Manchuria and Abyssinia
Crises of Manchuria (1931-2) and Abyssinia (1935-6).
These are two EXTREMELY important topics, and you MUST know about them securely and in detail:
1. Make sure that you know the
STORY of Manchuria.
2. and the results/importance of
3. and the STORY of Abyssinia.
4. and the results/importance of
Japan invaded Manchuria - China appealed to the League.
appointed a commission.
After a year, it
said that Japan ought to leave Manchuria - so Japan left the League.
could not agree what to
do, so Japan was left in control of Manchuria.
In 1933, Japan invaded
1. Because of the Great
Depression, Japan wanted an empire to get raw
2. Japan's excuse claimed that
the Chinese had sabotaged the Railway, which it ran.
League's Commission was led by Lord Lytton
1. This was the
beginning of Japanese expansion in the Pacific.
2. The Manchuria affair showed the
weaknesses of the League:
A country could get its own way if it
just ignored the League
The League was slow (the Lytton Report took almost a year)
Even the great powers in the
League (Japan was on the Council) ignored it.
After a border dispute, Mussolini started preparing to invade
Abyssinia appealed to the League, who set up a Commission,
which said Italy should get part of Abyssinia. Italy ignored it
and invaded with great cruelty.
The League banned weapons sales (which hurt Abyssinia, not
By this time Italy had conquered Abyssinia, and the League
1. The League commission, set up
in Feb 1935, only reported in Sept.
Britain and France made a secret agreement (
the Hoare-Laval Pact)
to let Italy take Abyssinia.
3. June 1936: the Abyssinian
Emperor Haile Selassie went
in person to appeal to the League of Nations but he was ignored.
1. Hitler TOOK ADVANTAGE of the
Abyssinia crisis to invade the Rhineland in 1936.
2. After Abyssinia, Britain and
France turned to the policy of appeasement.
3. Abyssinia 'killed' the League. It showed:
A strong country could get its own way if
it just ignored the League
The 'moral force' of the League was powerless.
Even Britain and France were prepared
to betray it.
The League was slow and cumbersome
The historian AJP Taylor said
Abyssinia showed the League to be 'a useless fraud'.