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POLSC322: Asia-Pacific Politics

Unit 4: Politics of East Asia During World War II   In this unit, you will study the impact of World War II on the political systems and governance of East Asia.  The war began for Asia much earlier than it did for Europe or the U.S. The Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931, and eventually expanded their power south and westward through China and other parts of East Asia.

Most of the nations of East Asia aligned themselves with the Allied Powers during World War II and fought against the Japanese.  Thailand originally sided with the Japanese, but then switched sides towards the end of the war. 

There are many stories of atrocities committed in the Asian-Pacific theatre of World War II.  It is estimated that over 25 million Chinese died during Japan’s occupation of China between 1931 and 1945.  Emnity resulting from the war still impacts politics in the region today.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 10 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 3 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the political systems of East Asia during World War II.
  • Identify political alliances and military battles in the Pacific Theatre of World War II.
  • Assess the impact that historical events from World War II have had on Asian politics and culture.

4.1 Japan’s Involvement in World War II   - Reading: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: World War II in the Pacific Link: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: World War II in the Pacific (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please go to the linked page to read a  summary of the timeline and events of World War II in Asia.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educator’s Japan’s Quest for Power and World War II in Asia Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educator’s  Japan’s Quest for Power and World War II in Asia (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Mount Holyoke College: Dr. Vincent Ferarro’s notes on “The Japanese Conquest of Manchuria, 1931-1932” Link: Mount Holyoke College: Dr. Vincent Ferarro’s notes on “The Japanese Conquest of Manchuria, 1931-1932” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the notes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Columbia University: Gerald Curtis’ “The Emperor before the Second World War” Link: Columbia University: Gerald Curtis’ “The Emperor before the Second World War” (HTML, Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page.  Read the information on the page, then view the short video (2 minutes).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: Britannica Online: “The Japanese Invasion of Manchuria” Link: YouTube: Britannica Online: “The Japanese Invasion of Manchuria” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and view the video (2 minutes)
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: jbranstetter4: Japanese Expansionism Before and During World War II: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 Link: YouTube: jbranstetter4: Japanese Expansionism Before and During World War II, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4
     
    Note:  All videos are in YouTube format.
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked pages and view the videos (10 minutes each)
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Military History Online: Holly Senatore’s “Bushido: The Valor of Deceit” Link: Military History Online: Holly Senatore’s “Bushido: The Valor of Deceit” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: University of Hawaii: Dr. R.J. Rummel’s “Statistics of Japanese Democide: Estimates, Calculations, and Sources” Link: University of Hawaii: Dr. R.J.  Rummel’s “Statistics of Japanese Democide: Estimates, Calculations, and Sources” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Columbia University: The Atomic Bomb Link: Columbia University: The Atomic Bomb  (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page to read about the American decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan in order to bring about a speedier conclusion to the Pacific Theatre fighting of World War II.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: nuclearvault: US Navy: Ambassador Joseph C. Grew’s “The Enemy Japan – The People (1943)” Link: YouTube: nuclearvault: US Navy: Ambassador Joseph C.  Grew’s “The Enemy Japan – The People (1943)” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and view the short video on Japanese politics during World War II (20 minutes).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

4.2 The Impact of World War II on China   - Reading: Chinavoc.com: Republican China Link: Chinavoc.com: Republican China (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please go to the linked page, and read the information contained therein.  Click the links on the page to access additional content, up to, and through the defeat of the Kuomintang.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: historyorb.com: James Graham’s “Japan's Economic Expansion into Manchuria and China in World War Two” Link: historyorb.com: James Graham’s “Japan's Economic Expansion into Manchuria and China in World War Two” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: “Japan’s War in Colour—War in China” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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  • Reading: Military History Online: Walter Zapotoczny’s “The Rape of Nanking: Reasons and Recrimination” Link: Military History Online: Walter Zapotoczny’s “The Rape of Nanking: Reasons and Recrimination” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: sarastarlight: Dr. Rhawn Joseph’s “The Rape of Nanking – Japanese Atrocities in Asia” Link: YouTube: sarastarlight: Dr. Rhawn Joseph’s “The Rape of Nanking – Japanese Atrocities in Asia” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: You will only watch Part 1 of this series (34 minutes in length) for the purposes of this course.  You can access Part 2on YouTube, but it is quite graphic.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

4.3 World War II in Southeast Asia   - Reading: Northern Illinois University: Dr. Arlene Neher’s notes on “World War II in Southeast Asia” Link: Northern Illinois University: Dr. Arlene Neher’s “World War II in Southeast Asia” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the material.  Be sure to click on hyperlinks in the material to view graphs, charts, and maps that illustrate points being made.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: University of California at Santa Barbara: Thomas D. Beamish’s “1941-1945 Indochina at the Crossroads: Colonialism, Trusteeship, or Independence?” Link: University of California at Santa Barbara: Thomas D.  Beamish’s “1941-1945 Indochina at the Crossroads: Colonialism, Trusteeship, or Independence?” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article, which discusses the events of World War II in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Military History Online: Michael Gough’s “Failure and Destruction, Clark Field, the Philippines, December 8, 1941” Link: Military History Online: Michael Gough’s “Failure and Destruction, Clark Field, the Philippines, December 8, 1941” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Military History Online: Robert C. Daniels’ “MacArthur's Failures in the Philippines, December 1941 - March 1942” Link: Military History Online: Robert C.  Daniels’ “MacArthur's Failures in the Philippines, December 1941 - March 1942” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: U.S. Library of Congress’ “Thailand – World War II” Link: U.S. Library of Congress’ “Thailand – World War II” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.