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History Internal Assesment

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Introduction

"The League is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out" - Benito Mussolini Table of Contents Preface..............................................................................1 Part A: Plan of Investigation................................3 Part B: Summary of Evidence..............................4 Part C: Evaluation of Sources..............................7 Part D: Analysis...............................................9 Part E: Conclusion...........................................11 Part F: List of sources and word count..................12 Appendices.....................................................14 A. Plan of Investigation Topic: How significant a factor was Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in the failure of the League of Nations to act as an effective peacemaker in the inter-war years? Plan of Investigation: In order to find the significance of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia I will focus mainly on the international relations and affairs of Italy, Ethiopia, and other countries that were involved with the League of Nations. I plan to learn about Italy's foreign policy and how this affected Mussolini's decision to invade Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia). Then I will analyze Ethiopia's call for help to the League of Nations and the response. I also plan to analyze the attempts that were made to keep Italy and Ethiopia from going to war, and to shorten this war once it had started (especially the effectiveness of these attempts). Once I have analyzed all of this I will briefly compare it with other inter-war conflicts that involved the League of Nations (such as the Mukden incident) and analyze the effects in order to judge the League's efficiency. B. Summary of Evidence Italy's Foreign Policy: Mussolini was "his own foreign minister," and his policy was basically to restore the glory of the Roman Empire (Knight 81-82). He wanted to restore Italian interests in the Adriatic, the Mediterranean and North and East Africa; he wanted "a place in the sun" next to the colonial achievements of Britain and France (Lee 115). In order to establish an Italian East Africa, Mussolini chose Abyssinia, one of the only two independent states in Africa, and sent his troops through Italian Somaliland and Eritrea (view appendix 1). ...read more.

Middle

Consequently, if France did not fight, Britain would not fight alone, so in the end whenever a mayor international conflict rose, the League did nothing to stop it because its members were too busy following their own interests. This obviously caused all aggressive nations to ignore the sanctions placed upon them by the League because they knew the members of the League would be too busy to enforce them. In the case of Italy, however, things were a little difference. Britain and France rejected intervention not only because of troop mobilization but because of their relations with Italy. Both countries knew very well that if they were to impose harsh sanctions upon Italy, the latter would be enraged and more likely to join in an alliance with Germany, further jeopardizing French security because now France would risk an invasion from the north and the south. This is why the Hoare-Laval pact was decided upon. Britain and France knew that Italy would not stop until taking over all of Ethiopia. This pact was the last attempt to satisfy Italy's thirst for East Africa while allowing part of Ethiopia to remain independent. However, since the agreement leaked to the press it was abandoned, leading to a policy of appeasement on Italy that would further prove the League's inefficiency as a peacemaker during the interwar years. E. Conclusion In conclusion it can be said that based on all the information I have analyzed in this investigation, the Italo-Ethiopian war was a very significant factor in impeding the League of Nations to act as an effective peace-maker in the inter-war years. Because Britain and France were in a very weak position they could not be too harsh with Italy. However, Mussolini was stubborn and proud, and completely disregarded any restrictions set upon him by the League, further complicating its role. In my sources I analyzed the attempts of three powerful nations to stop Italy without provoking it into a war, and how ironically by being benevolent; they caused the war they were trying to avoid. ...read more.

Conclusion

Its essence was that Italy would keep the land which she had so far conquered while Abyssinia would be compensated with access to the sea. Laval stressed that the terms agreed in Paris were merely proposals to be submitted to Mussolini, Haile Selassie and the League. Were they too generous to Mussolini? Laval argued that, as the Italians were winning, they could hardly be expected to call off their campaign for anything less. He was probably right. But the pact was leaked to the Paris press. The British public had an attack of righteousness. Baldwin's government disowned both pact and Foreign Secretary, who resigned in tears. 'No more coals to Newcastle, no more Hoares to Paris', quipped the dying George V. The pact was dead and buried. Two points are worth reiterating. First, Hoare-Laval was in the circumstances a reasonable project. At least something would have been saved from the wreck. In the event, the results of the plan's abandonment were far worse: the conquest of Abyssinia, Mussolini's alliance with Hitler, Hitler's opportunistic remilitarisation of the Rhineland a few weeks later. As for the League, 'half a League, half a League onwards', joked a cynic. Second, Britain comes badly out of the whole wretched business. There was little excuse for the government's pusillanimous abandonment of the plan which in essence it had approved beforehand. Laval, on the other hand, emerges with credit. He displayed consistent realism and pursued consistent objectives: the preservation of the Stresa Front in which France, Britain and Italy opposed German rearmament, the curtailment of Abyssinia's ordeal, the preservation of the League of Nations, the maintenance of Anglo-French cooperation. Leon Blum ranted: 'You have reduced everything to your minor jobberies', while he himself advocated military alliance with the USSR. But Laval's scepticism was justified by later events: the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the partition of Poland. Fragment of the article "Pierre Laval: The Man in the White Tie: Richard Wilkinson Exposes Prejudice and Myth in Assessing the Career of a Key Figure in Modern French History," by Richard Wilkinson of The History Review (2005). ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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