Manchuria, the Cockpit of Asia

By Colonel P. T. Etherton; H. Hessell Tiltman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE ERA OF CHANGE

WE referred to Manchuria as a country of strange incongruities with a veneer of Western civilization. To the average Anglo-American the country is simply a name. Accustomed as he is to the benefits of civilization, with all the comforts and calmness arising from good order, he finds it difficult to realize conditions that are entirely different.

Nothing in the dramatic history of Manchuria is more significant than the struggle now taking place for possession, in which, as already remarked, great issues with direct influence on the rest of the world are involved.

From Manchuria and the adjacent land of Mongolia, the land of the Living Buddha, the Mongol hordes in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries set out to conquer Asia, and in the process they subdued half Europe, penetrating as far as the Adriatic Sea and the western borders of Hungary. They would have advanced much further but for the death of their leader, which necessitated a return to their base in far Mongolia.

From Manchuria also came the restless Manchus, contemporary with Charles I of England, whom the

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