity with Germany. In addition, France and Britain were so desperate for peace that they ignored their promise to protect Austrian independence. They remained Neutral.

Hitler's next target was Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia developed dramatically after World War 1. How? By becoming a strong Democratic country with a strong army and a defense treaty with France. However, nearly 3 million Germans lived in a region called Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.

At last, in 1938, Hitler demanded that Sudetenland be given to Germany. However, as you expected, Czech refused and asked France for help because they've signed a defense treaty.
sudetenland_1938.gifThis is the map of Germany and Czechoslavakia, the orange shows the Sudetenland.


Big Fat Gangster, Germany

external image Danzig.jpg
↑See the location of Danzig port(link)

Watching Germany keep eating up other countries, France and Britain prepared for a war. But Mussolini invited Germany, France, Britain to a meeting called Munich Conference. However, Czechoslovakia was not invited. Britain thought the best way to keep peace was to give Sudetenland to Germany. Therefore, Germany promised to respect the new borders of Czechoslovakia and France and Britain agreed to let Germany have Sudetenland. Britain's prime minister expected that there would be no wars anymore. In less than in 6 months, Hitler took Czechoslovakia and Mussolini took Albania. Then, Hitler wanted the German port of Danzig which was located in Poland. Poland asked France and Britain for help but they ignored Poland.

Nonaggression Pact between Hitler and Stalin

Britain and France negotiated with the Soviet Union to form an alliance to stop Hitler’s aggressions. The speed of the negotiation went slow. France and Britain didn’t like the Soviet Union because they were a communist country. The Soviet Union was disappointed with France and Britain because the Soviet Union was not invited to the Munich Conference. Therefore, the Soviet Union secretly contacted Germany and officially announced later that the Soviet would sign a nonaggression pact with Germany.