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Manchuria and Abyssinia
· The Manchurian and Abyssinian crises shook people's confidence in
the League and proved that the League had no real power or
authority over its members.
· By February 1932, Japan (a member of the League's Council) had
invaded and conquered Manchuria. It took the League nearly a year
to send a commission and declare that Japan ought to leave -
whereupon Japan left the League. The League couldn't send an
army, and it needed America's support to impose sanctions
successfully. In the end, it did nothing.
· In 1935, Italy invaded Abyssinia. Although the Abyssinian emperor
Haile Selassie went to the League himself to ask for help, all the
League did was to ban arms sales, which did Abyssinia more harm
than Italy. A League commission offered Italy part of Abyssinia, but
Italy invaded anyway. Far from stopping Italy, Britain and France
tried to make a secret pact to give Abyssinia to Italy.…read more

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The Manchurian Crisis-- 1932
· In September 1931, the Japanese claimed that Chinese soldiers had
sabotaged the Manchurian railway in Korea, which Japan controlled. Japan
attacked and by February 1932, had brutally conquered Manchuria
· Meanwhile, in January-March 1932, Japan attacked and captured the city
of Shanghai in China itself. In March 1932, China appealed to the League
of Nations
· In April 1932, a League delegation led by Lord Lytton arrived in Manchuria
to see what was happening, and in October 1932 it declared that Japan
should leave. In February 1933, a special assembly of the League voted
against Japan, so the Japanese walked out.…read more

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The League, however, could not agree on sanctions, and
Britain and France were not prepared to send an army. Not
only did the Japanese stay in Manchuria, but in July 1937 they
also invaded China.…read more

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The Italian invasion of Abyssinia-- 1935
· In December 1934, a dispute about the border between
Abyssinia and the Italian Somaliland flared into fighting.
· In January 1935, Haile Selassie, the emperor of Abyssinia,
asked the League to arbitrate.
· In July 1935, the League banned arms sales to either side,
and in September 1935, it appointed a five-power committee
to arbitrate.…read more

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In October 1935, the League's committee suggested that Italy should
have some land in Abyssinia.
· Instead, Italy's 100,000-strong army invaded Abyssinia. The Italian
troops used poison gas and attacked Red Cross hospitals.
· Britain and France refused to intervene. In December 1935, news
leaked out about the Hoare-Laval Pact - a secret plan made by the
foreign secretary of Britain and the prime minister of France to give
Abyssinia to Italy.
· In the end, the League did almost nothing. By May 1936, Italy had
conquered Abyssinia.…read more

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