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International Relations GCSE Revision
Transcript of International Relations GCSE Revision
1919 - 1939 The Treaty of Versailles - The Basics •The Treaty of Versailles was signed in Paris in 1919
•Europe had been ruined by World War I, with 9 million dead and almost every country’s economy in ruins
•It’s main aim was to avoid another war in the future
•Essentially the Treaty’s terms punished Germany for ‘starting the war.’
•The Treaty has been heavily criticised by some historians who argue that it’s terms helped to contribute to World War II. Who were 'The Big Three'? 1919 peace conference - Paris Great Britain
-David Lloyd George
-Lloyd George to 'squeeze Germany 'til the pips - squeak!'
Aims at conference:
-He wanted a lasting peace
- He wanted to take some of Germany’s colonies to boost the British Empire
- He wanted to ensure that Britain could trade with other countries France
-People wanted to cripple Germany to keep France safe from German attack.
Aims at conference:
- He wanted a future secure from German attack
- He wanted compensation from Germany for war damage USA
- People didn’t want to be involved in European issues/problems.
Aims at conference:
- He felt Germany should be punished but not humiliated
- He wanted self determination for each country (the right to choose who governs them.)
- He wanted to set up a League of Nations How to remember the 'big three' David 'Lloyd' George Georges 'Clementine' 'Woodrow' Wilson Germany was not included in the talks and simply had to accept the terms of the Treaty Why did 'The Big Three' find it hard to agree? There was always going to be problems at the Conference – each side was looking out for itself, and there were two conflicting aims: how could they punish Germany yet still make sure there was peace in the future?
•Clemenceau felt Wilson was too soft on Germany, and that Lloyd George was too worried about trade with Germany to punish her properly.
•Lloyd George felt Wilson’s plans for self determination might affect Britain’s Empire. He also felt that Wilson was unaware of how hard the war had been on Britain and France.
What were the terms of the Treaty of Versailles? G.A.R.G.Le. 1. Guilt for war: Germany had to accept blame for the war 5. League of Nations: Germany was not allowed to join 4. German territory: Germany lost all it’s colonies to GB and France, Alsace Lorraine went to France, Anchluss was forbidden, West Prussia and Upper Silesia went to Poland, Danzig was controlled by the League of Nations 2. Armed forces: The German army was limited to 100,000 men, submarines and military aircraft were banned, only 6 warships were allowed. 3. Reparations: Germany had to pay a total of £6.6million to France, Belgium and Britain. German views on treaty Arguments for and against the Treaty of Versailles French views: There was enthusiasm. It looked as though the threat from Germany was over. British views: Most people were happy, feeling Germany had go what it deserved. Some were worried that Germany might be angry and might fight back in the future to get back what it had lost. German views: Germans were very upset -
•They lost 10% of their land
•They lost 12.5% of their population
•They did not feel they were guilty for starting the war alone
•They had no say in the Treaty
•The German government who signed the Treaty were not those that had fought the war – it was not their fault
•The limits on the army left Germany vulnerable Aims of the League of Nations The aims were set out in the League’ Covenant:
• To be united and strong enough to discourage any country using force to settle a dispute
• To work out international disputes peacefully
• To encourage countries to co-operate (e.g. in trade)
• To encourage disarmament
• To improve work and living conditions around the world
How was the League organised? The Council met 5 times a year and took all the important decisions in a crisis. There were 4 permanent members (GB, France, Italy, Japan) and other countries took turns on the Council. A permanent member could veto any League decision. The Court of International Justice helped to settle disputes between countries by listening to both sides and then making a decision.
Commissions were committees who looked at issues like health and poverty. One example of these was the Slavery Commission. The Assembly met once a year. Every member was represented here. They discussed the League’s spending and decided on new members. The Headquarters of the League at 'The Palace of Nations' - Geneva, Switzerland. What powers did the League have? 1. Moral condemnation: criticising and warning a country over it’s actions 2. Economic sanctions: cutting off trade 3. Armed force: using armed forces against an aggressor The League started with 42 members, this had risen to 50 by 1939, but many key members came went:
• GB and Britain were in the League the whole time
• Italy left in 1937 (after Abyssinnia)
• Japan left in 1933 (after Manchuria)
• Germany joined in 1926 but left in 1933 (when Hitler became Chancellor)
• The USSR joined in 1934 but left in 1939 (when it invaded Poland)
• The USA never joined. Who was in the League? What did the League actually do? 1920: Vilna, Lithuania Vilna was the capital of the newly created country of Lithuania on its border with Poland. Most of its population was Polish, and Polish troops simply moved in and seized the capital!Lithuania asked the LON for help, but the League took no action! Reasons: Most of the population was Polish, France wanted to stay friendly with Poland (ally against Germany) Britain did not want to send its troops all the way across Europe into a foreign country.Nothing was done! 1921: Upper Silesia On the border between Poland and Germany. Poles and Germans lived there and it contained a very valuable Steel Industry. The League organised a Plebiscite on who should own the area. The vote was divided, so the League, with support from British and French troops, divided the area equally between the countries. Both countries accepted the League’s decision - success! 1923: Corfu Between: Poland and Lithuania Between: Poland and Germany Between: Italy and Greece Mussolini gets to work behind the scenes and persuades many members of the League that he is justified. Italian troops were killed on the border between Greece and Albania (‘mapping’). Their general was also killed. Mussolini blamed Greece and demanded compensation. In 1923 he invaded the Greek island of Corfu. The Greeks appealed to the League who condemned Italian actions – he had obviously been too aggressive hadn't he?! The League did an ‘about turn’ – the Greeks now had to publicly apologise to Mussolini AND pay Italy compensation! 1925: Bulgaria Greek (again) and Bulgarian forces clashed on the border between the two countries. Bulgaria complained to the League, who decide that Greece are at fault. Greek troops are ordered to pull back and pay compensation to Bulgaria. Greece obeys. Success! Or was it? Only 'smaller' states and powers had been involved in 'minor' disputes until this point. The League had not been forced to use an of its powers. What would happen if the League was truly tested? 1931 - 1933: Manchuria Between: Greece and Bulgaria Between: China and Japan Japan invaded Manchuria, claiming their railways there had been attacked by China. The League took one year to make a decision – and then allowed Japan to keep Manchuria. The League took too long, would not bring an army across the world, and allowed an aggressor to ‘get away with it.’ 1935 - 1937: Abyssinia Between: Italy and Abyssinia Abyssinia bordered Anglo-Egyptian territory of Sudan and British colonies of Uganda, Kenya and British Somaliland. Unlike Manchuria, this was not an inaccessible part of the world.
In 1896 Italian troops had tried to invade Abyssinia but had been defeated by poorly equipped tribesmen.
Mussolini wanted revenge for this.
Abyssinia had fertile lands and mineral wealth.
Mussolini wanted glory and conquest.
Abyssinia asked the League for help. The League took months to decide what to do.
In the end, the League tried to impose economic sanctions – but these were not effective.
It did not ban the one thing that really mattered – oil – as members feared the US (not a League member!) would profit at the League members expense!
As such, sanctions were ineffective in stopping the Italians from controlling Abyssinia.
Meanwhile, Britain and France privately offered to let Mussolini have Abyssinia in a secret deal.
This was made by the French Prime Minister, Pierre Laval and the British foreign secretary, Samuel Hoare. It became known as the ‘Hoare – Laval pact’.
This secret was leaked to the press and there was international uproar!
Nobody could believe the scandal – the British and the French had ignored the rules of the League to let a ‘big’ power like Italy get away with military invasion!
Whilst the League was worrying about Abyssinia, Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland. Abyssinia was suddenly forgotten.
Mussolini was allowed to get what he wanted – tough luck to the Abyssinians!
The League’s leading powers did nothing to stop a ‘big’ power from being aggressive.
This sent a strong message to Hitler – he could do what he wanted, and nobody would stop him! Especially not the League!
The League was completely discredited and was no longer taken even slightly seriously! But . . . The Refugees Commission helped 400,000 Prisoners of War home after WWI The Slavery Commission freed 200,000 slaves in Africa The Health Commission fought leprosy and malaria with some success The League helped Germany to sign the Locarno Treaty (agreeing on its borders and allowing Germany to join the League of Nations.
Disarmament Disarmament had little successes during the 1920s
However, by July 1932 resolutions produced on:
Prohibition of bombing of civilian populations
Limit on size of artillery
Limit on tonnage of tanks
Prohibition on chemical warfare However: Little agreement on how these resolutions should be achieved.
Bombing of civilian populations prohibited but no agreement to abolish planes capable of bombing civilians was prohibited! Germany had joined the League in 1926. The Treaty of Versailles had limited German armed forces. Shouldn't other countries do the same? After all - peace was one of the Leagues aims. .
In July 1932 Germany walked out of Conference when no agreement could be reached for all countries to disarm to Germany’s level.
In January 1933 Germany announced it was coming back after being promised that it would be treated equally in disarmament discussions
At the end of January 1933 Hitler becomes Chancellor and immediately starts to rearm Germany (secretly).
In May 1933 Hitler promises not to rearm Germany if in five years all other nations destroy their arms.
In June 1933 Britain produces an ambitions disarmament plan.
In October 1933 Hitler withdraws from the Disarmament Conference and soon after takes Germany out of the League all together.
Disarmament had now failed. Rearmament now became the agenda. In 1928, 65 states signed the Kellogg – Briand Pact, promising not to use force to settle disputes Why did the League of Nations fail? F.A.I.L.U.Re. 4. Unfair treaty: It was hard to enforce the Treaty of Versailles when so many members felt it was unfair 2. Absent powers: The USA was never involved – this meant countries could still trade with them even if the League had put up economic sanctions, and the USA’s army could never be used 1. Self interest: Countries like Britain and France were more interested in themselves 5. Slow decision: The League always took a long time to act 3. Lack of armed force: The League never had it’s own army, and never soldiers in any case The League was seen as a 'victor's club' - especially in its first few years of existence, it certainly seemed this way! F = French and British self - interest
A = Absent powers
I = Ineffective sanctions
L = Lack of armed forces
U = Unfair treaties
Re = Reaching decisions too slowly
What were the key events leading to WW2?
1937: The Anti-Comintern Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan
1938: Anchluss, followed by the German occupation of the Sudetenland, followed by the Munich Agreement
1939: The Nazi-Soviet Pact, followed by the invasion of Poland and declarations of war
1933: Hitler becomes Chancellor, leaves League of Nations and starts to secretly re-arm
1935: Abyssinian Crisis, Hitler publicly re-arms
1936: Germany invades the Rhineland 1919: Treaty of Versailles signed
1929: Depression begins after Wall Street Crash
1931: Manchurian Crisis How did the Depression affect International Relations? Some countries like Italy and Japan felt that the best ways out of the Depression was to build up an Empire, taking raw materials and opening up trade routes Other countries like The USA and Britain were unwilling to use economic sanctions when it could make them poorer. They felt their own interest came before international problems In Germany the Depression was a key reason for Hitler’s rise to power This Nazi election poster reads 'Our last hope - Hitler' What were Hitler's main foreign policy aims? 1. Get rid of the Treaty of Versailles. He did this by:
taking back the Rhineland
forming 'Anschluss' (union) with Austria
taking over the Sudetenland and parts of Poland
re-arming until he had 950,000 troops by 1939. Whilst in prison in 1924, Hitler wrote 'Mein Kampf' - mystruggle - in which he oultined his views for Germany's future. It contained his main foreign policy aims . . . 2. Conquer Lebensraum. He did this by invading the rest of Czechoslovakia, Poland and eventually the USSR. 3. Defeat communism. The Nazi-Soviet pact was only to buy him time before invading the USSR. Was appeasement a good idea? Leading politicians wanted to avoid war at all costs. They remembered the horriffic casualties and destuction of the First World War. If avoiding war meant giving in to Hitler (for example, over czechoslovakia) then that is what it would take. Some argued that Hitler was naturally agressive. War was inevitable, so somebody needed to stand up to his agression. Giving in to his demands was never going to work anyway. Appeasement 'bought Britain time' and allowed the country to rearm in order to fight Germany.
However, this time also allowed Germany to rearm! Appeasement was a popular policy - it is what the majority of the British public wanted at the time! They did not want to go to war again only 20 years after the last war. Should Hitler be blamed for starting WW2? German expansion from 1933 - 1939 The Russians also invade Poland Vs. For appeasement . . . Against appeasement . . . on 1st September 1939 Germany invades Poland from the West G = Guilt
A = Arms
R = Reparations
G = German territory
Le = League of Nations