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30 Cards in this Set

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Why did the LofN fail in its aims to keep peace?

The structure of the League
Assembly – Council – Secretariat

Permanent Court Of International Justice

International Labour Organisation

Commissions for: Disarmament/Mandates/Health/Refugees/Slavery
None
Why did the LofN fail in its aims to keep peace?

How was it supposed to keep peace?
Under article 16 of the LofN, collective security would be maintained by
(1) condemning acts of aggression against member countries
(2) imposing economic sanctions
(3) using military force against aggressor
None
Why did the LofN fail in its aims to keep peace?

The League’s powers in practice
It had no armed forces of its own – relied largely on GB & France who didn’t want to fight other peoples’ wars

(cost was too great – especially during the depression of the 30s)

Economic sanctions – v. difficult to enforce.

League was regarded by many in Britain as a ‘talking shop’ and not taken seriously.
None
Why did the LofN fail in its aims to keep peace?

The problem of non-membership
USA never joined (isolationism) & without most powerful nation, authority of LofN was greatly undermined

USSR (Russia) did not join until 1934 when Stalin was worried about Hitler – in the 20s GB & France saw communism as the great evil in the world – Soviets saw LofN as capitalist club

Germany not admitted until 1926
None
Why did the LofN fail in its aims to keep peace?

The League in crisis: Manchuria & Abyssinia
In 1931 the Japanese army conquered Chinese province of Manchuria

In 1935, Italian dictator, Mussolini, invaded Abyssinia

The LofN failed to stand up to these acts of aggression
None
Test yourself on the structure of the League

The Assembly
The debating chamber of the League

Membership of 42 countries (1920)

Only met once year
Elected four temporary members of the council
None
Test yourself on the structure of the League

The Council
Met up to 3 times a year and in times of emergency

Made up of 5 permanent (GB/Fr/Japan/Italy & Germany from ’26) and 4 temporary members

Decided sanctions etc when there was a crisis

Each member had the power of veto
None
Test yourself on the structure of the League

The Secretariat
The civil service of the League
Carried out administration
None
Test yourself on the structure of the League

The Permanent Court of International Justice
Based at the Hague in Holland

It would be consulted when there were disputes between nations and give legal advice on treaties between nations
None
Test yourself on the structure of the League

The ILO & League of Nations Commissions
The International Labour Organization was set up to improve working conditions

The Mandates Commission was established to ensure that Germany’s former colonies were properly governed by GB & Fr and would eventually achieve self-determination

Refugee Commission tackled refugee crisis after WWI

Slavery Commission worked to counter slave trade

The World Health Organization was set up to counter the spread of dangerous diseases
None
Test yourself on the crucial problem of membership:

The USA
USA was not willing to follow Wilson’s idealism
Congress rejected the Treaty of Versailles and with election of Republican President Harding pursued policy of isolationism...
Greatly undermined League

USA continued to trade with Italy after economic sanctions were imposed following the invasion of Abyssinia.
None
Test yourself on the crucial problem of membership:

Britain & France
As a consequence of USA’s non-membership, GB & Fr became the key powers in the League

Both were severely weakened economically by WWI and depression

Unwilling to play proactive role in enforcing authority of the League through force
None
Test yourself on the crucial problem of membership:

Germany
Not allowed to join until improved international relations of mid-1920s

Joined as permanent member of the Council in 1926

Germany’s absence until 1926 reinforced idea that League was ‘club of victors’

Germany left after Hitler came to power in 1933
None
Test yourself on the crucial problem of membership:

Russia
Was excluded from international community after revolution

GB & France wanted to have nothing to do with communism

Things changed when Hitler came to power and Stalin wanted security – joined in 1934
None
Test yourself on the crucial problem of membership:

Japan & Italy
Japan left in 1933 after Manchurian crisis

Italy left in 1937 after the League’s economic sanctions failed to force her out of Abyssinia.
None
The first major failure: Manchurian crisis 1931

Why did Japan invade?
Japan had been badly hit by depression – her exports had fallen by 50%

Japan was overpopulated – needed living space and raw materials

Manchuria belonged to China which was v. weak (civil war)

Japan already ran the Manchurian railway and had troops there

Japanese army wanted aggressive policy
None
The first major failure: Manchurian crisis 1931

The Mukden incident & invasion
18 Sept 1931: there was staged explosion on railway near city of Mukden

Japanese claimed it was Chinese sabotage

Japanese military used this as excuse to take over Manchuria (without permission from Japanese government which was losing control to the army)
None
The first major failure: Manchurian crisis 1931

The reaction of the League of Nations
The League condemned Japan’s actions

Japanese government agreed to withdrawal but army refused

Lytton Commission appointed to investigate – took year to report – by which time the invasion was complete and Japan had left the League

League invited Japan to withdraw!
None
The first major failure: Manchurian crisis 1931

Why the League of Nations failed
Unwilling to impose economic sanctions - they might further damage world trade (in Depression)

Unwilling to take military action (GB feared Japan might attack her colonies)

USA not interested.
None
The first major failure: Manchurian crisis 1931

The consequences
Undermined League – aggression had paid off

Set example for other dictators to follow

Japan left League and eventually allied with Germany & Italy
None
The Failure of The League: Abyssinian Crisis 1935/6

Why did Italy invade?
Depression hit Italy hard – Mussolini hoped that conquest would distract Italian people

Italy had small empire in N-E Africa – Mussolini wanted to expand it and avenge humiliation in Abyssinia in 1896.
None
The Failure of The League: Abyssinian Crisis 1935/6

The invasion
December 1934 – Italian forces staged incident at Wal Wal

This was used as excuse for full invasion in October 1935

Italian air force used poison gas in attack
None
The Failure of The League: Abyssinian Crisis 1935/6

The reaction of the League of Nations
Emperor Haile Selassie appealed to League for help

League condemned invasion & imposed economic sanctions

In Dec 1935 the Hoare-Laval pact was drawn up by GB & France – large areas of best land in Abyssinia would be given to Mussolini

This caused public outcry in Britain
None
The Failure of The League: Abyssinian Crisis 1935/6

Why the League of Nations failed
Economic sanctions didn’t work (didn’t include oil, coal and iron – USA & Germany continued to trade with Italy)

GB & France desperately didn’t want to lose Mussolini as an ally but they did anyway

Not prepared to use military force over African state
None
The Failure of The League: Abyssinian Crisis 1935/6

The consequences
Final nail in the coffin for the credibility of the League

Mussolini now allied himself with Hitler (Rome-Berlin axis 1936)

Clear now to Hitler that GB & France would not stand up to acts of aggression
None
Revise the big causes of LofN failure:

Organization
League did not meet frequently enough

Delayed responses to crises
None
Revise the big causes of LofN failure:

Membership
USA did not join

Germany joined in 1926 / left in 1933

Japan left in 1933 and Italy left in 1937

The USSR did not join until 1934 and was expelled in 1939
None
Revise the big causes of LofN failure:

Sanctions did not work
Countries were reluctant to impose sanctions during the Great Depression for fear of damaging trade further

Non-members like USA and Germany continued to trade when sanctions were imposed on Italy
None
Revise the big causes of LofN failure:

The League lacked military organization
No LofN army

Major powers were unwilling to bear the cost of using their own armed forces
None
Revise the big causes of LofN failure:

Self-interest undermined the League
League was prepared to stand up to minor powers in 1920s but when it came to the crunch in the 1930s, Britain was more worried about her colonies than the fate of Manchuria

GB and France did not want to lose Mussolini as an ally in 1935
None