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1. How did Mussolinis invasion of Abyssinia damage the League?
2. Why did Italy invade Abyssinia The successful invasion of Manchuria by the Japanese made Italy wanted to invade Abryssinia.
Mussolini wanted revenge for the defeat in 1896, when Italian troops tried to invade Abyssinia but they were defeated by a poorly equipped army of tribesmen.
He wanted to fertile farmland and wealth from the country
He wanted glory and conquest.
Mussolini wanted to restore the glory of the Roman Empire by conquering Abyssinia
3. Dispute in Abysinia before the invasion In December 1934, there was a dispute between Italian and Ethiopian soldiers at Wal-Wal oasis, 40 miles inside the Italian territory.
Mussolini claimed Wal-Waloais was his territory and demanded an apology from Abyssinia for clashing their army with the Italian army
At the same time, he was preparing the Italian Army for invasion
4. Before the invasion Between January 1935 to October 1935, Mussolini was supposely negotiating with the League to settle the Wal-Wal dispute.
However, he was sending his forces to East Africa to prepare his invasion.
The British and the French did not take the situation seriously
This is because they signed an agreement with Mussolini in early 1935 to protest at German rearmament and stand against Germany.
5. The Sanctions In October 1935, Italy invaded Abryssinia.
The League imposed an immediate ban on:
arms sales to Italy while allowing them to Abyssinia.
all loans to Italy.
all imports from Italy.
the export to Italy of rubber, tin and metals.
However, the League delayed a decision for two months over whether to ban oil exports to Italy.
6. Advantages of Sanctions The Covenant (see Factfile, page 232) made it clear that sanctions must be introduced against the aggressor.
Sanctions would only work if they were imposed quickly and decisively. Each week a decision was delayed would allow Mussolini to build up his stockpile of raw materials.
7. Disadvantages of Sanctions External relations:
It feared the Americans would not support the sanctions.
It also feared that its members economic interests would be further damaged.
Loss of Jobs:
In Britain, the Cabinet was informed that 30,000 British coal miners were about to lose their jobs because of the ban on coal exports to Italy.
8. Britain and France The Suez Canal, which was owned by Britain and France, was not closed to Mussolinis supply ships.
The canal was the Italians main supply route to Abyssinia and closing it could have ended the Abyssinian campaign very quickly.
Both Britain and France were afraid that closing the canal could have resulted in war with Italy.
This failure was fatal for Abyssinia.
9. Britain and France Asecret dealing between the British and the French that was going on behind the scenes.
In December 1935, while sanctions discussions were still taking place, the British and French Foreign Ministers, Hoare and Laval, were hatching a plan.
The plan aimed to give Mussolini two-thirds of Abyssinia in return for his calling off his invasion
10. Britain and France The plan was proposed to put the plan to Mussolini before they showed it to either the League of Nations or HaileSelassie (regent of Abyssinia) .
Laval told the British that if they did not agree to the plan, then the French would no longer support sanctions against Italy.
11. Britain and France Details of the plan were leaked. HaileSelassie demanded an immediate League debate about it.
In both Britain and France it was seen as a blatant act of treachery against the League.
The sanctions discussions lost all momentum. he question about whether to ban oil sales was further delayed.
12. Britain and France The Americans were even more disgusted with the dithering of the French and the British than they had been before and so blocked a move to support the Leagues sanctions.
American oil producers actually stepped up their exports to Italy.
13. Hitler On 7 March 1936 the fatal blow was delivered. Hitler, timing his move to perfection, marched his troops into the Rhineland, an act prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles.
The French were desperate to gain the support of Italy and were now prepared to pay the price of giving Abyssinia to Mussolini to defend themselves.
14. Italy invades Italy continued to defy the Leagues orders and by May 1936 had taken the capital of Abyssinia, Addis Ababa. On 2 May, HaileSelassie was forced into exile. On 9 May, Mussolini formally annexed the entire country.
The League watched helplessly. Collective security had been shown up as an empty promise. The League of Nations had failed.
15. A disaster for the League After Abyssinia, historians believed that Hitler had succeeded in his first step to abolishing the Treaty of Versailles.
Italy had gained nothing in material but glory
World peace was disrupted, and World War 2 was stepping up.
League was deemed no longer powerful and had no influence on member states and any other countries.