Japanese History/The Rise of Militarism
The Rise of Militarism in Japan was to have important repercussions in the future history of Japan. It led onto it's involvement in the Second World War.
The root of militarism can be seen in several reasons: Japan's relatively small gains in the Russo-Japanese War and WWI, The seemingly easy wins of the wars of this period and finally of the Wall Street Crash. It is also due to the new government being founded by the militaristic samurai class, with the power given to the emperor by the shogun, during the Meiji Restoration period.
The Great Depression
The Great Depression affected Japan greatly, and led to a rise in militarism. As Japan exported luxury goods, such as silks, to other countries such as America which, because they were now affected by the depression, could not afford them anymore. This led to a feeling in Japan that they should become more self-sufficient, through gaining more territory. This meant that Japan wanted to expand in order to gain more natural resources and to create its own economic empire in the Pacific. This feeling was also fuelled by the increasing overpopulation of Japan.
The Manchurian Incident
The Manchurian Incident or the Mukden Incident, was an incident which led to the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria. They installed 'Henry' Puyi (Last Emperor of China) as their puppet ruler. The Litton commission declared this to be illegal, so Japan left the League of Nations in protest. Japan was not punished, and other powers such as Germany and Italy took this as an example when they began to expand. This incident also led onto the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Japanese troops destroy a section of the south Manchurian railway, near Mukden, where there was a Japanese garrison. The troops blamed the incident on the Chinese and so they captured Mukden. They then went on to capture the rest of Manchuria.
Second Sino-Japanese War
In 1937, the Japanese attacked Beijing in the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. this date is the start of the Sino-Japanese War, however China and Japan had been fighting an undeclared war since the Mukden Incident, when Japan invaded Manchuria. This war became a part of the greater, Second World War in 1941.
The Mukden Incident
Japanese Troops stationed on the South Manchurian Railway destroy a section of the track. They claimed that this is the work of Chinese troops. The Japanese then seized Mukden, then the rest of Manchuria. The Japanese then established a puppet state in Manchuria.