Paper 1: League of Nations

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  • Created by: naomih
  • Created on: 20-04-13 04:51


Set up in 1920,

42 countries joined at the start, by 1930s, it had 59 members


Stop aggression

Improve social conditions


Encourage cooperation


- Britain: had other priorities, eg british politicians interested rebuiling trade

- France: main concern was Germany, worried without army league too weak to protect

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-Defeated countries could not joint (left out, cause tension)

-Russia excluded (communist environment)

-USA did not join (isolation from world affairs)


The assembly - each country 1 vote (slow, takes time) (under 'red tape)

The council - Met everal times a year +emergencies. (permenant : UK, France, Italy, japan)

The Secretariat - Kept records (civil service)

Power: causes opportunities for other countries to unite and go against LON

-Internationally condemned

-Refuse to trade (sanctions),  - Send in troops (volunteers) 

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Refugees - (1922) set up camps +fed Turkish refugees

- 400,000 WW1 prisoners were returned to their homes

Working conditions - Introduced a resolution for a max 48-hour week, 8 hr day

(only minority as thought it would raise industrial costs)

Health - started the global campaign to prevent malaria + Leprosy

Transport - recommendations on marking shipping lanes + international highway code

Social problems - Blacklisted 4 drug trades, freed 200,000 slaves in Sierra Leone

  - challenged use of forced labour in Africa bringing death rate 50->4%

Bulgaria - (October 1925) league condemned Greek action, Greeks obeyed to pull out from invading Bulagria

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Successes: Locarno treaties

Locarno, October 1925: France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia


- Germany accepted the borders laid out in TOV

- Britain and Itlay agreed to protect France if Germany attacked

- Germany accepted Rhineland as a demiliterized zone

- France and Germany agreed to settle disputes through LON

- Germany joined LON in 1926

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International Agreements of 1920s

1921 Washington Conference:

USA, Britain, France and Japan agreed to limit size od navies

1922 Rapallo Treaty:

USSR and Germay re-established diplmatic relations

1924 The Dawes Plan:

Lent money to Germany to hep pay its repaations bill and avert a terrible economic crisis

1925 Locarno Treaties:

Germany accpeted western borders set in TOV

1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact:

65 nations agreed not to use force to settle disputees, known as "Pact of Paris"

1929 Young Plan: reduced Germany's reparations payments

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Failures in 1920s

Vilna (1920) - VIlna was made capital of Lithuania but populated by Polish

   - Poland invaded and took over Vilna and LON did nothing

Corfu (1923) - Italian general Tellini killed while supervising border of Greek and Albania

    - Italian Leader Mussolini furious, 31 August killed 15 people in Corfu

    - Greece asked for help, LON had Greeks apologise and pay compensation             directly to Italy (before was to LON until killers found but Mussolini persuaded LON)

Geneva Protocol (1924)- if 2 members were in dispute and asked for help would have to       accept decisions made by council

    - Britain had general election and new conservative gov refused,       hence weakened LON

Disarmament (1920s) - Failure only Germany had disarmed being forced to. 

  - Others were not prepared to give up their armies and the first

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Failed in 1930s

Weak - no military/troops, only moral condemtion

America/Absenties - undermine sanctions

Structure - unaminous voting, slow

Depression - great depression, focused on domestic economy

Unsuccessful - ineffective (eg vilna, manchuria, corfu, abyssinia)

Members - Self interest (Hoare Laval pact/ late/early participation)

Bullies - unfair treatment (Italy, Greece, Japan)

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Economic depression

The Wall Street crash effects:

- fewer American loans to Europe

- Industry contracts

- Decreased employment

- Some countries charge tariffs to protect industry

- Decreased international trade

- Decreased profits

Britain: Suffered high uneployment, not willing to sort out LON problems

Germany: unemplyment+poverty led people to elct Nazis

France: worried bout Germany, built series of frontier defences on border with Germany

Italy: economic problems encourage Mussolini to build overseas empute, distract italians

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Japanese invade Manchuria

Why: Depression hit Japan badly - China and USA put tariffs against japanese goods

  - no trade, Japan could not feed its people

How - September 1931, overan Manchuria+threw out all Chinese forces

- February 1932 - set up a puppet gov in Manchuria, gunships bombed Shanghai

 - China asked LON, Japan claimed that China was in such a state of    anarchy that they had to invade as self-defence

- September 1932 - LON presented detailed+balanced report that Manchuria returns

- February 1933 - Japan refused and announced to invade more of China 

- 27 March 1933 - Japan withdraw LON, invaded Jehol

League was powerless, without USA no prospect of Britain and France risking their navies/armies

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Why disarmament fail in the 1930s

Germany's actions:

July 1932:Germany proposed for all countries to disarm like it. When Conference disagree the principle of 'equality', Germany left LON

September 1932: British sent a note to germany agreeing to equality but with superior tone

December 1932: Agreement was reached to treat Germany equally

January 1933: Germany announced it is joining LON again

February 1933:  Hitler becam Chancellor of Germany, began secretly rearming

May 1933: Promised not to rearm Germany if ' 5 years all other nations disarm'

June 1933: Britain produced disarmament plan

October 1933: Hitler withdrew from Disarmament plan and LON

1935, Britain signed agreement allowing Germany rebuild navy >35% of Britain, no consulting LON, violation towards TOV

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Abyssinia: Mussolini's invasion damage the LON

Why invade Abyssinia: - revenge from humiliating defeat in 1896 when attempted invasion

    - Fertile lands and mineral wealth of Abyssinia

    - Mussolini wanted glory and conquest

Jan 1935-Oct1935: - Abyssinian emperor appealed for help, 

     - B+F played for time, signed the Stresa Pact with Italy early 1935 (commitment to stand united against Germany and Germany rearming)

     - 4 Sept, LON put forward plan to give some of Abyssinia, rejected

Oct 1935-May1936: - Mussolini launched full scale invasion of Abyssinia

      - DIscussion of baning oil sales were delayed and too late

7 March 1936: - Hitler marched troops into Rhineland, French desperate for Italian help

9 May 1936: - Mussolini annexed entire Abyssinia

November 1936: - Mussolini+HItler signed agreement Rome-Berlin Axis

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