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What were the consequences of the failure of the league in the 1930s?

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Introduction

Focus Task: What were the consequences of the failure of the league in the 1930s? The league was, overall, a failure. There were numerous reasons for why the league failed in the 1930s. These included the self-interest of leading members, economic sanctions did not work, America and other important countries were absent, the league had to cope with a lack of troops, the treaties it had to uphold were seen as unfair and also, the decisions that the league made were slow. The first major test for the League came when the Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931. Japan, like many other countries around the world, was suffering due to the Depression caused by the Wall Street Crash in America. Japan was also a permanent member of the League's council (and it also had a VETO with this position) and by the 1920s Japan had become a major power. It had a very powerful army and navy - army leaders often dictated government policy; it had a strong industry, exporting goods to the USA and China in particular; it had a growing empire which included the Korean peninsular. The depression had hit Japan quite hard. Both America and China put up TARIFFS (trade barriers) ...read more.

Middle

They became angry and retaliated by openly rearming again. In February 1932 a Disarmament Conference was underway. It had proposed the principle of equality, which had failed. They also retaliated by walking out of the League of Nations within the same year. The League was losing believers, respect and members, whilst it was gaining humiliation and embarrassment. In January 1933 Germany had announced their return to the league after domestic pressure. This became good news for the League as they felt they were now going to begin re-gaining its respect again. In May 1933, Hitler promised not to rearm Germany if 'in five years all other nations destroyed their arms'. This was not going to happen, certainly not with France - who was paranoid and afraid of a German invasion in the future. Hitler was still rearming at this point in time, although he acted as if he only wished for peace. In October 1933 Hitler withdrew from the Disarmament Conference, and soon after took Germany out of the League altogether. Everyone knew by now, that Hitler was rearming and they began to rearm quickly too. An arms race was on. The disarmament conference continued and held on for life, but it finally ended in 1934. ...read more.

Conclusion

The League's members such as France and Britain had colonies surrounding Abyssinia and even then they failed to take action. This showed how amazingly lazy and ineffective the League was and the economic sanctions were the wrong sanctions to choose. The League had made a huge blunder of this one. Hitler had observed and would take a gamble in the near future. The Abyssinian crisis was a major disaster for the league. In March 1936 Hitler had risked marching his troops into the Rhineland knowing that the League of Nations couldn't bare another defeat. This was in direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Britain would not do much but France would protest. Hitler's gambled had worked. The Fascist revolution had begun. The treaties from the First World War had been broken and too many Nations now began to worry amongst themselves. Hitler managed to break every ruling from the treaty of Versailles. He managed to form a Rome-Berlin Axis whilst the Abyssinian crisis was taking place. Later, Italy and Germany would open their arms to Japan, forming the "Anti-Comintern Pact". The League had faced a huge failure and was forced to close as majority of her members decided to walk out, thus, making it almost completely dead. Humayun Ahmad 4APJ GCSE History - Mr. Davis ...read more.

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