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League of Nations 1930 failures

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Introduction

Explain whether you agree or disagree with this statement: 'The League failed in the 1930's simply because it faced greater challenges than it had faced in the 1920's.' Historians like AJP Taylor have supported the view that the League of Nations was poorly organized in the 1930's and that its repeated mistakes led to its failure. The first country to take aggressive action following the Wall Street Crash was Japan. Japan was disappointed not to be given more territory in China by the peace treaties of 1919-20. This led to resentment against Britain, France and the USA. One area of China which was of particular interest to Japan was the northern province of Manchuria 1931-1932 was when the first serious test of the League after 1929 came in 1931, when Japan invaded Manchuria on 18 September. Both Japan and China were members of the League. The League did set up the Lytton Commission of Enquiry (on Japan's suggestion) in December 1931 to investigate the situation. This committee did not report until October 1932. By then, Japan had been in complete control of Manchuria for nearly a year, and had renamed it Manchukuo. ...read more.

Middle

The League of Nations was broken by the Abyssinian crisis. Another argument supported by Historian James Joll is that the league had a lot of challenges in the 1930's due to the Wall Street Crash and the attitudes of the member nations that made it difficult for them to take proper decisions. When the Wall Street Crash happened in the USA in October 1929 it soon began what became known as the Great Depression. This was a serious economic crisis which affected almost the entire world, and led to widespread unemployment and social suffering. It also contributed to the emergence of extreme political parties in many countries. Italy had already become a Fascist dictatorship before 1929, but both Japan and Germany came under the control of extreme nationalist and dictatorial governments during the early 1930s. Yet all three countries at first remained members of the League. These governments increasingly turned to aggressive foreign policies in an attempt to solve their economic problems at the expense of other countries. At the same time, other countries tended to put their own economic interests first -even if they were members of the League. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was attended by 61 member nations, and 5 non-members, including both the USA and the USSR. France again unsuccessfully attempted to give the League its own army. The main problem, however, was over disarmament and Germany's insistence on equality of treatment. In 1932, German delegates walked out of the Conference, and said they would not return until they had been granted equality of treatment. After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, Germany left the Conference for good. In October, Hitler took Germany out of the League. By this stage, all the powers knew that Hitler was secretly rearming Germany already. They also began to rebuild their own armaments; in part, it was seen as a way of reducing unemployment and stopping industrial decline. Against that background the Disarmament Conference struggled on for another year but in an atmosphere of increasing futility. It finally ended in 1934. Therefore it can be concluded that the League of Nations had to face a lot of challenges in the 1930's but its main role was to overcome these challenges and resolve issues. The League was not able to keep up with the international pressure it was surrounded by which led to it's intimidate failure. ...read more.

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