League of Nations

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  • Created by: Holly
  • Created on: 02-06-13 13:04


Council - met 3x year, 5 permanent members (GB,Franch,Italy,Japan) took important decisions

Assembly - met once a year, representatives of all members

Covenant - agreement all members signed, included not using force to settle disagreements

Sanctions - Economic Sanctions (banned trade), Military Sanctions (declaration of war by each member)

Council of Ambassadors - often took decisions cos council & assembly met occasionally

Secretary-General - in charge of administration (Secretariate)

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  • Aaland Islands - Finland Vs Sweden
  • Border dispute - GreeceVs Bulgaria
  • tackled slave trade & diseases
  • 1920s successful solving series minor disputes
  • support most major countries
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  • Russia not allowed to join after Communist revolution 1917
  • USA not join though Wilson's idea, Congress voted against
  • Germnay not allowed to join (1926 became member)
  • Corfu incident 1923 - Mussolini occupied Corfu owned by Greece, forced to back down but no sanctions applied
  • seen as club for victors of WW1, mostly European, headquarters in Geneva
  • no army, relied on member countries declaring war
  • determination of dictators to ignore it
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Why USA not join

  • policy of ISOLATIONISM
  • feared would be drawn into other European/international conflicts
  • Congress said no
  • many Americans doubted League
  • Republican party against it main issue 1920 presidential campaign
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Manchurian Crisis - Why & What

Why Japan invaded China?

  • Japan failed gain territory expected at Versailles
  • 1920s revival of traditional Japanese ideas
  • 1920s population increase, rice & silk prices fell
  • living space for growing pop. & raw materials e.g. oil


  • 18th Sept. 1931 Japan owned railway blow up at Mukden
  • 1931 Japanese invaded Manchuria (Chinese province) - claimed in self defence
  • 1932 Japanese gov. under army control, began period territorial expansion on mainland
  • 1932 Japanese set up puppet state of Manchukuo, last emperor of China, P'u-i leader
  • League Commission of Inquiry, Earl of Lytton, Oct. Lytton Commission: no evidence Japanese acted in self defence recommended Manchuria return Chinese control
  • Japanese ignored report & condemnation, reigned from League 1933
  • Major blow to League, failed to act effectively, Japan was a permanent member of Council
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Manchurian Crisis - damage to League

  • Lytton & League took 1 yr for report & recommendations
    - showed slow to act & indecisive
  • GB feared impact on S.E. Asian trade.
  • Nations reluctant affect own economies during Great Depression
  • US & USSR not member so could continue trade with Japan - stealing Brit & French markets
    - showed reluctant to impose economic sanctions
  • WW1 fresh in mind
  • on other side of world to GB & France, how could mount force great enough
    - showed reluctant to impose military sanctions
  • inaction against Japan, influence needed on security council
    - showed reluctance to stand up to aggression
  • Japan left League
    - weakened its strength
    - Mussolini incouraged not be hindered if invaded Abyssinia
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Italian invasion of Abyssinia - What & Why


  • 3rd Oct. 1935 Italian forces invaded African state of Abyssinia
  • early 1936 Mussolini ordered use of poison gas + italian air power - collapse Abyssinian forces
  • May 1936 captial Addis Ababa occupied, Emperor Haile Selassie fled to GB
  • Abyssina annexed by Italy, King of Italy became Emperor of Abyssinia


  • Mussolini wated revenge for humiliation, 1895 Italy tried to invade suffered humiliating defeat
  • wanted empire, dreams recreating Ancient Roman Empire, Abyssina easy target, already occupied neighbouring Eritrea
  • wanted to shift piblic opinion away from failures of his domestic policies, he was increasingly unpopluar
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Italian invasion of Abyssinia -


  • Italy Permanent Member of Council of League, deliberate aggression
    - severely weakened authority of League
    (Japan & Germany already resigned)
  • Sanctions
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