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U2 Part 2 - League of Nations 1930s

U2 Part 2 - League of Nations 1930s

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U
NIT
2
 
(II)
 
-
 
T
HE
L
EAGUE OF
N
 ATIONS IN THE
1930
S
 Y9
 
-IGCSE
 
H
ISTORY 
 
 A.
 
T
HE
I
MPACT OF THE
G
REAT
D
EPRESSION
 
The USA and isolationism
The response of the USA in this period was tobecome even more isolationist than it had been inthe 1920s. This trend continued under Roosevelt,whose main concern was to push through his
New Deal
policies. Some American politicianseven said that the USA should remain neutral if another war broke out in Europe. One result of this was that Britain and France, both of whichalso suffered from the Depression, were reluctantto risk any conflict, in case they had to fight ontheir own. The one other non-member countrywhich could have strengthened the League of Nations’ ability to curb aggressive actions, wasthe Soviet Union. But Britain and France did nottrust its Communist government, even after Stalinsuccessfully applied for membership of theLeague in 1934.
When the Wall Street Crash happened in theUSA in October 1929 it soon began what becameknown as the
Great Depression
. This was a seriouseconomic crisis which affected almost the entire world,and led to widespread unemployment and socialsuffering. It also contributed to the emergence of extreme political parties in many countries.Italy had already become a Fascist dictatorshipbefore 1929, but both Japan and Germany came underthe control of extreme nationalist and dictatorialgovernments during the early 1930s. Yet all threecountries at first remained members of the League.These governments increasingly turned to
aggressiveforeign policies
in an attempt to solve their economicproblems at the expense of other countries. At thesame time, other countries tended to put their owneconomic interests first -even if they were members of the League. This meant many
were
 
reluctant
toimpose economic sanctions on an aggressive country incase they lost trade to their foreign competitors.
TASK A1
Look up for extra information (internet, books, etc.) in order to explain in your own words the following statements related tothe effects of the Great Depression:a)
 
The USA became more isolationist and did little to stop Hitler and MussolinibThe British overnment became less willin to fiht a war in Euroe.
1
 
U
NIT
2
 
(II)
 
-
 
T
HE
L
EAGUE OF
N
 ATIONS IN THE
1930
S
 Y9
 
-IGCSE
 
H
ISTORY 
 
B.
 
T
HE
F
 AILURES OF THE
L
EAGUE OF
N
 ATIONS
 
T
HE WEAKNESSES OF THE
L
EAGUE OF
N
 ATIONS
 
 Although the League had had some successes in the 1920s, it had often beenunable to deal effectively with disputes which involved the more powerful countries. Thishad been seen, for example, as early as 1923, when the League failed to preventaggression in two separate instances. These were
France's invasion of the Ruhr
, and
Italy's invasion of Corfu
. An additional weakness was the fact that,
by 1929
, two significant countrieswere still
not members
of the League. These were the
US
and the
Soviet Union
.On top of this, was the fact Britain and France, its two most important members, oftenhad conflicting policies. Conflicts were, thus, frequently settled outside the League forinstance by the Conference of Ambassadors.
TASK AB – MAKING RELATIONS
Read again the information on page 1 and 2 (diagrams included) and answer:- How did the effects of the Great Depression lead to increased international tensions?
2
 
U
NIT
2
 
(II)
 
-
 
T
HE
L
EAGUE OF
N
 ATIONS IN THE
1930
S
 Y9
 
-IGCSE
 
H
ISTORY 
 
B1.
 
M
 ANCHURIAN
C
RISIS
 
T
HE RISE OF
J
 APAN
 
The first country to take aggressive action following the Wall Street Crash wasJapan. During the early nineteenth century, many Japanese people watched in alarm asthe USA and west European countries carved out empires and areas of influence forthemselves in Asia. In 1868, angry at growing US interference in Japan, a group of nobles seized control of the government. They were determined that
Japan
would notlose its independence. The Japanese economy and the armed forces were
modernised
,and Japan was able to inflict an unexpected defeat on Russia in 1905.From then until 1929,
Japan attempted to gain its own empire in Asia
, forthe same reasons (raw materials and extra markets) as European nations. This,however, was resented by countries such as Britain and France. In the First World War,Japan fought on the side of Britain and France. Although it gained the Germanpossessions in the Pacific after the war, Japan was disappointed not to be given moreterritory in China by the peace treaties of 1919-20. This led to resentment againstBritain, France and the USA.
J
 APAN AND THE
D
EPRESSION
 
One area of China which was of particular interest to Japan was the northernprovince of Manchuria. Japanese investments in the area were increased during the1920s, and a part of the Japanese army was stationed in the province to safeguardthese investments.However, Japan was badly hit by the Depression; especially as it was
not self-sufficient
in coal, iron, oil, tin or rubber. By 1931, 50% of its factories had closeddown, while Japan's rice farmers were badly hit. Japan's main export, silk, declinedsharply, and Japanese goods in general were hit by
trade tariffs
.The Japanese army (already a powerful force in Japan by the late 1920s), waslinked to the
Zaibatsu
(large industrial companies with links to the Japanese army),which also pressed for a more aggressive foreign policy. The army increasinglydominated or ignored the civilian governments of Japan. In 1930, the serious drop inexports caused by the Depression led to a political crisis. This resulted in
militaryfactions
having a greater influence. Earlier attempts at
parliamentary democracycollapsed
, as extreme nationalists even resorted to the assassination of liberal politicalleaders.
C
RISIS IN
M
 ANCHURIA 
,
 
1931-1932
The first serious test of the League after 1929 came in 1931, when Japaninvaded Manchuria on 18 September. Both Japan and China were members of theLeague. The Japanese army staged the
Mukden (Shenyang) Incident
in order to justify sending in a Japanese army of occupation: as the Japanese army controlled theSouth Manchurian railway, they claimed that the Chinese soldiers had sabotaged thistrading route and threw out all Chinese forces. Though the civilian government of Japantried to get the military to withdraw, the army refused to listen and instead continuedtheir invasion. This Japanese invasion clearly
broke the League's collective security
 
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