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

Why was the League of Nations a failure in the 1930's?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why was the League of Nations a failure in the 1930's? Although there is dispute about whether the League was a success in the 1920's, it is generally agreed that it was a failure in the 30's. In 1929, the Wall Street Crash started a long depression that quickly led to economic problems throughout the world, damaging trade and industry of all countries. It led to negatively affecting the relations between countries. Im 1931, the first major test for the League came about with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Japan's economy and population had been growing rapidly since the 1900's,and was a major economy by the 1920's. It had a very powerful army and navy, so any leader dictated government policy. It had a strong industry exporting goods to the USA and China, and its empire was growing, including the Korean peninsula. After the Depression China and the US put tariffs on Japan's goods causing its economy to go into crisis and without the trade Japan was unable to feed its people; so army leaders decided that to expand its empire Japan was to use force. This began with the invasion of Manchuria, after a dispute over control of the South-Manchurian railway. ...read more.

Middle

In the 1930's there was an increased pressure for disarmament. The Germans had long been sour over the fact that they had been forced to disarm after the First World War while no other countries had. Many countries were spending more on armaments than they had before the war! At the wake of the Manchurian crisis the League finally realised the seriousness of the problem and the long-promised disarmament conference finally began in February 1932. By July of that year resolutions prohibiting bombing of civilian populations, limiting artillery size and tonnage of tanks and prohibiting chemical warfare were produced. The problem was there were very little resolutions to show how these limits would come under way. For example along with prohibiting civilian bombing should have been the abolishment of planes capable of bombing, but this was defeated. Also the proposal to ban chemical warfare was defeated. The bigger problem was what should be done about Germany, who had been in the League for six years. Most people felt they should be treated more fairly than the Treaty of Versailles had decided - the question was whether or not everyone should disarm to the level of the Germans or whether Germany should be allowed to rearm to a level closer to that of other powers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hoare, the British foreign minister made a grand speech to the League emphasising the value of collective security and there was much negotiating. Coming down to it, however, the League never actually did anything to discourage Mussolini. Pierre Laval, France's foreign minister more or less had given Mussolini signs that he would not intervene, and despite mush talk from the British they never backed what they said. There were two things that the League could have done. Had they strongly opposed Mussolini, i.e. with strong diplomatic signals pre the invasion and sanctions or even military intervention post the invasion, Mussolini would have probably backed off. On the other hand they could have allowed the Invasion and not condemn it, i.e. go along with Mussolini, hence maintaining good relations with him, separating him from Hitler. Although this option is morally wrong, it would have been a good long-term option. Doing nothing, however, having condemned Mussolini's actions distanced Mussolini, and also showed Hitler that the League was weak and that they would never intervene. The incident can be thought of as a fatal blow to the League, unlike with Japan, Italy was a neighbour - there was no excuse and the League had failed at this test. Alexander Phillips 02/03/03 ...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)

    Britain and France had not made the decision to stop Mussolini because they were trying desperately to keep him on their side against Hitler. Sending troops into Abyssinia would not have helped their cause. Thus the League had been shown to be a failure.

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

    He defined slum houses as "a fully populated neighbourhood where the houses and conditions of life are of a squalid and wretched character." Although how can historians argue with slum clearance, it was clearly the right solution to the housing problem.

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

    When Italy did invade it looked like Hoars words had finally made the league do something to a major aggressor as the league placed sanctions on Italy. However, the sanctions were not placed upon the essentials for war, iron, coal and oil because Britain and France were worried about provoking Mussolini any more than they had to.

  2. How far do David Low’s cartoons show the reasons for the failure of the ...

    The main points were that major nations would join the League, they would disarm, if they had a dispute with another country they would take it to the league, promise to accept any decision made by the League, promise to protect one another if one was invaded and if any

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

    These were not the only differences between the two potential leaders. The two had a strong dislike for each other, sparked by the differences between them. While Stalin was a bland official, who had reached his position through hard work, Trotsky was a Jewish intellect who had risen to a

  2. Hitlers Germany

    Both Hindenburg and Hitler were reluctant to run. The old field marshal was eighty-four and would have preferred retirement. But he was warned that only he could prevent the election of Adolph Hitler, and reluctantly he agreed to run. He was supported not by the parties of the right, as in the election of 1925, but by the

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

    Hitler performed the same operation in the Sudetenland, an area of former Czechoslovakia. The Czechs refused to give up the area like the Austrians had and they knew they had allies in the USSR, Britain and France. The leaders of Britain and France, however, did not want a war and met in Munich to appease Hitler.

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

    Also, attempts to abolish bomber planes and to prohibit the manufacture of chemical weapons collapsed. Another topic that was subject to great debate was Germany. Germany proposed that all countries disarm down to its own level, a proposal that was rejected by the Conference.

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