The Covenant of the League was the 26 articles of the League that all member states had to agree to. It was meant to improve international cooperation, peace and security. It included:
• The compulsory registration of all treaties to avoid further secret alliances
• The reduction and control of arms so that there could be no future arms race
• A method of solving disputes between countries known as collective security
In this way, it dealt with all the reasons that people felt had caused the First World War.
In which section of the organisation of the League was each member state represented at an annual meeting which required all decisions to be unanimous
The Permanent Court of Justice
How many permanent members of the Council were there?
The Council's main duty was to solve any disputes between the states, by negotiation if possible.
If any country was considered to have started a war by an act of [blank_start]aggression[blank_end], then that war became the concern of all the countries in the League who would take action against the aggressor. This action was in [blank_start]three[blank_end] stages:
Moral [blank_start]condemnation[blank_end]: this meant that all countries would put pressure on the aggressor in order to [blank_start]shame[blank_end] that country into stopping the war and accepting the Leagues decision.
[blank_start]Economic[blank_end] Sanctions: all countries in the League would stop [blank_start]trading[blank_end] with the aggressor.
Military force: all countries in the League would [blank_start]contribute[blank_end] to an [blank_start]armed[blank_end] force that would act against the aggressor.
In this way, the council was to provide the machinery to enforce the principle of [blank_start]collective security[blank_end] which would guarantee future [blank_start]peace[blank_end].
Which of the following were weaknesses of the League?
The withdrawal of the USA
The exclusion of Germany and Russia (USSR)
Each member of the Council had the right of Veto
There was no standing army
There was not always a method to enforce its decisions
All of the above!
Japan had been [blank_start]dissatisfied[blank_end] with the peace settlement at the end of the [blank_start]First World War[blank_end]. The population of Japan was [blank_start]increasing[blank_end] and the depression caused by the Wall Street Crash in [blank_start]1929[blank_end] had led to a reduction in markets for Japanese goods and increased [blank_start]poverty[blank_end] and unrest in Japan. Many, including the army, thought that the answer would be the extension of Japan into [blank_start]Manchuria[blank_end]. This would give room for the surplus population and be a sure market for Japanese goods.
Since 1904 Japan had been allowed to have soldiers in Manchuria guarding the [blank_start]South Manchurian railway[blank_end]. In September [blank_start]1931[blank_end] the Japanese claimed that there had been an explosion on the railway line at [blank_start]Mukden[blank_end], which they said was sabotage by the Chinese. There is no certainty that an explosion took place as transport on the railway was not interrupted, but this gave the Japanese army an excuse to invade. The Japanese army quickly defeated the [blank_start]Chinese[blank_end] at Mukden. The action had been taken by the army without the permission of the [blank_start]government[blank_end], but its success was so popular in Japan that the army was now in control of [blank_start]Japanese[blank_end] policy.
What was the name of the Commission set up by the League after the Chinese appealed?
The Manchurian Commission
The Lytton Commission
What did the Lytton Commission recommend?
That Manchuria should be a self-governing state
That Japan's actions were justified as Chinese rule was chaotic
The Japanese then reorganised Manchuria and called it Manchukuo. This was supposed to be an independent state, but was in fact controlled by Japan. By early 1933 Japan occupied the whole of Manchuria.
What happened when the League formally condemned Japan's action in 1933?
The Japanese simply left the League and later occupied another Chinese province, Jehol.
The Japanese withdrew their troops and admitted they had committed an act of aggression.
Why did the countries in the League not act?
• Sanctions were discussed but not used because Japan’s main trading partner was the [blank_start]USA[blank_end], which was not in the League, so they would have no effect
• All the countries were suffering the effects of the economic [blank_start]depression[blank_end] and did not want to be involved with international problems. Britain, in particular, did not want troubles in the Far East to affect its [blank_start]trade[blank_end] in Asia
• [blank_start]Britain[blank_end] was not prepared to risk its fleet against Japan in the Far East
• France had no intention of sending [blank_start]troops[blank_end] to the Far East
• The nearest country to Japan who could send troops was the [blank_start]USSR[blank_end], but it was not in the League.
No country wanted war against Japan – a stronger Japan was a useful [blank_start]ally[blank_end] against the expansion of the USSR in the Far [blank_start]East[blank_end]. Manchuria was seen as distant from Europe and many regarded the attack as an ‘[blank_start]intervention[blank_end]’, not an invasion. Japan was restoring [blank_start]order[blank_end], not invading. At the time it was not considered to be a major blow to the League, but other dissatisfied countries such as [blank_start]Italy[blank_end] and Germany noted the failure and offered later [blank_start]challenges[blank_end] to the League.
Which 3 Nations formed a united front known as the 'Stresa Front' against Germany in 1935?
Why did Mussolini want to invade Abyssinia?
Mussolini wanted to increase his popularity in Italy by increasing the glory of the Roman Empire.
Abyssinia (Ethiopia) was one of the few areas of Africa which had not been taken over by European countries. It was next to the Italian colonies of Eritrea and Somaliland, so it would be relatively easy to launch an attack from these areas.
Mussolini planned to gain revenge for the Battle of Adwoa
The rich pastureland and raw materials of Abyssinia would benefit the Italian economy.
If Abyssinia became Italian, it would provide a secure market for Italian exports.
All of the above!
In December 1934 a clash occurred between Italian and Abyssinian soldiers at [blank_start]Wal-Wal[blank_end] on the border between Abyssinia and Italian [blank_start]Somaliland[blank_end] in Africa, with some loss of life. The dispute went to the League for a decision, but it was clear that [blank_start]Mussolini[blank_end] was planning war as the Italians built up their forces in Italian Somaliland on the Abyssinian border. The [blank_start]Peace Ballot[blank_end] of 1935 in Britain showed clearly that the people of Britain believed that support for the League of Nations would keep peace. The British Foreign Secretary, Sir Samuel [blank_start]Hoare[blank_end], made a speech, which made it appear that Britain would support the idea of [blank_start]collective[blank_end] security in the event of any act of aggression. In spite of this, Italian forces invaded Abyssinia on [blank_start]3 October[blank_end] 1935 – Mussolini claiming that he was trying to bring [blank_start]civilisation[blank_end] to Abyssinia.
Why did the introduction of sanctions on Italy not work?
In order to work, sanctions needed to be introduced at once. Although trade in arms to Italy was ended immediately and imports from Italy banned, it took over two months for the League to make a decision on other sanctions.
Britain and France did not want to lose Mussolini’s alliance against Hitler, so they did not want to upset him over Abyssinia.
Britain and France could have stopped Italy by closing the Suez Canal to Italian ships – their easiest route to Abyssinia – but they did not want to lose Mussolini’s friendship.
They were so rich they did not require the resources of other countries.
Many of the countries ignored the sanctions and continued to provide resources.
The Italians fought with tanks, aeroplanes and poison gas against the Abyssinians with their spears and out-of-date rifles.
In December [blank_start]1935[blank_end] Sir Samuel Hoare and the French Prime Minister, Pierre [blank_start]Laval[blank_end], drafted a secret agreement to solve the crisis. The [blank_start]Hoare-Laval[blank_end] Pact gave Italy two-thirds of Abyssinia. Mussolini may have accepted this, but when news of this agreement leaked out it was so [blank_start]unpopular[blank_end] in Britain that it had to be dropped and Hoare was forced to resign. In May 1936 the Italians captured Addis Ababa, the [blank_start]capital[blank_end] of Abyssinia. In June, the Emperor of Abyssinia, Haile [blank_start]Selassie[blank_end], made a personal appeal for further help to the League, but the war was over. Mussolini claimed a great [blank_start]victory[blank_end] and Abyssinia became part of the Italian [blank_start]Empire[blank_end].
The Abyssinian Crisis marked the beginning of the League of Nations as a peacekeeping organisation.
How did the Abyssinian Crisis help to reverse the Treaty of Versailles?
Hitler had taken advantage of the Abyssinian Crisis when he send troops into the Rhineland in March 1936, judging correctly that Britain and France would be too occupied by the events in Abyssinia to oppose him.
It provided reasoning for the German idea of Diktat
It marked the end of the League as a means of keeping the peace, as had been set out at Versailles.
What was the name of the pact signed by Mussolini and Hitler in 1936, breaking the Stresa Front?