The League of Nations: Its Life and Times, 1920-1946

By F. S. Northedge | Go to book overview
Save to active project

7 Manchuria: the Covenant defied

I

The League of Nations came into existence theoretically as a world-wide organisation. In reality it was a regional system, the region being Europe, despite the major role in its birth played by President Wilson. Once the American Congress rejected Wilson's brain-child, the League's European character became even more pronounced. It is true that the score of Latin American states were active in different sectors of the League's work, especially in cultural relations, but in the political field they were rarely prominent. As for Africa and the Middle and Far East, those areas still lay under European control. The big exception was Japan, which reformed its way of life with startling suddenness when faced with the impact of the West in the form of the American 'black ships' in the 1850s, and then signalled its entrance into the inner circle of the great Powers, first, by defeating China in 1895, then, to the astonishment of the world, Russia in 1905. Allied to Britain as from 1902, Japan fought on the Entente side in the First World War and took her place in Paris in 1919 as a leading maker of the peace and also of the League Covenant.

That Japan should have found an ally in Britain is not remarkable considering the insular character of both countries and the fact that (at least until 1907) both had a common enemy in Tsarist Russia. There was another similarity in that both states were anchored off a politically turbulent continent, which, if it were ever brought under the control of a single political centre, would make the independence of either hard to maintain. China, the potential unifier of the Asian mainland facing Japan, had undergone a revolution in 1911, a delayed reaction to its defeat by Japan in 1895, in much the same way as Russia suffered changes of vast proportions in 1917 after its defeat by Japan in 1905. China

-137-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The League of Nations: Its Life and Times, 1920-1946
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 344

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?