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

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Introduction

Why was the league so ineffective in dealing with the Abyssinian Crisis? Although both Italy and Abyssinia were supposed to do as the league told them to do, if Italy didn't agree with the leagues decision then they weren't going to listen to it as the Italian leader Mussolini was quite prepared to go to war with Abyssinia. The question that the league had to take was what to do with Italy if they took this action. The problem that the league had was that the action they took depended on the actions of the French and the British who were the two great powers in the league and they wanted Italy as a future ally against Germany so they didn't want to be too harsh with Italy in case they then wouldn't help against Germany. In January 1935, the French foreign minister, Laval, met with Mussolini in Rome for a number of secret meetings. In these secret meetings they made some secret agreement some of these involved Abyssinia and yet Abyssinia wasn't even there so one of the major powers was making secret agreements with the country that is almost certainly ready to go to war. The whole idea of the league was to stop aggressors and yet here they were trying to come to some sort of deal with them. Because of these meetings Mussolini thought that both Britain and France wouldn't object at Italy gaining another African colony of its own as both Britain and France had colonies of their own. Then when Italy did try to gain these colonies Britain spoke out and warned them against it. Sir Samuel Hoare made a speech to the league calling for "collective resistance to any Italian aggression". 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. ...read more.

Middle

Sir Samuel Hoare made a speech to the league calling for "collective resistance to any Italian aggression". 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. They even let Italy use the Suez Canal to supply their army; they could have closed it which would probably have stopped the Italian invasion outright. Secretly Britain and France agreed a plan that they thought would bring the invasion to an end. Abyssinia would be split up with Italy getting the fertile lands and a large area to the south would be reserved for Italian economic advancement. Neither Italy nor Abyssinia was involved in these "talks". These "talks" were then leaked to the press. So everyone knew that the British and French and the league were ready to just give in and give the aggressors what they wanted. 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. And they were worried about this because they were scared of Germany, and if Germany attacked they wanted Italy as an ally. Although both Italy and Abyssinia were supposed to do as the league told them to do, if Italy didn't agree with the leagues decision then they weren't going to listen to it as the Italian leader Mussolini was quite prepared to go to war with Abyssinia. The question that the league had to take was what to do with Italy if they took this action. ...read more.

Conclusion

The question that the league had to take was what to do with Italy if they took this action. The problem that the league had was that the action they took depended on the actions of the French and the British who were the two great powers in the league and they wanted Italy as a future ally against Germany so they didn't want to be too harsh with Italy in case they then wouldn't help against Germany. In January 1935, the French foreign minister, Laval, met with Mussolini in Rome for a number of secret meetings. In these secret meetings they made some secret agreement some of these involved Abyssinia and yet Abyssinia wasn't even there so one of the major powers was making secret agreements with the country that is almost certainly ready to go to war. The whole idea of the league was to stop aggressors and yet here they were trying to come to some sort of deal with them. Because of these meetings Mussolini thought that both Britain and France wouldn't object at Italy gaining another African colony of its own as both Britain and France had colonies of their own. Then when Italy did try to gain these colonies Britain spoke out and warned them against it. Sir Samuel Hoare made a speech to the league calling for "collective resistance to any Italian aggression". 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. They even let Italy use the Suez Canal to supply their army; they could have closed it which would probably have stopped the Italian invasion outright. ...read more.

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