Conflict & Tension 1918-1939


11 November 1918-Armistice

  • Armistice signed ending world war 1, that lasted from 1914 until 1918.
  • The Armistice at the end of WW1, also included Germany paying reparations, giving Alsace-Lorraine region back to France, and demilitaristion of the Rhineland.
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1920-L.O.N. meeting

  • JANUARY: first meeting of the league of nations.
  • AUGUST: Treaty Of Sevres signed with Turkey.
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1921-Vilna Crisis & Aaland Crisis

Vilna Crisis

After the WW1, countries that had been in Austri-Hungarian's empire were given independence. Lots of new countries were created including Lithuania and Poland. Vilna was to be the capital of Lithuania, but the majority of people living in there were Polish. A Polish army took control of the city and Lithuania asked the League of Nations for help. The League told Poand to remove their army, but they refused. France saw Poland as a potential ally against the Germans and refused to help. Britain would not send troops in without the support of the other countries. 

Aland Island Crisis

Both Sweden and FInland claimed that the Aland Islands, which wer between the two countries, and threatened war on each other. The League Of Nations investiagated each of the countries claims. They decided that the Islands should go to Finland. However, Finland wasnt allowed to build forts on the Island, and so they couldnt use it as a base to attack Sweden. Sweden agredd to these terms.

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1921-25:Upper Silesia

Upper Silesia was on the on the border between Germany and Poland at the end of WW1 and both Germany and Poles were living there. Both of the nations wanted to claim the area, as it was important to iron and steel production. In 1921, a plebiscite (vote in which the whole country takes part) was organised to decide who would own the Upper Silesia. Britain and France sent troops to police voting stations to make sure that the vote was fair.  Germany won 60% of the votes, but Poland had claimed that alot of the people that had voted for Germany, didnt live in Upper S. They complained to th LON, and they decided that Germany would receive most of the rural areas, and Poland would get the industrial zones. Both accepted the outcome, so water and electrcity were supplied to both sections. However, the final outcome was considered unfair by the Poles, they had got roughly half the population of Upper Silesia, but only 1/3 of land. So around half a million of Poles were now confirmed in German territory

Germans werent satisfied either, as they had lost 3/4 of coal mines they had owned prior to the settlement. In 1922, the German government had complained to the LON and they were awarded with the right to import coal at a heavily discounted rate. When this agreement ended in 1925, the relations between Germany and Poland had worsened.

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1923-Corfu Crisis

  • The treaty of Laussane had overturned the Treaty Of Sevres, as the Turkish had rebelled against the harsh original terms. So this forced the British to reconsider the terms, and settle them to a fairer treaty.

Corfu Crisis

After the war the boundaries of Greece and Albania were still to be agreed upon. The LON gave the job to an Italian general named Tellini, but while he was surveying an area of Greece, Tellini and his team were murdered. At the time, Italy was ruled by a dictator named Benito Mussolini. When he heard about this, he blamed the Greek government. He demanded that the murderers should be executed and compensation should be paid. The Greeks didnt know who killed Tellini and his team. On 31st August, Mussolini invaded and occupied Corfu, killing 15 people. Greece appealed to the League, who condemned Mussolinis actions but agreed that Greece should pay Compensation. The League would look after this money and it would be awarded to Italy once killers were found. Mussolini complained to the Conference Of Ambassadors (a group of powerful countries including Britain, France and Japan and persuaded them to undermine the LON. Greece was forced to apologise and pay compensation. Mussolini withdrew his troops.

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1925-Greek Bulgarian Crisis & Locarno Treaties

Greek Bulgarian Crisis

When the Greek soldiers were killed on the Bulgarian border, Greece invaded. Bulgaria appealed to the LON for help. The LON condemned the Greeks and ordered them to stop and withdraw their soldiers from Bulgarian territory, and they were made to pay compensation. Greece thought that the LON was being hypocritical, as they let Mussolini get away with something similar. But as they were a small country and they werent willing to risk poor relations with powerful nations of the League like Britain and France. So they obeyed and removed all their soldiers.

Locarno Treaties

French and German representatives met in Locarno (switzerland), where they signed seven treaties in which Germany officially accepted the borders that the Treaty Of Versailles had defined, giving up any claim they had on area such as Alsace -Lorraine. They also agreed to work together to try and settle disputes peacefully. So they wouldnt attack/invade each other.

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1926-1928: Kellogg-Briand Pact


Germany was allowed to join the League Of Nations

1928-Kellogg Briand Pact

65 countries had met in Paris where they signed an agreement stating that they would not use war to solve any disputes. The first countries that were involved were Germany, France, USA. USA was not a part of the League and so this took place outside of the League.

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1929-Wall Street Crash

In 1929 the American economy collapsed. The country was plunged into devastating depression. This would last throughout the 1930's. America traded with other countries across the world and had lent a lot of money during and after the war, so the global economies were also affected. The whole world faced economic depression and in desperate times the people lost faith in thier govenrnment . Therefore, some people turned to extreme parties like the Nazis, who promised that they would make Germany great again by overturning the Treaty Of Versaille. The League was powerless to do anything to help these people or to control these new party leaders who were willing to resort to violence to get what they want.

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1931- Manchurian Crisis

 Japan was suffering on the Great Depression. Alot of its economy was based on exporting silk to rich countries like the USA. But silk is a luxury item, and people cut back on their luxuries as their families were starving. So Japanese were in decline and many people were unemployed. Manchuria is a region of China on the northern-eastern coast. Its an area that is rich in natural resource like coal and iron ore and had fertile farmland. It was geographically closer to Japan. 

The Japanese army was getting stronger, After the Washington Naval Agreement (in 1922), when the Japanese politicians has agreed that Japan would have a smaller navy than Britain or the USA, Japanese generals felt that they could no longer trust their politicians to protect thie country. They started acting without instructions from the government. In 1928 they assassinated the warlord of Manchuria. In 1932, the Japanese army had murdered the Prime Minister.

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1933-Hitler become chancellor

Hitler become chancellor in 1933:

After 1929 Wall street crash: the global depression, the Germans had lost hope in the government and therefore decided to turn to extreme parties like Nazi Party (right-wing extremists). This was because of the promises that Hitler had made of: 

  • Overturning the Treaty Of Versailles
  • Rearm Germany making them strong again, and making more jobs
  • Unite Germany and Austria once again in Anschluss
  • Destroy communism

Hitler leaves the League Of Nations Disarmament Conference:

During the period 1932-1934 the League Of Nations held a disarmament conference. Hitler said that he would disarm, as long as every other nation would too. France refused to cooperate. This gave Hitler the excuse to storm out of the conference while claiming that it was the French being unreasonable. Germany then left the L.O.N., and so they were no longer expected to keep it covenant and work to avoid war. 

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1934-Assassination Of Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss

Assassination Of The Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss:

Hitler was born in Austria, and Germany had been ruled by Austria for around 600 years. Many Austrians and Germans felt that the 2 countries should be one and were outraged when Anschluss was forbidden in the Treaty Of Versailles. Hitler's foreign policy including uniting all Volksdeutsche and overturning the Treaty Of Versailles, so he would try to unite with Austria. 

Aware of Hitler's intentions, the Austrian chancellor, Dollfuss, banned all Nazi party in Austria. In 1934, Hitler responded by telling Austrian Nazis to create havoc in the country. They murdered Dollfuss. However, Hitler's plot ultimately failed because the Austrian army supported the government and because Mussolini moved his troops onto the Austrian border, promising to stop Hilter's Anschluss. Hitler realised that his army wasnt strong enough yet to engage in war, so he backed down and claimed that the Austrian Nazi  Party acted alone.  

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