• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the League of Nations fail in the 1930s?

Extracts from this document...


Why did the League of Nations fail in the 1930s? Page: 254 Questions: 1 and 2 1) Which of the weaknesses in the League of Nations do you think was the most important factor in: a) the Manchurian crisis b) the failure of disarmament c) the Abyssinian crisis? Because the USA, the USSR and other world powers were not members of the League, any actions that the League took to try and force Japan to stop the invasion, were ineffective because the League had neither the resources nor influence to force Japan out of Manchuria. Only the USA or USSR had the power to do so, and they were not members of the League. Economic sanctions imposed by the League on Japan were virtually useless as the USA was Japan's main trading partner, and did not take part in the sanctions. Also, the League lacked the authority to enforce the decision made by its Assembly and the Council. With the backing of the USA and USSR, the League may have had the strength to force Japan to stop the invasion of Manchuria. There were many factors involved in the failure of disarmament. ...read more.


There was also concern that sanctions would damage the member countries' economy. The British cabinet was informed that 30,000 coal miners stood to lose their jobs because of a ban on coal exports to Italy. The League delayed the decision to ban oil sales to Italy for two months, which gave Mussolini eight weeks to build up his stockpile of raw materials. When the ban finally was put in place, it was too late, and to make matters worse, the Americans increased their exports to Italy during the League's blockade. Another crucial element of the League's failure, was the selfish actions of leading members of the League and their conservative actions. Britain and France both owned the Suez Canal, the main shipping route for supply ships to Mussolini in Abyssinia. Closure of the Canal would have cut off Mussolini from all support and ended the troubles very quickly. However, both countries were worried that doing so would have resulted in war with Italy. Equally damaging was the double dealing of Britain and France behind the scenes. In December 1935, while sanctions were being discusses, the Hoare Laval Pact was formed with Italy between Britain and France. ...read more.


Once again the League deliberated over what action to take, allowing Mussolini to strengthen his position in Abyssinia. The League had no army to combat Italy, and its members were reluctant to help. Then, in 1936 Hitler marched his troops in to the Rhineland, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, timing it with Mussolini in Italy. Later that year, the fatal blow to the League was delivered when Hitler and Mussolini signed the Rome-Berlin Axis, thus uniting Italy and Germany. During the 1920s, Europe was rebuilding itself after the ruins of the First World War; there were no countries in a position to fight a war. However, after the World Depression had ended, most countries in Europe had a strong enough economy to fight a war, and with the failure of disarmament and the League proving ever more futile, the relations between European countries became very fragile. Because of these reasons, I believe the League faced greater challenges during the 1930s because there was a very real possibility of war whereas during the 1920s, with the horrors of the First World War just past, war was unthinkable. However, with the state of invasions, alliances and relations in Europe and the world during the 1930s the League had to tread very carefully in order to avoid war. Matt Lewin 4SLW Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Why did the League of Nations fail?

    5 star(s)

    to feed itself. As trade collapsed, Japan had little choice but to take Manchuria. It used the pretext of a suggested Chinese sabotage attempt on the Japanese stretch of the Trans-Siberian railway near Mukden to invade an area of the country caught in internal conflicts between the Mao Tse-Tung led Communists and the Nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-Shek.

  2. Were the 1930's the Devils Decade or The Dawn of Affluence?

    In 1923 only 95,000 cars were produced but by 1937 this number has quintupled to 500,000. As well as for private consumption motoring proved useful in the economy because it allowed better transportation of goods, it could be argued that cars kept Britain's economy from true devastation.

  1. Explain whether you agree or disagree with this statement - "The league of nations ...

    It helped refugees and in its first few years returned over 400,000 prisoners of war to there home lands. I think that these targets were extremely optimistic; this is because the war had just ended. However I believe that these targets were more long term targets than short term ones.

  2. Why was the league so ineffective in dealing with the Abyssinian Crisis?

    With this the Italians then fully invaded Abyssinia and the league do nothing to stop it as the two main powers didn't want too provoke the Italians. So basically it was because Britain and France were too worried about what might happen to them if Italy wasn't on their side.

  1. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    purge' had been completed.[31] The purge was effective in reaching the goals set out by the CPC, and resulted in 15.6% of the Party being expelled, and another 1.7% having their status in the Party degraded to the rank of 'sympathisers,' which meant that they were not permitted to attend

  2. Hitlers Germany

    After the war, military specialists of many nations worked on improving the armor, range, and speed of tanks and airplanes and sought new methods for their use. But it was German soldiers, scientists, and engineers who thought about and experimented with tanks and airplanes most consistently.

  1. The lead up to War - The Depression of the 1930's was a major ...

    Great Britain did not see this action as a threat, as the Rhineland was practically part of Germany anyway. French officials were more worried but knew they could not fight Germany without British aid and so nobody did anything. It was actually a bluff - the German army had only

  2. Britains attempts to appease Mussolini in the 1930s were successful Explain why you agree ...

    Although Britain applied economic sanctions with the league, the sanctions did not include oil, which was the main necessity required for Italy?s invasion, as they required oil to run their ships for transportation. Britain did not close the Suez Canal, which was a fundamental route for Mussolini to transport his

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work