- Thought success abroad would divert attention From Italian economic problems
- Lots of Italians moving to America – Muss. Thought having living space in Abyssinia might encourage more Italians to stay within Italian territory.
- Mussolini wanted fertile agricultural and mineral resources
4. REVENGE/TOUCHY NATIONALISM:
- 1896: Italian soldiers had been defeated by badly equipped Abyssinian soldiers in Battle of Adowa à humiliated
- Mussolini wanted to restore glory of Roman Empire.
- Dispute between Italian and Ethiopian soldiers at oasis of Wal Wal (80km within Abyssinian territory)
- Muss. claimed it was Italian
- Prepared army for invasion
- Emperor Haile Selassie appealed to League
WHAT WAS THE LEAGUE’S RESPONSE TO SELASSIE’S REQUEST?
- GB and France played for time – wanted to stay on good terms with Mussolini as he was an all against Hitler
- 1935: GB, Italy, France sign STRESA PACT = protest against German rearmament and collective security against German aggression.
- Some say GB and France were…