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History Report On The Period Of Time Between World War One And World War 2 The Lead Up To The Second World War. (Focus On The League Of Nations)

2017 words - 9 pages

Although the Spanish Civil war and the Italian invasion of Abyssinia were major causes of the Second World War, it was the weakness of the League of Nations that... The aim of the League of Nations was to maintain world peace, and due to their lack of strength and inability to enforce sanctions and consequences their aims were far from achieved. The fascist nations of Germany and Italy were allowed to persue their aggressive military aims with little or no penalties. By 1939, Italy and Germany were influential and powerful nations ready to conquer all of Europe.The First World War caused many problems to arise worldwide. 14 million people died as a result of the First World War and most ...view middle of the document...

The word 'fascist' was first used in Italy by Benito Mussolini. His fascist theory was against socialism, liberalism and democracy, and it promoted the belief that the power of the group is more important than the individual. "The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute." (Benito Mussolini, 1932) The symbol for Fascism is an axe and a bunch of sticks, all tied tightly together. The theory behind the symbol is that one rod or stick can be broken, but a bundle tied together will not break as every rod and stick will support the other. Thus, the nation will remain strong. "Fascism stands for liberty. The only liberty worth having".In the 1880's, Italy attempted to gain control of Abyssinia, and for the first time, a native African army managed to defeat a European army. Italy were ashamed and embarrassed by this event, and did not forget it. In 1922, Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy, and in attempting to strengthen his position and Italy's power; he decided to become a great Mediterranean power. For both strategic and vengeful reasons, Mussolini sent his army into Africa to conquer Abyssinia. In 1934, 600 men from the Abyssinian army were escorting British officials from Addis Ababa to inspect the frontiers. On their way, they passed through Wal-Wal, and found that an Italian fort had been established. Shots were fired and an Abyssinian commander was killed. Mussolini demanded an apology from Abyssinia, but Abyssinia refused and appealed to the League of Nations. An investigation was carried out to determine who fired the first shots, and it was found that it was Italy that had begun the battle. Italy apologised, but began to build up their troops in Abyssinia's neighbouring country, Somaliland. It was at this stage that the League of Nations should have intervened and placed sanctions on Italy. By not doing so, Mussolini was able to build up his troops and prepare for war. The fact that the League of Nations appeased Italy gave Mussolini the confidence to continue with his plans, as he understood that the League was afraid to take any serious action. The Leagues main fear was that Italy would ally itself with Germany, and so, did they not want to annoy or frustrate Mussolini and force him into this alliance.It was because of this that the League of Nations allowed Italy to do as it pleased, hence allowing a strong and threatening nation to gain great power. The Italian attack on Abyssinia began on October 3, 1935. While the League did impose a trade ban on Italy, it did not ban the trade of oil and petrol, Italy's most essential materials. This trade ban did not affect Italy at all, and Italy continued in its attempts to take over Abyssinia. In December 1935, Britain and France held secret meetings to discuss the Abyssinian crisis. They designed a compromise known as the Hoare-Laval pact, in which half of Abyssinia would be given to Italy. Britain and France did not want to anger...

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