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Week 10 Grenville notes

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Neville Panthaki

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1. The mounting conflict in Eastern Asia, 1928 37 it is often said that WWII began in China in 1931 and that global rise of fascism blossomed into external aggression when Japan attacked China; then war spread to Europe and Africa, to Abyssinia and Spain, until Hitler unleasthd WWII by marching into Poland in 1939 seen through Japanese and Chinese eyes Western policies appeared to change with confusing rapidity in first 3 decades of 20 in Japan the orderly coherent structure of national government and decision-making began to fall apart in 1930extremism and lawlessness and a decentralisation of power occurred; disintegration was political and internal from 1928 to 1937, while Chiang Kai-shek established his capital and government in Nanking, no unified Chinese Republic really existed; his reforms had made an impact on urban life but did not reach millions of peasants the contrast between the real condition of China and its international legal position, together with its image in the eyes of the public in the Western world, was one critical factor in the eastern Asia crisis of the 1930s the struggle between a central power claiming to speak for and to rule China and regional and provincial rulers was nothing new in modern Chinese history; the contest between integration and disintegration had been going on for decades and continued until 1949 the Japanese in the 1920s appeared ready to limit their empire to what they already held with the acknowledgement of the Western powers, and beyond this to work with the Western powers within an agreed framework of international treaties, military, and territorial since the opening of the 20 the US had tried to secure the consent of the other powers with interests in China to 2 propositions: 1) they should allow equal economic opportunity to all foreign nations wishing to trade in China (the Open Door), however, the behaviour of the foreign nations showed that this equal opportunity was not extended to the Chinese themselves, who did not exercise sovereign power over all Chinese territory 2) the US urged that China should not be further partitioned (respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity), but in practice the US had acknowledged Japans special rights and spheres of influence; more of a moral hope than real politics the worldwide depression hit Japan less seriously than the WestJapan had an industrious and well-organised people to further economic progress; with the help of a large devaluation of its currency, it had pulled out of the slump by 1932, but now the need for capital, especially from the US, and for raw materials (cotton, coal, iron ore and oil) from abroad became increasingly essential one significant strand in Japanese thinking about the world was the belief that only by its own endeavours would Japan be accepted as an equal of the white world powers, which did not treat it as an equal the fulfilment of Japanese ambitions came to depend on the US with the onset of the depression after 1927, Japan was beset by additional problemsthough industry recovered more quickly than elsewhere in the world, the farmers suffered severely; the domestic silk industry provided an important additional income for the peasantry and the price of silk plunged in the US; the countryside became the breeding ground for militarism a strident nationalism, a sort of super Japanese patriotism with a return to emperor-worship, marks the 1930s despite the introduction of male suffrage, Japan was not about to turn into a parliamentary constitutional state in the 1920s its uniqueness as societ
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