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15 How successful was the LN in the 1920's - 1930's

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Isabel Banegas Calderón

on 17 June 2015

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Transcript of 15 How successful was the LN in the 1920's - 1930's

Crisis years 1920s - 1930s
Attempts to strengthen the League
France initiated two attempts to strengthen the League in 1923 and 1924.
1923 - Draft Treaty of Mutual Assistance. All members would come to the assistance of a victim of aggression.
1924 - Geneva Protocol. Arbitration would be compulsory in all disputes.
Britain, its Dominions and the Scandinavian powers rejected them.
Thus, the League remained divided between those states that wanted a strong LN to enforce the existing territorial agreements, and those that wanted to be more selective in dealing with aggression.
Why did the League fail to achieve disarmament?
Economic instability of the 1930s - nations concentrated on their own problems rather than in collective security. Some countries used rearmament as a way of providing employment and helping their economies out of the Depression.
Political instability in Europe - the fragility of the new states of central Europe and a discontented Germany, countries were reluctant to limit their arms; especially France, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
Japan's invasion of Manchuria undermined the idea of collective security.
Peacekeeping 1920-25
The territorial changes of the Versailles settlement led to crisis in Europe. (pg. 93)
The League was not able to solve all of them.
However, it seemed there was "a good chance that Europe had found a workable successor to the pre-1914 states system.
The Ruhr Crisis (1923)
The USA did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles and signed a separate treaty with Germany.
The political situation in Germany didn't seem likely to produce a government keen to comply with the Versailles Treaty.
In October 1921 the Wiesbaden Accords were drawn and France accepted to take a portion of the reparations in raw materials and industrial produce.
The following year, when Germany fall behind with the payments France was inclined to use force to solve the situation.
This became a crisis when Germany asked for the payments to be suspended for 4 years.
France and Belgium with the support of Italy moved troops into the Ruhr Valley in January 1923.
The German government of Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno protested and instructed the workers to strike but continued to pay the workers. (pg 95)
How successful was the LN in the 1920's - 1930's
The Locarno Pact 1925
Although the French retreated from the Ruhr valley, there were allied troops in other Rhineland cities.
Stresemann didn't want any occupying forces in Germany nor an independent Rhineland.
Manchurian Dispute (1931)
Japan was the only independent Asian power with its own empire.
Japan was also greatest industrial and trading power, and so was badly affected by the world depression.
Japan thought they would survive by expanding its empire.
In September 1931, the Kwantung army in Manchuria claimed that a bomb explosion near Mukden was evidence of growing disorder in China and used it as an excuse to conquer the province.
However, it had been the Japanese army who planted the bomb.
The Ruhr Crisis (1923)
The printing to money caused hyper inflation while France encouraged the unemployed in France and Belgium to work in the Ruhr industries.
In Germany Cuno was replaced by Gustave Stresemann in August 1923.
In 1924 the crisis was ended by the Dawes Plan which decided the following:
Reparations were to be guaranteed by two mortgages, one on German railways and the second on German industries (supplemented by taxation in Germany).
A US "reparations agent" would reside in Germany to supervise repayments.
Repayments were to be reduced.
This brought better times for the allies until 1929 because the USA was back in the picture.
Germany was unhappy because there was no fixed date for completion of reparations.
Stresemann promised to comply with the terms and France withdrew troops from the Rurh by August 1925.
The Ruhr Crisis (1923)
The crisis threw up serious problems with the integrity of the LN.
France had taken matters into its own hands and attempted to seize payments by force.
Britain and Sweden had attempted to bring the LN into the crisis but were blocked by France.
Even though the settlement of the crisis gave gains to France the results of its actions increased the tension between France and Germany.
The Rapallo Treaty - 1922
April 1922 - Germany and Russia.
Introduced diplomatic relations and future cooperation.
Germany recognized the Soviet government and provided for close economic cooperation.
Military cooperation - Germany was allowed to rearm and train secretly in Russia.
This convinced Britain that Germany had to be accepted rather than alienated.
Germany became even friendlier with Russia.
Locarno Conference
Young Plan
Kellog-Briand Pact
Switzerland - February 1925.
Germany, France and Belgium
Voluntary German guarantee of western borders (Alsace-Lorraine, Malmedy and Eupen).
In return France would not invade again.
Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia and Poland
Agreed to change borders by arbitration only
Germany was to be admitted in the LN.
This gave hope for future security - LOCARNO SPIRIT.
However, the treaties didn't guarantee eastern borders, and the border with Italy.
Locarno undermined the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.
1929
Attempted to redress some of the problems that remained with the Dawes Plan.
Three main points:
It further reduced the total sum to be repaid by Germany.
Set a date for completion of repayments - 1988
Continued US involvement in reparation payments.
Also, Britain and France agreed to end their occupation of the Rhineland five years earlier than scheduled.
Keynes wrote in 1926 that the reparation arrangements were "in the hands of the American capitalists".
1928
Initiated by American Secretary of State William Kellogg and French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand.
It renounced "war as an instrument of national policy".
It was seen as an important declaration by governments that they would pursue their objectives through peaceful means.
It has been seen as the high point of Locarno spirit era.
It could be argued that there were no big problems in the 1920s because Germany was still recovering from WWI and it was a period of relative economic boom and prosperity which decreased international tensions and encouraged cooperation.
Failure of Collective Security
The LN had completely collapsed by 1939.
The USA had become the world dominating economy.
The Great Depression (October 1929) ushered in a return to a world dominated by national self-interest and the dominance of military forces.
In the USA the income fell by almost 50% between 1929-1932 and there was a high rate of unemployment and popular discontent.
Extremist groups grew and the fragile liberal governments of the 1920s found resurgent nationalist and aggressive political groups very difficult to restrict.
Europe was particularly vulnerable to a major economic collapse, as it was for the newly democratic and liberal Japan.
Governments were blamed for the crisis and political divisions became evident.
Germany - The Weimar government and liberal democracy lost credibility and ended when Franz von Papen assumed the role of victual dictator in May 1932.
France - moderate government was replaced by a radical left-wing one in May 1932.
Japan - a series of assassinations ended the era of liberal politics.
China appealed to the League who took the following actions:
Condemned Japan's actions and ordered the withdrawal of Japanese troops.
Appointed a commission under Lord Lytton to investigate the crisis but it took too long and the occupation was completed.
Accepted the Lytton Report and instructed all of its members not to recognize the new Manchukuo state. Japan was invited to give Manchuria back to China.
As a consequence Japan left the League.
Abyssinian Crisis (1935)
In 1932 Benito Mussolini started planning for the annexation of Abyssinia as a tactic to distract people from the impact of the Depression.
Italy believed that the LN would not respond to this.
Neither the French nor the British wanted to lose Italy as an ally against Nazi Germany.
It was the brutality and ferocity of the Italian assault on Abyssinia in October 3, 1935 that compromised Britain and France.
The Abyssinian Emperor, Haile Selassie appealed to the LN and it responded in October 18.
Italy's invasion was condemned and the League decided to employ an escalating program of sanctions.
Britain and France worked for a settlement outside the LN trying to avoid a breakdown in relations with Italy.
Hoare-Laval Pact - was to allow Italian control of around 2/3 of Abyssinia. Never took place because it leaked to the press.
The pro-League public in Britain was outraged and Hoare was forced to resign.
No embargo was put on oil exports to Italy.
By 1936 the Italians were in control of Abyssinia.
Italy moved closer to Germany.
The LN could no longer exert any authority; collective security had failed.
Washington Conference
After WWI Great Britain, USA and Japan continued to build up their navies.
USA called for the first post-war disarmament conference which was held in Washington DC in 1921 - 1922.
Five Power Treaty - set naval tonnage to 525.000 for Britain and America, 300.000 for Japan and 175.000 for France and Italy. Nations would destroy battleships until their quota was reached. Also, no battleships were to be build for 10 years.
Four Power Treaty - USA, Japan, Britain and France guaranteed the rights of the signatories to their possessions in Asia, and agreed to come to each other's defense in case of an attack.
Success - limiting the naval armament and serving as an example for future disarmament conferences.
Failures - Highlighting France's isolation, and not including the USSR or Germany in the conference.
Italy's invasion was condemned and the League decided to employ an escalating program of sanctions.
Britain and France worked for a settlement outside the LN trying to avoid a breakdown in relations with Italy.
Hoare-Laval Pact - was to allow Italian control of around 2/3 of Abyssinia. Never took place because it leaked to the press.
The pro-League public in Britain was outraged and Hoare was forced to resign.
No embargo was put on oil exports to Italy.
By 1936 the Italians were in control of Abyssinia.
Italy moved closer to Germany.
The LN could no longer exert any authority; collective security had failed.
London Naval Conference
1930 - revised the agreements made at Washington.
Due to the Great Depression European countries were still keen to limit their defense spending.
The new ratio: 10:10:7
France and Italy refused to take part in this agreement, though they did agree to continue the ban on building capital ships for five years.
Agreements were reached on the size and numbers of cruisers, destroyers and submarines, and rules were made to control submarine warfare.
Italy's invasion was condemned and the League decided to employ an escalating program of sanctions.
Britain and France worked for a settlement outside the LN trying to avoid a breakdown in relations with Italy.
Hoare-Laval Pact - was to allow Italian control of around 2/3 of Abyssinia. Never took place because it leaked to the press.
The pro-League public in Britain was outraged and Hoare was forced to resign.
No embargo was put on oil exports to Italy.
By 1936 the Italians were in control of Abyssinia.
Italy moved closer to Germany.
The LN could no longer exert any authority; collective security had failed.
The London Naval Treaty
1935 - 1936 - major powers met to re-negotiate he London Treaty of 1930.
Japan no longer wished to limit its naval tonnage and be inferior to the USA and Britain, and also walked out of the conference.
Italy left the conference too.
Britain, America and France signed a treaty on cruiser tonnage, but all disarmament agreements became meaningless.
Germany and Japan were rearming.
Italy's invasion was condemned and the League decided to employ an escalating program of sanctions.
Britain and France worked for a settlement outside the LN trying to avoid a breakdown in relations with Italy.
Hoare-Laval Pact - was to allow Italian control of around 2/3 of Abyssinia. Never took place because it leaked to the press.
The pro-League public in Britain was outraged and Hoare was forced to resign.
No embargo was put on oil exports to Italy.
By 1936 the Italians were in control of Abyssinia.
Italy moved closer to Germany.
The LN could no longer exert any authority; collective security had failed.
The Geneva Disarmament Conference
The League of Nations began preparations in 1926-32.
Even during the preparations there were disagreements over what types of armament limitations should take place and how agreements should be enforced.
It finally took place in Geneva in 1932.
They faced the German threat that if they didn't bring substantial disarmament, Germany would demand the right to rearm.
By that time the Nazi party was the largest in Germany and Hitler's demands were forceful.
France was more determined to resist pressure for it to disarm.
In October 1933 Hitler led the German delegation out of the conference which finally ended in 1934 failing to secure any of its goals.
Italy's invasion was condemned and the League decided to employ an escalating program of sanctions.
Britain and France worked for a settlement outside the LN trying to avoid a breakdown in relations with Italy.
Hoare-Laval Pact - was to allow Italian control of around 2/3 of Abyssinia. Never took place because it leaked to the press.
The pro-League public in Britain was outraged and Hoare was forced to resign.
No embargo was put on oil exports to Italy.
By 1936 the Italians were in control of Abyssinia.
Italy moved closer to Germany.
The LN could no longer exert any authority; collective security had failed.
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