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Explain why the League of Nations failed to deal successfully with the Abyssinian crisis of 1935-36

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Introduction

1(b) Explain why the League of Nations failed to deal successfully with the Abyssinian crises of 1935-36 The Abyssinian crisis was arguably the final nail in the coffin of the League. It happened in December 1934 when there was a border dispute between Italian and Ethiopian troops at the Wal-Wal oasis inside Abyssinia. The Italian dictator Mussolini saw this as a perfect opportunity to expand Italy's empire and began to claim that the land did indeed belong to Italy. He had Italy's armed forces prepared and ordered the invasion of Abyssinia in 1935. ...read more.

Middle

There have even been claims that Britain and France had secretly promised Mussolini that they would turn a blind eye to his exploits in Abyssinia if he agreed to sign the Stressa Pact. However during late 1935 people in Britain were beginning to protest about the League's lack of assertiveness on Italy. A poll taken by the League of Nations Union revealed that the majority of Britain's agreed that military action should be taken to defend Abyssinia. Because of this leading politicians, such as foreign minister Hoare, began to talk tough. However nothing serious was done to discourage Mussolini as Britain and France were too reluctant to take tough action. ...read more.

Conclusion

A committee was put together to decide what sanctions to impose against Italy. These sanctions included banning the export of weapons, metals and rubber to Italy, but crucially these sanctions didn't include the thing most needed by the Italian armed forces, oil. The League delayed the decision as to whether oil and other fuel exports to Italy should be banned. This was because they feared that the Americans who were no longer part of the League wouldn't support the sanctions and that their own economic interests would be damaged. Because this, the Italian army took over Abyssinia with little trouble. This was a devastating failure for the League. ...read more.

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