Successes of the League
Aaland Islands, 1921 - The League settled a dispute between Sweden and Finland & after an investigation it said that the islands should belong to Finland; Sweden and Finland agreed.
Upper Silesia, 1921 - The League settled a dispute between Germany and Poland – it held a plebiscite and suggested a partition; Germany and Poland agreed.
Greece & Bulgaria, 1925 - Greece invaded Bulgaria, who did not fight back, but appealed to the League. The League ordered Greece to withdraw, which it did.
- 400,000 prisoners of war were repatriated
- worked hard to defeat leprosy, malaria and yellow fever
- helped free 200,000 slaves
- drug companies were blacklisted
Failures of the League
Vilna, 1920 - The Poles invaded Vilna (captial of Lithuania). The League ordered Poland to withdraw. Poland refused; the League could do nothing
Corfu Incident, 1923 (most important) - Mussolini ignored the League's orders to pull out of Corfu, and made Greece pay money to Italy
This incident showed how a major power which has also a permanent member of the League Council (Italy) could ignore the rules of the League and get it's own way by force.
Manchuria (1931-1933) & Abyssinia (1935)
In Manchuria, it took 1 year for the League to present the Lytton report (Sept 1932), but it confirmed what everyone already knew - Japan was in the wrong. In Feb 1933, Japan annouced that the invasion was to continue.
In Abyssinia, the League imposed economic sanctions, but no sanctions that would effect Italy (eg, coal, steel, oil). Germany didn't condemn Italian actions & Br + Fr wanted to stay friends with Mussolini.
Why did the League Fail?
F - France and Britain dominated the League and put their interests first
A - Absent powers, USA!
I - Ineffective use of sanctions and collective security
L - Lack of armed forces
U - Unsatisfactory organisation, too slow with decisions & had to be unanimous
RE - Really not able to deal with agression from major powers in 1930's.
Aggressive Nationalism (Definition!)
Attempts of collective security by the League in the 1930's was undermined by the aggressive behavior of 3 countries; Germany, Italy & Japan.
- Their governments shared similar policies; such as believing their countries were superior to any others. This is called EXTREME NATIONALISM.
- They each built up strong, well-equipped military forces. This is called MILITARISM.
- When these two policies are combined, it results in AGGRESSIVE NATIONALISM which is to prove the superiorty of one country over others by using the threat of force.
The aggressive nationalism was one of the main cuases of the collapse of peace in the 1930's.
The Rise of Hitler (collapse of international peac
Hitler had 3 aims...
- To destroy Treaty of Versailles - constant reminder of failure
- Reclaim and expand Germany - to unite all german speaking people
- To destroy communism
Rearmament 1933 - 1939
Soon after Hitler came to power, he started to rearm Germany. This meant introducing conscription (1936), which was breaching the terms of the T of V.
He rearmed in secret, but after 1935, he rearmed openly. He walked out of the World Disarmament Conference when Germany was refused 'equality of status' in armaments. He then took Germany OUT of the League.
Rise of Hitler cont.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland
Hitler moved his troops into Rhineland in 1936. This had previously been made a demilitarised zone by the League of Nations.
Hitler claimed that his action was justified because France and Russia had just signed an agreement to protect each other against an attack from Germany.
So how did he get away with it?
- France didn't mobilise their army, an election was due and French leaders were nervous of plunging France into a conflict.
- The League of Nations was distracted by events in Abyssinia
- The League condemned Germany's action but had no power to intervene as Germany was not a member anymore.
Rise of Hitler cont.
Anschluss March 1938 (Union with Austria)
In 1934 Mussolini had stopped Hitler taking over Austria but in 1938 Hitler felt confident to try again.
Hitler encourages the strong Austrian Nazi party to stir up trouble for the Austrian government lef by President Schuschnigg. They staged riots and demonstrations demanding union with Germany.
Austria became a part of Germany and was completed with any confrontation with Britain or France. Britain had already suggested to Hitler that they felt the T of V had been wrong to separate the two countries.
Results of Anschluss
- Hitler got away with another reversal of the Treaty of Versailles
- It showed the value of Hitler's new friendship with Italy
- Britain and France were looking increasingly weak, as appeasment was not working!
Spring 1938, Hitler put pressure on Czech to hand over the Sudetenland
- Hitler ordered Henlein (leader of the Nazi's in the Sudetenland) to stir up trouble
- German newspapers accused Czechs of committing crimes against the Sudeten Germans
- Hitler threatened war if a solution was not found
1) 15th September - Chamberlain met Hitler in Germany. Chamberlain seemed to be convinced that if Hitler got the parts of the Sudentenland that he wanted, he had no more demands.
2) 22nd September - Hitler and Chamberlain met to sign the agreement but Hitler changed his demands. He now demands all of the Sudentenland. Chamberlain told him his demands were unreasonable. The British Navy was mobilised. War seemed imminent.
3) 29th September at Munich - With Mussolini's help, a final meeting was arranged between the leaders of Britian, France, Germany and Italy.
Results of Appeasement at Munich
1) Hitler was encouraged to think that Br + Fr would not act to protect Poland
2) Br + Fr realised the policy of appeasement was dead
3) Russia believed that Br + Fr could not be relied on
Munich Agreement 29th Sept 1938
Chamberlain, Hitler, Mussolini and Daladier (French PM) all agreed that the Sudetenland should be handed to Germany in return for Hitler promising he had no more demands. Neither the Czechs nor the Russians were consulted. Hitler and Chamberlain signed a joint declaration which suggests neither country will resort to war in the future.