Manchurian Development in the 1900s
The railroads opened Manchuria, taking migrants in and agricultural produce out. The map shows how the new lines, especially the Chinese Eastern Railroad built by the Russians and the South Manchurian Railroad built by the Japanese cut across the heart of the new farmlands. Steamships also played an important part, bringing both seasonal and permanent workers from Shangdong, and plying along the Sungari and Amur Rivers. Sergei Witte, the Czarist finance minister had planned to settle it with Russians and the Russian forces occupied it in 1900. In 1904 the Japanese drove them out and took possession of the Kanto peninsula and a zone around the Manchurian Railroad. From 1931 to 1945 Japan occupied all of Manchuria and engineered revolutions in infrastructure, industry, and urban growth that were unequaled in speed for that era. The prize eventually went to the Chinese. In the short run this was the result of Japan's defeat by the United States. However, the issue had been decided by the enormous influx of Han settlers that had taken place during the first thirty years of the 1900s.