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Failure of the league 1929-1939


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Examines the failure of the League of Nations with background information from the 1920's. Manchuria, Abyssinia, and Hitler's foreign policy are examined in some detail.

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Failure of the league 1929-1939

  1. 1. Failure of the League 1929-1939: Background: Dawes Plan 1924, Treaty of Locarno 1925, Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928, Young Plan 1929 Focus: The Manchurian Crisis 1931-1933 Abyssinian Crisis 1935-1936 Hitler’s Foreign Policy 1933-1939 By Mr. Rakochy IBDP History
  2. 2. Charles Dawes • Some interesting facts (just for fun) – Head of Central Trust Company of Illinois – Helped to negotiate the first major Anglo-French loan during WWI of 500 million dollars (despite Wilson’s tentativeness) • Total value of US loans to allied powers was roughly 10 billion USD – Involved in the War Departments procurement agency as a Brigadier General during WWI. (conflict of interest!) – Appointed to Allied Reparations Committee by Herbert Hoover in 1923 – Won Nobel Peace Prize jointly for Dawes Plan along with Sir Austen Chamberlain (Sec of State) – Vice President of United States 1925-1929 – Died in Mr. Rakochy’s hometown of Evanston, Illinois in 1951 (you can visit his home there if you visit!)
  3. 3. Why the Dawes Plan • Created by the USA, Britain, France and Germany attributed to Charles Dawes • Presented in April of 1924 • Reaction to Ruhr Crisis and German Hyperinflation (which we have already studied) • Despite official US policy of isolation Europe’s collapse was unacceptable to American capitalism and American banks
  4. 4. Dawes Plan Details • Loan schedule extended to 59 years – Annual payments were lower although final sum remained unchanged – 2 year moratorium on repayments initiated • About 800 million marks in new loans from US banks to Germany (set at 200 million USD) • Rentenmark to replace old mark (replaced soon after with Reichsmark) • French and Belgium evacuation of Ruhr
  5. 5. Why the Dawes Plan? • German economy must be stabilized to insure British and French ability to pay war debt to US banks.
  6. 6. Optimism in the Locarno Spring • Success of Dawes Plan leads to more success • Locarno Pact October 1925 – number of treaties signed by Britain, Italy, France, Belgium and Germany (not Japan) • Germany recognized Western Borders (not Eastern) • No attack in W. Europe unless in self-defense • Italy and Britain will aid in enforcement in case of violation.
  7. 7. Optimism in the Locarno Spring • France and Belgium get troops out of Rhineland • Germany to apply to League of Nations (accepted in 1926 and receives a “permanent” seat) • Germany renounces the use of force to recover territory on the Western border • Britain agreed to defend France against German attack – Noteworthy after earlier failure of Anglo-American Guarantee • France must recognize German territorial sovereignty and must not resort to occupation as it had done in the Ruhr • France must not encourage separatist movements in Germany
  8. 8. Gustav Stresemann • German nationalist working to revise Versailles diplomatically • German Foreign minister from August 1923- death in November 1929 (Chancellor from August 1923-October 1923) • Oversaw German negotiations during Dawes Plan and Locarno Pact • Attributed to German stability and acceptance in the international community from 1924-1929
  9. 9. A cartoon, by David Low shows Chamberlain (center) and Stresemann (right) with French representative Aristide Briand (left) holding a boxing glove.
  10. 10. Suspicion in the Locarno Spring • Soviet Union viewed agreement as more evidence of Western collusion against USSR – Although counter-claim could be -Treaty of Rapallo significant in countering suspicion. • Had France “lost” the Ruhr Crisis? – Impact of passive resistance and propaganda of retreat from Ruhr a victory for Germany? • Was Britain asserting her position as the strongest regional power? • Could the British trust the French to “behave”?
  11. 11. Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928 • “. . . .the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy”. – Created by French foreign minister Astride Briand and US Sec. of State Frank B. Kellogg. • Signed by over 60 nations including Japan, Germany and Italy • No system of enforcement • Relied on good behavior of signatories
  12. 12. The Young Plan 1929 • Created to bolster Dawes Plan • Reduced Reparations slightly • Reparations Commission no longer able to impose sanctions • Would have resulted in more loans from USA (few loans resulted due to Great Depression)
  13. 13. The Great Depression (World Economic Crisis) • Wall Street Crash which began in October of 1929 had far reaching implications • Conservative and Right Wing Parties immerged in many countries and solidified their power in others. • (see handout – “what were the consequences of the Depression”)
  14. 14. Washington Naval Agreements • Four, Five and 9 Power agreements (see page 50-51 of Paper One PDF)
  15. 15. Manchuria
  16. 16. Manchuria 1931-1933
  17. 17. Japanese Economic Motivations • Japan Industrialized in the 19th century • As an island nation Japan was not self-sufficient to feed 65 million inhabitants of Japan proper (90 million plus in empire) • Dependent upon exports of manufactured goods primarily to USA – US depression means a virtual end to Japanese exports • Japanese mountainous terrain makes large scale agriculture difficult at best. – Dependency on importation of food combined with loss of manufacturing market results in dire economic situation. • Results in massive unemployment and even rural famine/starvation Rural Japanese children eating white radishes
  18. 18. Difficult Agricultural Terrain
  19. 19. Japanese Economic Motivations Continued • Economic situation results in pressure on liberal government – Radical nationalist groups supported by military - pressure government to take Manchuria • Manchuria rich in vast amounts of natural resources – Forestry, minerals and agricultural land – including 50% of world’s soya (200,000 square KM compared to 377,000 square KM on mainland Japan) » Possible solution to Japan’s agricultural woes? • The Great Depression made it very unlikely that the UK, France or the USA would intervene – Largely due to spending cuts imposed upon their own military spending and fear of losing the Japanese market for exporting their own goods.
  20. 20. Military Motivations • 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war had gone well – Economic investments in area with troops at ready in Port Author (taken from Russia in 1905). – Military presence in region (Japanese-Korea and Port Arthur) meant Japan was in good position to take Manchuria • Chinese Civil War left power vacuum with Manchuria led by a warlord. • Washington and London Naval Conferences gave Japan tremendous influence in region -no American or British Naval bases within 4800 KM of Japans borders. – Although Washington’s 5:5:3 provision (USA, UK, Japan) can be seen as racist also important to see benefits to Japan • Effectively gives Japan control of eastern Pacific and China. – London conference in 1930 changed ration to 10:10:7
  21. 21. Political and Ideological Motivations • Japanese racism toward Chinese • Incident on Japanese controlled railroad gave Japan motivation to seize Manchuria • Anger over treatment at Versailles had encouraged support of military right • 2 Failed military coups in 1931 (March and October – Manchurian Incident began in September) • Chinese Civil war involving communists and nationalists troublesome to West and Japanese influence could be moderating
  22. 22. Japanese Invasion of Manchuria 1931- 1933 • 18 September 1931 Mukden Incident – bombing of a portion of the South Manchurian railway (Japanese controlled) – Chinese accused of terrorism • Evidence to support that the Japanese military planted the bomb to create just cause for action – Japanese military quickly moves into the interior of Manchuria – China appeals to the League of Nations for support (9 Power Treaty promised integrity of China)
  23. 23. Japanese Invasion of Manchuria 1931- 1933 • League suggests that Japan has a right to protect its property (railroad) but should not seize Manchuria – Japanese government agrees to cooperate – Japanese military continues on with aggressive behavior • Claim to protect property and citizens of Japan working in China (80% of foreigners working in China where Japanese) • By March of 1932 Manchuria is a puppet state of Japan called Manchukuo
  24. 24. The Lytton Commission • Commission of enquiry created by League • Lead by Lord Lytton of UK and with members from USA, France, Germany and Italy – USA was not a member of the league but was involved in the Lytton Commission • Criticized for slow movement during Japanese expansion into Manchuria • Did nothing to stop Japanese aggression against China
  25. 25. The Lytton Report • No recognition of Manchukuo as an independent state • Recommendation that Japan withdraws troops • Recommends that Japan recognizes Manchuria as sovereign Chinese territory • Recommends that Manchuria adopt self-government while under Chinese sovereignty • Recommends that Japan and China open diplomatic discussions immediately • All members of League (except Japan) approve report
  26. 26. Japan’s response to Lytton Report • Claim that the League is treating Japan unfairly • Withdraw from League officially in March of 1933 • Continued occupation of Manchuria • Improvement in Japanese economy and strategic position
  27. 27. Significance of Manchurian Crisis • Showed that the League was unwilling (unable?) to take military action – Proved a source of inspiration for Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany – Showed the League to be weak – Showed that the fear of communism may be strong enough to allow for fascist action
  28. 28. Italy and Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1896 • Italian defeat in 1896 was a humiliation. – Abyssinia was the only African country to repel an European assault during the Scramble for Africa. Route of Italian forces at the Battle of Adwa – March 1896
  29. 29. The Abyssinian Crisis - Background Italy was: 1. A signatory of the Locarno Pact of 1925 2. Member of the Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928 3. Western Ally that kept Hitler out of Austria in 1934 by moving troops to the border 4. In early 1935 Mussolini signed the Stresa Front i. Stresa Front was a pact signed by Britain, France and Italy which renounced Hitler’s plan to rearm Germany 5. Seemingly Italy was an ally of the West
  30. 30. The Abyssinian Crisis - Motivations • To recreate the Roman Empire • To get an easy victory • To help with economic problems in Italy • To warn Germany • To get hold of Abyssinia’s wealth • To make up for not getting enough territory from the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 • To make himself popular in Italy
  31. 31. The Abyssinian Crisis - Motivations • 1896 humiliation redress could be Mussolini’s way of securing glory for the homeland (and himself) • Depression in Italy created a more aggressive foreign policy – Gain raw materials, markets and territory • Anglo-German Naval Agreement* of 1935 broke with spirit of Stresa Front – *Anglo-German Naval Agreement allowed Germany to rebuild Navy to 35% of British fleet – major revision of Versailles. • Lessons learned from Manchuria evidence of Leagues lack of fortitude
  32. 32. Height of Roman Empire c. 200AD
  33. 33. Map c. 1935
  34. 34. April 1932 Speech to Grand Council of Fascists in Italy
  35. 35. April 1932 Speech to Grand Council of Fascists in Italy continued
  36. 36. “Believe, Obey, Fight”
  37. 37. Invasion of Abyssinia 1935-1936 • December 1934 Italian troops clash with Abyssinian troops – Provocation to provide justification? • In 1933 Mussolini had sent a memo to Generals calling for the “total conquest of Abyssinia”. – Mussolini demands compensation for deaths of 30 soldiers killed at Wal-Wal Oasis (near Italian Somaliland)
  38. 38. December 1934 Dispute at Wal-Wal between Italians and Abyssinians April 1935 Stresa Pact signed between Britain, France and Italy, uniting them against German rearmament October 1935 100,000 Italian troops enter Abyssinia from the north. Adowa taken after 2 days of bombing, with only one Italian casualty November 1935 Southern Abyssinian leader, Afework, killed December 1935 Italians use mustard gas in victory at Dolo. Abyssinians counter-attack and Italians retreat 12 miles. Hoare and Laval prepare the Hoare-Laval Plan, giving Mussolini two-thirds of Abyssinia January 1936 Italians use mustard gas at the battle of Tembien February 1936 Italians use artillery to bring victory at Amba Aradam March 1936 Last major Abyssinian army defeated. Haile Selassie's personal army defeated and survivors trapped by a lake and attacked with gas and bombs. Meanwhile, Hitler reoccupies the Rhineland April 1936 Italian tanks and armoured cars take control over more Abyssinian regions without opposition May 1936 Haile Selassie flees Abyssinia. Italian troops enter Addis Ababa. Victor Emanuel, the King of Italy, declared the new Emperor of Abyssinia November 1936 Rome-Berlin Axis - Mussolini and Hitler sign an agreement
  39. 39. Haile Selassie – Emperor of Abyssinia Despite repeated appeals to the League of Nations, Selassie ends up in exile in Britain as his country is torn apart by war.
  40. 40. The body count • Death toll between 1935-1941 760,300 Abyssinians according to official Ethiopian report – 2/3 above civilian deaths (approximately 75% of these from hunger/famine) – 250,000 (of 760,000) Abyssinian military deaths • Poison gas used between 300-500 metric tons. – In direct violation of international conventions on warfare • Italian death toll at 20,000 another 188,000 wounded
  41. 41. The League’s Response • Declaration that Mussolini’s Italy is acting aggressively • Hoare-Laval Pact (British foreign secretary and French Prime Minister) – Secret offer of territorial concessions to Mussolini (see page 87 in text/pdf for details) • Rejected by Mussolini initially although would likely have been accepted if given more time • Leaked to public – Costs both their posts • Economic Sanctions Applied – Excluded from sanctions • Coal, oil and steel • Sanctions ignored by Germany and Japan • Sanctions not fully implemented by USA • Suez canal kept open by Britain (implications?)
  42. 42. Importance of Suez Canal
  43. 43. The League’s Response • Arms embargo on Italy and Abyssinia – Hurts Abyssinia far worse as their weapons are outdated • Refusal to discuss issues of sovereignty over disputed territories (effectively a denial of Abyssinian sovereignty and an acceptance of Italian hegemony of the region)
  44. 44. Impact of invasion of Abyssinia on World Affairs • Proved once again that League of Nations was impotent • Stresa Front ended – Tension between Italy with France and Britain • Rome-Berlin Axis 1936 • Italy leaves the League in 1937 • Hitler remilitarizes the Rhineland during crisis (March 1936) • National interests proven to be paramount to enforcement of international law
  45. 45. 1933-1939 Mr. Rakochy IBDP History Hitler’s Foreign Policy
  46. 46. Basis of Foreign Policy 1. Destroy the Treaty of Versailles – Hated by Germans – Considered unfair by German people – Disallowed Anschluss 2. Unite German speakers into one country • Especially: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland 3. Lebensraum • At expense of inferior Polish and Russian Slavs • Feed greater Germany (85 million)
  47. 47. 1933 (caution) • Goodbye to the League of Nations – Upset with lack of disarmament by other nations – Promised no intention of war – Seen as a hero by the German people One political opponent described people’s reaction “Everybody thought that there was some justification in Hitler’s demands. All Germans hated Versailles. Hitler tore up this hateful treaty and forced France to its knees…. people said, “he’s got courage to take risks” • Secretly begins provisions for rearmament – Secret meetings with military (see document and discuss)
  48. 48. 1934 (caution) • German-Polish 10 year Non-aggression pact – Strategic move by Hitler (Polish invasion 1939) • Good anti-French maneuver, as treaty with Poland went against French rhetoric of Nazi expansionism • Fed into Britain’s policy of appeasement toward Germany • Austrian coup (by Austrian Nazi group) – Supported initially by Hitler – PM Dollfuss killed – Italian troops sent by Mussolini – Hitler disclaims support to avoid war
  49. 49. 1935 (some caution) • The Saar willingly goes back to Germany (90% vote after terms of Versailles expired) – Rich source of coal, iron, transportation link – Huge propaganda victory for Hitler • Return of Conscription – Number of divisions 36 (approx 750,000 men) – Luftwaffe – Naval Expansion – Public Announcement of rearmament
  50. 50. German Expansion Germany expanded rapidly from 1935- 1939 in her attempt to prepare for war, unite German speakers and in an attempt to further Lebensraum.
  51. 51. Stresa Front 1935 • Agreement between France, Britain and Italy – Supposed to stop German aggression – Outlawed any more infractions of Versailles – Reaffirmed no Anschluss to be permitted – Spirit of Locarno invoked – Ultimately a failure (Anglo-German Naval agreement followed by Abyssinian Crisis) • Failure of Stresa Front gave Mussolini an opportunity for aggression – Mussolini looked upon Anglo-German agreement as permission to ignore Stresa Front agreements – Hitler in turn supported Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia
  52. 52. 1936 • The Rhineland (7 March 1936) – No resistance despite T.O.V. being broken again – British sympathy – French apathetic behind Maginot Line – A major gamble • Impact of Rhineland – “The forty-eight hours after the march into the Rhineland were the most nerve-racking in my life….If the French had then marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs, for the military resources at our disposal would have been wholly inadequate for even moderate resistance.” – Hitler convinced that France and Britain are politically weak alliance with Italy
  53. 53. 1936-37 (spreading the love) • Support of General Franco in Spain – Spanish Civil war – Aid to Franco from Mussolini and Hitler – Tightened fascist alliance “Rome-Berlin Axis” Oct (lead to “Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis (1940)” Nov. or the “Anti- Comintern Pact” which Italy signed in 1937) • Spread of Fascism seen as good by both leaders – Support extended further in 1939 with Pact of Steel
  54. 54. 1937 – Hossbach Memorandum • Key aim of German policy racial expansion – Context for Lebensraum – Needed to be completed before 1943-1945 as international situation may not be “favorable” after that time. • Armament • Seen by Anthony Adamthwaite as a “guide to Hitler’s ideas on foreign policy”. • Seen by other historians as a way to “root out” opposition. – Three top military advisors who expressed concerns all replaced within a very short time
  55. 55. 1938 – Austria and Anschluss • Meeting at Bechtesgaden in Bavarian Alps – Hitler and Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg meet – Hitler forces Schuschnigg to free Nazis and appoint Arthur Seyss-Inquart Minister of Interior • German Annexation of Austria – Hitler’s coercion of Schuschnigg sets stage for invasion and annexation with Austria – Soon after Schuschnigg resigns under pressure- replaced by Seyss-Inquart (Anschluss goal completed – March 13 with no action by West)
  56. 56. 1938 – Czechoslovak Crisis • Pro-Nazi Sudetenland party (Konrad Henlein) issues Karlsbad program – Demands autonomy for Sudetenland – Refusal to meet demands leads to increased protests – Sudetenland or war! (British appeasement and end of end of French/Czech alliance under British pressure) – Seeing weakness, Hitler demanded even more!
  57. 57. 1938 further escalation • Sep 22, 1938 Hitler meets with Chamberlin and demands: – German entrance to Sudetenland by October 1 – All Czech instillations left in tact – Claims of Poland and Hungary against Czechoslovakia must be met – Czech refusal escalates likelihood of war
  58. 58. Munich Conference • Mussolini, Chamberlin, and Edouard Daladier (French Premier) invited by Hitler to Munich – Conference held September 29-30 • Huge victory for Hitler – Sacrifice Czechoslovakia in another attempt to avert war – Germany annexes Sudetenland – Teschen region to Poland – Southern Slovakia and Ruthenia to Hungary
  59. 59. Attendees Mussolini Hitler ChamberlinDaladier
  60. 60. Splitting up the goods
  61. 61. March 1939 • Hitler destroys Czechoslovakia – Germany takes Bohemia and Moravia and Slovakia becomes puppet state • Chamberlin finally comes to senses – Declares (with France) any aggression against Poland will lead to war
  62. 62. Dropping the hammer on Czechoslovakia
  63. 63. April 1939 • Polish Crisis • Hitler makes impossible demands on Poland – Return of Danzig – Access to East Prussia across Polish Corridor – Better treatment of Germans in Poland • Poor diplomacy by West – Weak attempt to ally with Stalin – No allowance of Soviet troops into Poland – Soviet suspicions of West very high
  64. 64. August 23, 1939 • German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact • Soviets to receive eastern Poland in return for neutrality • With threat of Soviets removed . . .
  65. 65. September 1,1939 • Hitler invades Poland • Great Britain and France declare war on Germany