History - The League of Nations Part 3 (Failure)

This set of notes is for History, OCR, GCSE, specifically The League of Nations Part 3 (Failure). This topic has 3 sub-topics which are:

The Manchurian Crisis          Disarmament          Abyssinian Crisis

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The Manchurian Crisis - Japan Invades China

·         The depression hit Japan badly as China and the USA stopped trading with them.

·         Japan could not feed its people so army leaders wanted to build the Japanese empire by force.

·         In 1931, Japan claimed China had sabotaged the South of the Manchurian Railway which was theirs.

·         They invaded Manchuria and set up a puppet government so the Chinese government did exactly as Japan told them.

·         1932, Japanese aeroplanes bombed Shanghai.

·         Japanese government told the forces to withdraw but they did not listen and it was now the Japanese army in control.

·         China appealed to the League.

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The Manchurian Crisis - The League Reacts

·         Japan said that it wasn’t the aggressor but settling a dispute and being one of the League’s main member, it was a difficult test for the League.

·         After a whole year, the reports came back from China and it was clear Manchuria should be returned to China.

·         But, instead of retreating, Japan invaded more of China.

·         Japan was the only one who voted Japan was right in what it was doing so in 27th of March 1933, Japan left the League.

·         In the end, the League did nothing.

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The Manchurian Crisis - Why did Japan Invade

The depression hit Japan badly as trading with the USA stopped trading with them. 

Many people, including Japan's army, wanted more power for Japan.

Therefore, the two main reasons for Japan invading was:

1. Japan wanted to have more land and industry to have a better economy.

2. Many people in Japan wanted a 'taller' and greater empire.

2.5 In 1931, Japan claimed China had sabotaged the South of the Manchurian Railway which was theirs so they then invaded Manchuria. However that is seen more as an excuse as their reactions seem to big against the sabotage.

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The Manchurian Crisis - Why did the League Fail

The League failed for four main reasons:

1. They couldn't introduce affective sanctions without the help of the USA.

2. They were too far away from China to help.

3. Britain wanted to keep up good relations with Japan.

4. Noone wanted this war to escalate.

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The Manchurian Crisis - Overall affect

·         This situation made the League look weak as it was unable to do what was right.

·         This would also affect the League in the longer term as it would inspire Hitler and Mussolini and Hitler to follow suit.

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Disarmament - Discussions

·         By July, 1932, the League decided to limit the size of artillery, limit the tonnage of tanks and prohibit chemical warfare.

·         However, there was no sign of them saying how they would achieve this.

·         The ban for making chemical weapons wasn’t even passed.

·         The League also couldn’t decide on whether they all disarm to Germany’s level or whether Germany rearms to theirs.7

·         The League still wasn’t treating Germany entirely equally.

·         When Hitler became Chancellor, he was secretly rearming Germany.

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Disarmament - Why did the League Fail?

·        No one was very serious about disarmament.

·         Britain and France were on different sides, Britain now felt that the Treaty of Versailles was unfair so allowed Germany to build up its navy while France wanted the treaty to stay the same.

·         Each country was looking after itself.

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Disarmament - How did it Affect the League?

·         It affected the League badly as disarmament was one of the four things that the League set out to do and they still hadn’t done it.

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The Abyssinian Crisis - Italy Invades Abyssinia

·         Mussolini always wanted revenge from 1896 where Italy invaded Abyssinia.

·         So in 1934, in an Italian and Ethiopian dispute, he said that Wal-Wal was his territory and he wanted an apology and began preparing his army.

·         The Abyssinian Emperor pleads to the League for help.

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The Abyssinian Crisis - The League Reacts (Part 1)

·         In 1935, the League just played for time and did not take the situation seriously.

·         Although there was big talk about it from Britain as the elections came close.

·         Hoare made a grand speech on collective security.

·         No one actually discouraged Mussolini and it was believed he thought the said they would turn a blind eye to what he was doing.

·         After a full scale invasion was created by Mussolini, the League had prime position and it was clear that sanctions must be introduced.

·         Sanctions for arms, loans, rubber, tins and metals were introduced.

·         However, the League delayed the choice on whether to ban oils to Italy because it would mean the loss of 30,000 jobs.


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The Abyssinian Crisis - The League Reacts (Part 2)

 There was also a canal that if Britain and France had closed, would bring down Italy.

·         Hoare and Laval, representing Britain and France, even dealt with Mussolini behind the League’s back to give Mussolini two thirds of Abyssinia.

·         However, this leaked to the French press and both Hoare and Laval were sacked.

·         This then lost the momentum of sanction discussions and the meetings were further delayed.

·         Once there were sanctions on oils for Italy it was too late.

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The Abyssinian Crisis - Why did the League Fail?

Britain and France did not want to lose their economic relations with Italy as they benefited from their trade.

Britain and France did not want to lose social relations with Mussolini as he was their best ally against Hitler.

The League was too slow at introducing sanctions.

The League's sanctions, once introduced, were ineffective.

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The Abyssinian Crisis - The Overall Affect

·         This affected the League badly as it showed the League as selfish and the countries only caring about themselves.

·         It also showed Britain and France, the main leaders of the League, to be lying and deceitful. 

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