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					 Treaty of Versailles

A Peace Built Upon Quicksand
    Why Germany             Kaiser Wilhelm II
•   Failure of German surge
•   German troops mutinied and deserted
•   British naval blockade
•   Food & supplies in short supply
•   Riots on streets of Germany
•   Kaiser fled abroad
•   New government prepared to discuss
    peace terms
GERMAN EAGLE (to German Dove): "Here, carry on for a
bit, will you I'm feeling rather run down."
    Peace at Last

· At 11 a.m. on
November 11, 1918,
Germany agreed to the
armistice, ending
World War I.
The armistice was signed in a railway
carriage in the forest of Compiegne.
How and why are these two images of
the same event so different?
             End of the War
• When the Armistice was signed on 11th
  November, 1918,
• it was agreed that there would be a Peace
  Conference held in Paris to discuss the post-war
• Opened on 12th January 1919, meetings were
  held at various locations in and around Paris
  until 20th January, 1920.
• Leaders of 32 states representing about 75% of
  the world's population attended.
       The Mood in 1919
 Most countries felt Germany should pay for
  the damage and destruction caused by the
 The countries of Europe were exhausted.
 Their economies and industries were in a
  poor state.
 Millions had died. Almost every family had
  lost a member in the fighting.
 Ordinary citizens faced shortages of food
  and medicine.
* Approximately 13 million people died and 20 million were
wounded in the war.
  Entente Powers          Military   Total Deaths    Military
                          Deaths                     Wounded
Australia[1]            61,928         61,928       152,171
Belgium[2]              42,987         104,987      44,686
Canada[3]               64,944         66,944       149,732
France[4]               1,397,800      1,697,800    4,266,000
India[6]                74,187         74,187       69,214
Italy[7]                651,010        1,240,010    953,886
Romania[13]             250,000        680,000      120,000
Russia[14]              1,811,000      3,311,000    4,950,000
Serbia[15]              275,000        725,000      133,148
United Kingdom[17]      885,138        994,138      1,663,435
United States[18]       116,708        117,465      205,690
Total        (Entente
                        5,696,056      10,353,813   12,809,280
  Central Powers      Military Deaths   Total Deaths
Austria-Hungary[19]   1,100,000         1,567,000      3,620,000
Bulgaria[20]          87,500            187,500        152,390
Germany[21]           2,036,897         2,462,897      4,247,143
Ottoman Empire[22]    800,000           5,000,000      400,000
                      4,024,397         9,415,397      8,419,533
(Central Powers)
                       The Impact of World War I

        Political                  Economic                   Social
•   The war led to the       • WWI devastated          • The war killed 14
    overthrow of               European                  million people and
    monarchies in              economies, giving         left 7 million men
    Russia, Austria-           the U.S. the
    Hungary, Germany,          economic lead.          • The war drew
    and Turkey.                                          more than a
                             • The U.S. still faced      million women into
•   It contributed to the      problems such as          the U.S. workforce,
    rise of the Bolsheviks     inflation, which left     which helped them
    to power in Russia in      people struggling         pass the
    1917.                      to afford ordinary        Nineteenth
                               items.                    Amendment to get
•   It fanned the flames                                 the vote.
    of revolts against       • Farmers, whose
                                                       • It also encouraged
    colonialism in the         goods were less in
                                                         African Americans
    Middle East and            demand than               to move to
    Southeast Asia.            during the war,           northern cities for
                               were hit hard.            factory work.
                             Impact in Europe

•   The effects of World War I in Europe were devastating.
     – European nations lost almost an entire generation of young men.
     – France, where most of the fighting took place, was in ruins.
     – Great Britain was deeply in debt to the U.S. and lost its place as the
        world’s financial center.
     – The reparations forced on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles were
        crippling to its economy.
•   World War I would not be the ―war to end all wars,‖ as some called it.
     – Too many issues were left unresolved.
     – Too much anger and hostility remained among nations.
•   Within a generation, conflict would again break out in Europe, bringing the
    United States and the world back into war.
                     The Paris Peace Conference
• President Wilson led American negotiators attending the peace conference
  in Paris in January 1919.
    – His attendance of the Paris Peace Conference made him the first U.S.
      President to visit Europe while in office.
    – Republicans criticized Wilson for leaving the country when it was trying
      to restore its economy.
• Wilson’s dream of international peace, though, required him to attend the
  conference as a fair and unbiased leader to prevent squabbling among
  European nations.
• The Paris Peace Conference began on January 12, 1919, with leaders
  representing 32 nations, or about three-quarters of the world’s population.
• The leaders of the victorious Allies—President Wilson, British Prime Minister
  David Lloyd George, French premier Georges Clemenceau, and Italian
  prime minister Vittorio Orlando—became known as the Big Four.
• Germany and the Central Powers were not invited to attend.
          General Purpose
• To maintain a balance of power in Europe
  like the Congress of Vienna
• To prevent another war
• Unfortunately, nations had differing aims
   The Aims of the Leaders
There was disagreement about what the
 conference was aiming to do.
Some felt the aim was to punish Germany.
Some wanted to cripple Germany so it
 couldn’t start another war.
Some felt the winning countries should be
Some aimed for a just and lasting peace.
          Conflicting Needs at the Peace Conference
 The delegates arrived at the Peace Conference with competing
 needs and desires.
    Better World              Revenge             Independence
                                                • Leaders of
• President Wilson had   • Many Allies
                                                  Yugoslavia and
  a vision of a better     wanted to punish
  world.                   Germany for its
                                                  wanted to build
                           role in the war.
• He wanted nations to                            new nations.
  deal with each other   • Georges              • Poland, divided
  openly and trade         Clemenceau             between
  with each other          accused Germany        Germany and
  fairly.                  of tyrannical          Russia, wanted
                           conduct,               one nation.
• Wanted countries to
                           exemplified by the   • Ho Chi Minh
  reduce their arsenal
                           huge loss of life      worked at the
  of weapons
                           and the continued      Paris Ritz hotel
                           suffering of           and asked France
                           veterans.              to free Vietnam.
David Lloyd-George
                                       Woodrow Wilson
[Great Britain]

            Orlando   Georges Clemenceau
            [Italy]   [France]
The Four Major Leaders
            Power Players
• However, negotiations were dominated by
  the five major powers responsible for
  defeating the Central Powers: the United
  States, Britain, France, Italy and Japan.
• Important figures in these negotiations
  included Georges Clemenceau (France)
  David Lloyd George (Britain), Vittorio
  Orlando (Italy), and Woodrow Wilson
  (United States).
      End of the War Continued
• Eventually five treaties
  emerged from the Conference
  that dealt with the defeated
• The five treaties were named
  after the Paris suburbs of
  Versailles (Germany), St
  Germain (Austria), Trianon
  (Hungary), Neuilly (Bulgaria)
  and Serves (Turkey).
• These treaties imposed
  territorial losses, financial
  liabilities and military
  restrictions on all members of
  the Central Powers.
Key People at the Conference
              The Big Three
• The treaty was signed on June 28th 1919
  after months of argument and negotiation
  amongst the so-called "Big Three" as to what
  the treaty should contain.
• Who were the "Big Three" and where did
  they clash over Germany and her treatment
  after the war ?
• The "Big Three" were David Lloyd George of
  Britain, Clemenceau of France and Woodrow
  Wilson of America.
Woodrow Wilson
     • President of the USA.
     • Wilson was an idealist and
       reformer, who wanted to build
       a better and more peaceful
     • He didn’t want the Treaty to
       be too harsh as he believed
       this would lead to revenge.
     • He wanted to set up a peace
       keeping body – The League
       of Nations
     • Wilson did not understand
       the deep feelings of hatred in

• Fourteen Points including self-determination,
reduction in militaries, and the League of Nations
• American public preferred not to entangle itself
with Europe (ex. Henry Cabot Lodge)
   America’s View: A Peace of Justice
• Woodrow Wilson of America had been genuinely stunned
  by the savagery of the Great War.
• He could not understand how an advanced civilization
  could have reduced itself so that it had created so much
• In America, there was a growing desire for the
  government to adopt a policy of isolation and leave
  Europe to its own devices.
• In failing health, Wilson wanted America to concentrate
  on itself and, despite developing the idea of a League of
  Nations, he wanted an American input into Europe to be
  kept to a minimum.
• He believed that Germany should be punished but in a
  way that would lead to European reconciliation as
  opposed to revenge.
    America’s View Continued
• He had already written about what he
  believed the world should be like in his
  "Fourteen Points" The main points in this
  document were:
1) no more secret treaties
2) countries must seek to reduce their
   weapons and their armed forces
3) national self-determination should allow
   people of the same nationality to govern
   themselves and one nationality should not
   have the power to govern another
4) all countries should belong to the League of
                         The Fourteen Points

• In a speech to Congress before the war ended, President Wilson outlined a
  vision of a ―just and lasting peace.‖
• His plan was called the Fourteen Points, and among its ideas were
     —Open diplomacy, freedom of the seas, the removal of trade barriers, and
       the reduction of military arms
     —A fair system to resolve disputes over colonies
     —Self-determination, or the right of people to decide their own political
       status and form their own nations
     —Establishing a League of Nations, or an organization of countries working
       together to settle disputes, protect democracy, and prevent future wars
• The Fourteen Points expressed a new philosophy that applied progressivism to
  U.S. foreign policy.
• The Fourteen Points declared that foreign policy should be based on morality,
  not just on what’s best for the nation.
David Lloyd George
        • The prime minister of Great
        • He was a realist.
        • An experienced politician
          who realised there must be
        • The people of Britain wanted
        • He knew this would lead to
          war but he represented the
•Protect overseas territory
 and naval superiority
•Germany can remain a
 major power
•Public opinion wanted
 Germany to pay
•Represented by David
 Lloyd George
         Great Britain’s Peace of
• David Lloyd George of Great Britain had two views on
  how Germany should be treated.
• His public image was simple.
• He was a politician and politicians needed the support
  of the public to succeed in elections.
• If he had come across as being soft on Germany, he
  would have been speedily voted out of office.
• The British public was after revenge and Lloyd
  George's public image reflected this mood.
• "Hang the Kaiser" and "Make Germany Pay" were two
  very common calls in the era immediately after the
  end of the war and Lloyd George, looking for public
  support, echoed these views.
     Lloyd George’s Private Views
• He was very concerned about the rise of
  communism in Russia .
• He feared that it might spread to western Europe.
• After the war had finished, Lloyd George believed
  that the spread of communism posed a far greater
  threat to the world than a defeated Germany.
• Privately, he felt that Germany should be treated
  in such a way that left her as a barrier to resist the
  expected spread of communism.
• He did not want the people of Germany to
  become so disillusioned with their government
  that they turned to communism.
   Private Views of Lloyd George
• Lloyd George did not want Germany
  treated with lenience but he knew that
  Germany would be the only country in
  central Europe that could stop the spread
  of communism if it burst over the frontiers
  of Russia.
• Germany had to be punished but not to
  the extent that it left her destitute.
• However, it would have been political
  suicide to have gone public with these
• Bitter over French and Prussian War
• Permanently weaken Germany to protect France
  (after two invasions)
• Some wanted Germany divided
• Represented by Premier Georges Clemenceau
George Clemenceau
        • President of France.
        • Clemenceau had seen
          France invaded by
          Germany in 1870 and
          1914, he wanted to make
          sure this would never
          happen again.
        • France had suffered
          greatly during the War
          they wanted compensation
          and revenge.
        • Uncompromising.
• Bitter over French and Prussian War
• Permanently weaken Germany to protect France
  (after two invasions)
• Some wanted Germany divided
• Represented by Premier Georges Clemenceau
        France’s Views: A Peace of
• Georges Clemenceau of France had one very
  simple belief - Germany should be brought to its
  knees so that she could never start a war again.
• This reflected the views of the French public but it
  was also what Clemenceau himself believed in.
• He had seen the north-east corner of France
  destroyed and he determined that Germany
  should never be allowed to do this again.
• "The Tiger" did not have to adapt his policies to
  suit the French public - the French leader and the
  French public both thought alike.
Vittorio Orlando
        • Italian Prime Minister.
        • Wanted land and territory
          for Italy.
        • Self determination stopped
          Italy getting the lands
          especially Fiume.
        • Walked out of the meeting
          when he didn’t get his way
          in April 1919.
        • Returned to sign the
          Treaty in May.
Political Cartoon on Futile Attempts
             of America
                  • What do you think is
                    the point of this
                    political cartoon?
                  • What do you think the
                    caption for this
                    political cartoon
                    should be?
     Italy’s Views: Obtain Land
• Linked to the "Big Three" was Italy led by Vittorio
• He was frequently left on the sidelines when the
  important negotiations took place despite Italy
  fighting on the side of the Allies.
• Why was Italy treated in this manner?
  1)At the start of the war in 1914, Italy should have
  fought with Germany and Austria as she had signed
  the Triple Alliance which dictated that if one of the
  three was attacked, the other two would go to that
  country's aid.
  2)Italy did not join in on Germany's side but waited
  until 1915 and joined the side of Britain and France.
  3)This association with Germany was enough to
  taint Italy in the eyes of the "Big Three".
  Treatment of Italy Continued
• Why was Italy treated in this manner?
  4)Also Italy had not played an
  overwhelming part in the war.
• Her army had been beaten at the
  battles of Caporetto.
  5)Her strategic importance to central
  Europe was minimal whilst Britain
  dominated the Mediterranean with
  naval bases in Malta and Gibraltar.
• Italy's potential military clout in 1919,
  should the need arise to put pressure on
  Germany and Austria, was limited.
     Treaty of Versailles Items
• The Treaty of Versailles includes 440 articles. The
  principal items are:
• Germany has to cede Alsace-Lorraine to France.
• Germany has to cede the coal mines in the Saar-
  area to France.
• Germany has to cede an area with Moresnet,
  Eupen, Malmédy and St. Vith to Belgium.
• Germany has to cede the main part of West-Prussia
  and almost the whole province of Posen to the new
  state of Poland.
• Germany has to cede all colonies: Togo en
  Cameroun, the territories in East- and South-West
  Africa, islands in the Pacific and possessions in
  Treaty of Versailles Items Continued
• All German properties in foreign countries are
• Germany has to cede all war material to the Allies.
• German compulsory military service is abolished, as
  well as the General Staff.
• Germany is not allowed to have tanks, airplanes,
  submarines, large warships and poison gas.
• During 15 years Germany is not allowed to station
  troops on the left border of the river Rhine and in a 50
  km strip on the right border of the Rhine.
• The total size of the Germany army is not to exceed
  100,000 men.
      Treaty of Versailles Items
• The German navy has a maximum of 15,000
• Germany is allowed a total of 4,000 officers.
• Germany is not to take part in the League of
• Austria has to cede South-Tyrol to Italy.
• Turkey has to cede all foreign possessions.
  England gets Iraq, Palestine and Trans-
  Jordan, France gets Syria and Lebanon.
   Treaty of Versailles Items Continued
• Germany has to cede to the allies all seagoing ships with a
  carrying capacity exceeding 1600 Brt, plus half of all ships
  between 1000 and 1600 Brt.
• Furthermore one fourth of the fishing fleet and two fifths
  of the inland navigation fleet has to be ceded.
• Germany has to cede large amounts of machinery and
  building materials, trains and trucks.
• Germany has to deliver certain amounts of coal,
  chemicals, dye and fuel for many years.
• All German sub-ocean telegraph cables are confiscated.
• Germany has to pay 20 billion goldmarks.
           War Guilt Clause
• Article 231 of the Treaty
• "The Allied and Associated Governments affirm
  and Germany accepts the responsibility of
  Germany and her allies for causing all the loss
  and damage to which the Allied and Associated
  Governments and their nationals have been
  subjected as a consequence of the war imposed
  upon them by the aggression of Germany and
  her allies.‖
• Germans felt the clause was unjust
                                                      The Treaty was designed
                                                      to cripple Germany
                                                      militarily, territorially and
                          WAR GUILT CLAUSE
                          Germany had to accept      GERMANY’S MILITARY
                          blame for starting WW1     FORCES REDUCED
                                                   - Army restricted to
                                                   100,000 men.
                                                   - No modern weapons
Germany forced to pay
massive fine for war
                             THE TERMS             such as tanks, military air
damages - 1,000,000,000   OF THE TREATY OF         force.
Marks (6.6bn pounds).        VERSAILLES            - Navy could not have
                                                   battle ships over 10,000
                                1919               tons and no U-Boats.
                                             RHINELAND TO BE DE-MILITARISED
Germany lost Chinese
ports [Amoy and
Tsingtao], Pacific          GERMAN NATIONAL TERRITORY
Islands, and African       - Germany lost national territory which was given
colonies [Tanganika and    to Belgium and Denmark, most went to Poland.
German SW Africa].
    Things to Consider about the
• Note 1: The reparations were progressively
  reduced by the Dawes (1924) and Young (1929)
  Plans. In 1932 they were forgiven completely.
  By that time the damage had been done:
  1. Destruction of the German currency and
  economy - what was left after the war anyway -,
  2. Destruction of the nation's political stability
  that allowed major riots and street battles
  between Communists, Nazis and others, leading
  to the successful grab for power by Adolf Hitler.
    Things to Consider about the
• Note 2: The terms imposed on Germany
  at Versailles were much more mild than
  those Germany had imposed on Russia
  (the Brest-Litovsk treaty, summer 1918),
  or those that Germany planned to impose
  on the Western Allies if she had won the
  war - including, among other things, the
  subjugation of Belgium, innocent victim of
  German aggression in 1914.
    Things to Consider about the
• Note 3: Had the Versailles Treaty been
  applied as envisioned, Germany would not
  have been rearming in 1932.
• The fact that Germany did rearm was not
  a problem brought about by the Treaty.
• In the end, Versailles became a dog's
  dinner. It neither crushed Germany
  enough to stop her rise again, yet it was
  still able to humiliate her.
       Newly Formed Countries
•   Yugoslavia
•   Czechoslovakia
•   Poland
•   East Prussia
•   Lithuania
•   Latvia
•   Estonia
•   Turkey
Redrawn Boundaries After Treaty
                • Here are the newly
                  formed countries out
                  of the old Austria-
                  Hungary, German,
                  and Ottoman
Old Countries with New Borders
•   Italy
•   Greece
•   Bulgaria
•   Romania
•   Belgium
•   Denmark
•   France
                             Impact in Europe

•   The effects of World War I in Europe were devastating.
     – European nations lost almost an entire generation of young men.
     – France, where most of the fighting took place, was in ruins.
     – Great Britain was deeply in debt to the U.S. and lost its place as the
        world’s financial center.
     – The reparations forced on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles were
        crippling to its economy.
•   World War I would not be the ―war to end all wars,‖ as some called it.
     – Too many issues were left unresolved.
     – Too much anger and hostility remained among nations.
•   Within a generation, conflict would again break out in Europe, bringing the
    United States and the world back into war.
Shows Germany as beaten
but still big and solid enough
to be dangerous

 British and
 French police

 Shows what cartoonist
 thinks the Treaty terms
 should do to Germany

 caused by war

 Large and solid
 (prisoner won’t

 Deliberately shown as
 civilians (not army)                         GIVING HIM ROPE?
                                 German criminal (to Allied Police): Here, I say,
                                 stop! You’re hurting me!
 Suggests cartoonist
 thinks Germany will try         [Aside] If I only whine enough I may be able to
 to worm out of                  wriggle out of this yet!
 responsibility for war
1. Describe the
   scene shown,
   what is the                                           ‘Punch’ was
   storyline?                                            Britain’s main
2. Then, assess the                                      political
                                                         magazine of
   features in the
   cartoon.                                              the period.
3. Then, identify the
   political message                                   Why the candle
   intended by the                                     ‘snuffer’? What
   cartoonist.                                         political
                                                       message does
                                                       it represent?
 What does
 the ‘Angel’                                             What does
 represent?                                              the candle

        What is the general political message of the cartoon?
• Gave rise to Hitler
  who used the Treaty
  of Versailles as a
  rallying cry for
  nationalism and
Nazi Propaganda Postcard
            • Another German
              postcard produced
              about the time of the
              Treaty of Versailles.
            • Its title is 'Hands off
              German Homeland'.
            • On the stone (bottom
              left) is written 'd.ö.'
              standing for Deutsch-
              österreich (German
Source C
A German postcard, produced about the
time of the Treaty of Versailles, showing
the land where Germans lived. The areas
in red are the lands given to other
countries by the Treaty of Versailles,(
including the land lost by Austria).

Its title is 'Lost but not forgotten land'.
The poem under the map reads:
 You must carve in your heart
 These words, as in stone -
  What we have lost
  Will be regained!
                  Vengeance! German Nation
Today in the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles the disgraceful Treaty
is being signed. Do not forget it! The German people will with
unceasing labour press forward to reconquer the place among
nations to which it is entitled. Then will come the vengeance for
the shame of 1919.
From the ‘Deutsche Zeitung’ [‘The German Express’] newspaper.

Only fools, liars and criminals could hope for mercy from the
enemy. In these nights hatred grew in me, hatred for those
responsible for the dead.
By Adolf Hitler, who had served in the army and became a future leader of
What was the League of Nations?
• An idea of American President Woodrow
  Wilson following the first world war
• An international police force made up of
  representatives of many countries
• An organisation that would allow
  disputes to be settled without resorting
  to war, based in Geneva (neutral).
      Differing views on how the
        League should operate:
    America                 Britain                France

A world parliament    A simple organisation   A strong League
where                 that would meet         capable of enforcing
representatives       during emergencies      decisions with its
would meet regularly                          own army
to decide on matter
which affected all of
Each of these types of League has advantages and

Although France’s idea of a strong League would mean it
  could be an effective force, the League was meant to be
  centred on peace. Potentially, its own army could provoke
  another war

Britain’s simpler idea would mean that the League would
  merely dealing with emergencies rather than working on
  preventing them from of occurring in the first place

America’s version of the League would be expensive and a
  complicated to organise, although it might have been the
  most effective version in terms of keeping peace
However, the idea of joining the League
was not popular with all Americans…
Many Americans did not think the        Americans wanted to stay out of
Treaty of Versailles was fair. As the   disputes that might enter their
League was linked with the treaty,      troops into the kind of carnage of the
they did not want to be a part of it    first world war

Others wanted to avoid the economic     Many Americans were anti-French or
cost of joining the League              Anti-British. They thought the
                                        League would be run by these
                                        countries and did not want to get
                                        involved with their affairs
Wilson’s party lost the election in 1919. His
opponents promised to follow a policy of
isolationism (staying out of international affairs).
And so America did not join the League of
        Aims of the League
1. Discourage aggression from any country

2. Encourage co-operation in business and

3. Encourage disarmament

4. Improve working and living conditions
   for people across the world
 When it opened, some countries
were not members of the League:
America:- had become isolationist

Germany:- As a defeated country who was
 blamed for staring the Great war,
 Germany was not invited to join

Russia:- Were not invited to join the
 League, mainly due to their Communist
The Structure of the League of
 Successes in the 1920s
• With the League’s help over 400 000 prisoners of
  war were returned home
• The slavery Commission brought about the freeing
  of over 200 000 slaves in British-owned Sierra-
  Leone and organised raids against slave owners
  and traders in Burma
• The Health Committee worked hard to defeat
  leprosy and malaria. It later became the World
  Health Organisation
• Sweden accepted the League’s decision to give the
  Aaland islands to Finland. The two countries thereby
  avoided going to war for them
• The League divided Upper Silesia between
  Germany and Poland after a plebiscite showed a
  clear divide. Both countries accepted this decision.
     1929 Wall Street Crash!
This is MAJOR turning point for the league:

*Many members of the League were now focussed on
  solving domestic problems.
*The crash created a depression in Europe causing
  unemployment and poverty. Dictators rose to power
  as they promised a solution to problems. These were
  new problems for the League to face
*Had a major effect on Japan who relied heavily on
  international trade. This would eventually contribute
  towards the invasion of Manchuria
              The 1930s…
Were BAD for the League:

*The 1930s are always seen as bad for the
   league by comparison with the 1920s.
   Remember this for exam questions that ask
   about both
*There were three huge failures for the League
   in the 1930s:
1. The Japanese invasion of Manchuria
2. The failure of the disarmament conference
3. The invasion of Abyssinia by Italy
            Failure #1: Manchuria
•   There was an explosion on the Manchurian railway
    that ran though China. The Japanese depended on
    this railway to transport goods into their country,
    whose natural resources and agriculture were
    limited by their mountainous terrain.

•   The Japanese invaded China on the grounds that it
    needed to safeguard its railway. However, they
    later also bombed Shanghai

                                        •China appealed to the League for help and the
                                        League ruled that the Japanese should return
                                        Manchuria to Chinese rule.

                                        •But Japan continued to invade new areas of

                                        •The League discussed sanctions but its
                                        member were not prepared to send troops to
                                        enforce its decision…
             Why did it fail?
*Japan was too far away

*The League were worried about offending Japan who
  was an important member of the League

*Britain and France were more concerned about the
  problems resulting from the depression in their own

*Russia, the only country with troops and resources
  enough to combat the problem quickly in the region,
  was not a member of the League
   Failure 2: The Disarmament conference
In February 1932 the League of Nations began the long-
awaited disarmament conference.

It produced resolutions to limit the size of artillery and
tanks, ban the bombing of civilians and chemical warfare.
HOWEVER, nothing was agreed upon as to how they would
enforce these limits.

They were also unsure as to what to do about Germany-
should all countries disarm to her level or should Germany
be allowed to re-arm to the new universal lower level as
the TOV had been too harsh?
            Key events at the Disarmament
July 1932          Germany walked out after the other
                   countries failed to agree to all countries
                   disarming to its level

December 1932      An agreement was finally reached to treat
                   the Germans equally

January 1933       Germany announced that it was coming

February 1933      Hitler started to re-arm Germany anyway in

October 1933       Hitler walked out of the Conference
                   permanently and soon after withdrew
                   Germany from the League of Nations
Failure 3: Mussolini’s invasion of
                     Abyssinia 1935
                     The pale grey areas were
                       Italian territory in
                       eastern Africa.

                     You can see why Italy, who
                       wanted to expand her
                       empire, would choose
                       this area of land.

                     Italy also wanted revenge
                       after an embarassing
                       failed attempt to take
                       Abyssinia in 1896
               The background
• Like Japan, Italy was an important member of
  the League
• Like Japan, Italy wanted to expand its empire

• Unlike Japan, Italy was right on the League’s
• Unlike Japan, Abyssinia had borders with
  British colonies

• UNLIKE Japan, the League could not claimthe
  problem was too far away to deal with.
This would be a very real test for the League
                  The events
• 1934 There was a dispute
  between Italian and Ethiopian
  soldiers at an oasis 8oKM inside
                    •Mussolini claimed this was
                    Italian territory

• Mussolini began preparing an
  army for an invasion

                    •The Abyssinian emperor
                    appealed to the League for help
   So what did the League do?
Very little…

*The League was anxious to keep Italy on side. Italy was
  their best ally against Hitler.

*Britain and France signed an agreement with Mussolini
  about standing united against Germany and the
  problem in Abyssinia was not even discussed

*There was much talking and negotiating but nothing
  was actually done to discourage Mussolini

*Eventually a committee reported to the League that
  neither side was responsible for the conflict at the
  oasis. The League put forward a plan that would give
  Italy some of Abyssinia. But Mussolini rejected it.
       the situation worsens…
•   October 1935 A full-scale Italian invasion of Abyssinia commenced

•   It was a clear sign of aggression and the League’s covenant (set of
    guidelines) made it clear that sanctions should be imposed.

•   It banned sales of arms, rubber, metals and loans to Italy.

•   However, these sanctions caused economic problems e.g. British coal-
    workers lost jobs because of ban of exports to Italy

•   And Britain and France were making secret plans behind the League’s
    back, offering Mussolini more of Abyssinia in return for stopping his

•   Eventually, Hitler’s invasion of the Rhineland made many countries
    unwilling to upset Italy any further, as their support against Hitler
    seemed crucial.

The League watched helplessly. Mussolini annexed the
  whole country. The League had failed.
 What were the reasons for the League of
   Nations’ failures during the 1930s?
 Self-interest       Absence of      Lack of Troops
        We have
         our own

TOV it was meant    Decisions were   Sanctions were
 to protect was          slow         ineffective