Interwar Diplomacy

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Aims of the United States in Treaty of Versailles

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Aims of the United States in Treaty of Versailles

Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points:

  • Freedom of navigation

  • Democracy and national self-determination

  • Free trade

  • Stop treaties that were being made in secrecy

  • General disarmament

  • Create the League of Nations

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Aims of France in the Treaty of Versailles

  • Had suffered disastrous losses during the war and feared that Germany would attack again in the future once it had rebuilt a strong economy. Georges Clemenceau was premier of France.

  • Wanted to weaken Germany by placing many restrictions on it

  • Extensive demilitarisation of Germany

  • German territorial reductions

  • Reparations to weaken the German economy and also to pay for the damage Germany had caused.

  • The Rhineland to be taken from Germany and to be set up as an independent state

  • Take the Saar region from Germany as financial compensation

  • Control Luxemburg and Belgium

  • Regain Alsace-Lorraine which had been by Germany in 1871

  • Make the area west of the Rhine a French puppet state incase of future German attack

  • Wanted a guaranteed agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom to form a firm alliance in case of a future German attack.

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Aims of Britain in the Treaty of Versailles

  • Germany to pay extensive reparations

  • Stop Germany from tacking control of Europe

  • Stop Germany from becoming a potential source of conflict

  • Get ride of the German fleet

  • Germany to return the territories it had taken during the war

  • Self-Government for the nations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and for the non-Turkish people within the Ottoman Empire

  • The creation of an independent Polish state

  • However, Britain wanted to rebuild a strong economy by restoring European relations and trade. Unlike France, Britain wanted German economic recovery as Britain would benefit greatly from the trade with Germany who before 1914 was a very important buyer of British goods.

  • Wanted to keep the balance of power within Europe stable

  • Did not want France to expand beyond Alsace-Lorraine and did not support France in the domination of Europe

  • Did not want to form a guaranteed alliance with France. Believed in freedom of action

  • Only wanted to intervene if the balance of power was threatened

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Aims of Italy in the Treaty of Versailles

  • Wanted the territories that had been promised to it in the Treaty of London

  • These included South Tyrol, Trentino, the Dodecanese Islands and Trieste

  • Did not take into account national self-determination

  • When Italy was denied these territories it walked out of the Versailles Conference.

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Aims of Japan in the Treaty of Versailles

  • Wanted to be recognised for its dominant position in China

  • Wanted possession of the former German territories in China and the Pacific

  • Wanted to secure a larger empire for security and economic strength

  • Did not support self-determination

  • Wanted to be one of the major powers

  • Wanted racial equality in the peace settlement

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Treaty of Versailles - Basic Outline

  • June 1919

  • Treaty with Germany

  • Was signed in the Palace of Versailles

  • Germany had to agree to accept full responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War

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Treaty of Versailles - Territorial Losses

  • The Saar administered by the League of Nations

  • The creation of an independent Polish state

  • West Prussia and Posen were given to Poland

  • Alsace-Lorraine was given back to France

  • Danzig was appointed as an international city

  • Plebiscites in Upper Silesia, West Prussia and Schleswig

  • Germany lost colonies and investments

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Treaty of Versailles - Military Restrictions

  • Was only allowed a regular army that was limited to 100,000 military personnel

  • Was not allowed an airforce and only a very small fleet

  • End of compulsory enlistment into the armed forces

  • Rhineland to be occupied for 15 years by the allied military forces

  • All commissions in Germany controlled by the allies until 1927

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Treaty of Versailles - Reparations

  • Germany to pay £6,600 million (132 billion gold marks)

  • Reparations where to be paid in regular instalments, some in gold and some in goods

  • The Allies struggled to get payments from Germany from 1921 to 1923

  • Dawes Commission 1924

  • France took over Ruhr in 1923

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Treaty of Versailles - League of Nations

  • The USA refused to join which weakened the league

  • Collective security

  • New mandate principles

  • Germany and the defeated nations were at first left out

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Treaty of St Germain

  • September 1919

  • Treaty with Austria

  • Dalmatia, Slovenia and Bosnia were given to Yugoslavia

  • South Tyrol, Trentino, Trieste and Istria were given to Italy

  • Bohemia and Moravia were given to Czechoslovakia

  • Galicia was given to Poland

  • Bukovina was given to Romania

  • Austria was not allowed to unify with Germany

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Treaty of Trianon

  • June 1920

  • Treaty with Hungary

  • Hungary losses 2/3 of its territory

  • Slovakia and Ruthenia were given to Czechoslovakia

  • Transylvania was given to Romania

  • Burgenland was given to Austria

  • Slovenia and Croatia were given to Yugoslavia

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Treaty of Neuilly

  • November 1919

  • Treaty with Bulgaria

  • Western Thrace was given to Greece

  • Dobrudja was given to Romania

  • Northern Macedonia was given to Yugoslavia

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Treaty of Sèvres

  • 1920

  • Treaty with Turkey

  • The Straits of the Dardanelles to be controlled by the allies

  • Saudi Arabia became independent

  • Turkey lost the rights to Sudan and Libya

  • Eastern Thrace and some Turkish Aegean Islands were given to Greece

  • Mesopotamia, Palestine and Syria became League of Nation mandates and were to be run by France and Britain.

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Treaty of Lausanne

  • 1923

  • Treaty of Sevres was altered at Lausanne

  • The Greeks were expelled

  • Constantinople was given back to Turkey

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Paris Peace Settlement Issues

  • Germany, Russia and non of the other defeated countries were allowed to take part of the discussions nor attended the Versailles conference

  • All the big decisions were made by the Council of four (United States, France, United Kingdom and Italy)

  • The aims of the major powers were often contradictory and so compromises had to be made within the treaties

  • Terms of the Treaty of Versailles were not soft enough to allow for reconciliation with Germany but not harsh enough to weaken Germany's power

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German Response to Paris Treaties

  • Germany had hoped for a softer punishment as it had thought the treaty would have taken in much more of Wilson's Fourteen Points

  • Did not think it was fair to have to accept responsibility for the start of the First World War

  • Did not think it was fair that it had no say or that it was not part of the discussions

  • Did not like the fact that it was forced to sign the treaty without any negotiations of the terms

  • It disagreed with the reparations and especially the territorial losses

  • It was also angered by the exclusion from the principle of self-determination

  • The German population was angered by the treaty and wanted to see it revoked

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Discussion and Disagreements between the Allies

  • Some thought the treaty was too harsh, others that it was too lenient

  • Those who supported Wilson's Fourteen Points argued that the treaty had failed to create a peaceful world

  • John Maynard Keynes argued that Europe would become weaker and poorer as a result of the restrictions, territorial losses and the economic weakening of Germany

  • The British people started to recognise that the treaty may have to be reviewed

  • The US refused to agree with the treaty as it opposed to Article X of the League of Nations. This was an article under which members of the League agreed to use their powers to resist aggression wherever it might occur.

  • The US did not sign the Treaty of Versailles which had a big impact on the League of Nations

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Central and Eastern Europe Impacts of the Treaties

  • Some of the states that were created: Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Yugoslavia

  • Self-determination was taken into account in most cases however it was sometimes difficult as different nationalities, racial groups and linguistic groups where scattered across many different areas

  • In some cases the ethnic groups were so intermixed that it was impossible to separate them. There was no point in creating an ethnically homogenous state which then could not survive due to lack of trade routes, natural resources, oceans and rivers. Therefore choices had to be made by the allies about whether self-determination was more important or if it was the economic stability of each state.

  • An independent Polish state was created; the Polish Corridor was created to give Poland access to the Baltic Sea; Danzig became a free city to maximize trade opportunities

  • Minorities could appeal to the League of Nations which provided a Minorities Commission

  • Poland and Czechoslovakia fought over the Teschen area as it had important rail connections and coal resources

  • Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia realised their vulnerability and so decided to form the Little Entente in 1921

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Germany Impacts of the Treaties

  • The Germans where very unhappy about the fact that they where denied self-determination and wanted the treaty revoked

  • There where many German minorities outside of Germany that where now part of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Austria

  • Germany lost 12% of its population and 13% of its territory

  • Alsace-Lorraine which was taken back by France was one of the biggest losses

  • Germany was split into two with the creation of the Polish Corridor which gave Poland access to the Baltic sea

  • However, Germany was actually stronger now than it was before the war. The creation of many small states eliminated one big empire and since these small states where weak, once Germany regained its strength it could easily take over these

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The USSR Impacts of the Treaties

  • Bolshevik regime

  • Russia was very weak after the war as it had suffered civil war and political revolution

  • It had lost in the war against Poland and so had also lost significant territory to Poland

  • Therefore it did not represent an immediate threat to the small newly founded nations but like Germany could do so in the future

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Treaty of Rapallo

  • Treaty between the USSR and Germany in 1922

  • Germany and the USSR who both where denied to join the League of Nations got together

  • They decided to financially co-operate and trade with each other

  • Form a union against Poland as they both had lost territory to it

  • Secret military agreements, Germany could test its military equipment on the Russian territory and in doing so it avoided the restrictions placed upon it in the Treaty of Versailles

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Economic Impacts of the Treaties

  • No economic questions where dealt with directly apart from reparations

  • Countries where struggling to pay off there debts and this created bad relations between the debtors and the United States

  • The debt situation helped contribute to the Ruhr crisis

  • This weakened the allied countries as they had to keep demanding reparations from Germany to pay these debts

  • After the Ruhr Crisis the United States offered financial help to Germany (Dawes Plan) so that Germany could then pay its reparations to the allied countries which in turn could then pay off their loans to the United States.

  • JM Keynes was particularly against the economic terms of the Versailles Treaty. He maintained that by punishing Germany the allies where only punishing themselves. He claimed that the high reparations, territorial losses and loss of resources on Germany would affect Europe negatively as Germany was the economic engine of Europe.

  • Another issue was that the treaty did not create an organization to introduce and promote international trade. Trade barriers where a big issue for the newly created European states. This added to the catastrophic impact of the Great Depression of 1929

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Mandate System

  • This would be supervised by the League of Nations

  • The main priority of the mandate system was to ensure the well being of the people and the development of these territories.

  • Three classes of mandates existed; mandates A, B and C. Each territory was put into a class according to its stage of development and to which extent it was ready to becoming independent.

  • The territories which in the near future would be ready for independence were placed in "mandates A". This included Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Transjordan.

  • The territories that where less advanced and where not going to become independent for quite some time where placed in "mandates B". This included the German colonies in Africa which where distributed to Britain, France and Belgium.

  • The territories which had a low population and where underdeveloped fell into "mandates C" and where handed over directly to the countries that had conquered them. Japan, New Zealand and Australia received the German colonies in the Pacific and South Africa received Southwest Africa.

  • The mandate system did however create a system in which the countries in power of these colonies had responsibilities to the people who lived them and if these countries actions went against the system they could be subjected to an international body.

  • There was a lot of controversy around the distribution of the mandates especially because most of them went to France and the UK which were already in possession of the worlds largest empires

  • The Italians where very unhappy as they had been promised territories which they had not received and in addition they were not given any mandates even though they where on the winning side of the war

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Problems with Enforcing the Treaties

  • The United States never joined the League of Nations which weakened the League

  • The Anglo-American guarantee never happened

  • Germany was angry as it thought the Treaty of Versailles was unfair and harsh and so wanted the treaty revoked

  • Italy was angry as it was on the winning side, however it did not receive much territory and so the Italians wanted to revise the treaty in favour of Italy

  • Japan was only interested in issues concerning itself and not the issues concerned with the European aspects of the peace settlement

  • The United States retreated into isolationism

  • The USSR was isolated throughout the 1920's (with the exception of the Treaty of Rapallo with Germany)

  • France and Britain disagreed on the strategies concerning Germany

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US Isolationism

  • The United States never accept the Treaty of Versailles because they did not agree with Article X and could not accept the agreement of the League of Nations and so it was never part of the League

  • The United States did not approve of the Anglo-American Guarantee which was a measure of protection for France if Germany was to attack again

  • After the war it returned to its isolationism and did not want to intervene outside its own areas of interest.

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Anglo-American Guarantee

  • Security was very important to France, was very afraid of another attack from Germany once Germany regained its strength

  • France wanted the Rhineland area of Germany to be an independent state to protect itself. This state could either be neutral or under French influence. Wilson and George did not agree with this however they new that France would not give up unless it got a firm guarantee of military support from the United States and Britain.

  • The Anglo-French agreement was signed on the 28 of June 1919.

  • Wilson campaigned vigorously in the United States between 1919 and 1920 to win support for the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles and for the United States to join the League of Nations.

  • However the Anglo-American Guarantee was not accepted by the US Senate and so never took place.

  • When the United States did not accept the Guarantee, Britain withdrew from the agreement as well.

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Tension between Japan and the United States

  • Japan wanted to expand its territory and wanted to dominate China

  • The United States was not happy about this as it did not want to lose its trade with China and it had possessions in the Philippines that where threatened by Japan

  • Japan was unhappy about the fact that the United States did not recognise Japan's position in Asia and it felt threatened by the increasing US fleet

  • As tension grew there was talk of a possible war between the two

  • The UK was very concerned about this as it had a defensive alliance with Japan - the UK supported the Washington Conference on disarmament

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  • A major contributor to the First World War was the arms race

  • Reducing the armaments was mentioned in Wilson's Fourteen Points and it was an important target for the League of Nations

  • A permanent advisory commission on armaments was appointed

Support for disarmament

  • The belief that the arms race was a major cause of the war and so reducing arms would reduce the treat of a future war.

  • A lot of countries where in debt, the costs of the arms where high, countries wanted to focus on rebuilding their economy.

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Washington Conference

  • 1921-1922

  • It was the most successful of the disarmament conferences

  • The major naval powers met in Washington in November 1921

  • A number of treaties where signed between December 1921 and February 1922

  • There where two reason for which the conference was called. Firstly, Japan and the UK could not afford the costs of the arms race and the United States wanted to reduce its own costs. Secondly there was growing tension between Japan and the United States in Asia and the United States wanted to avoid conflict which could involve many countries

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Four Power Treaty

  • USA, Japan, France and Britain

  • The Anglo-Japanese alliance was ended

  • An agreement to recognise each others possessions in the Pacific and if problems arose there was an agreement to reach a diplomatic solution

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Five Power Treaty

  • USA, Japan, France, Britain and Italy

  • Agreed to maintain a fixed constant ratio of naval armaments

  • No new naval armaments where to be constructed for the next ten years

  • The United States and Britain where not allowed to build new fortresses or naval bases in the western Pacific

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Nine Power Treaty

  • USA, Japan, France, Britain, Italy, China, Belgium, Netherlands and Portugal

  • An open door for trade on China was agreed on so that all countries had equal trading rights with China

  • Agreed to respect China's authority

  • An agreement was also made to discuss problems of common interest

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London Naval Conference 1930

  • US, Japan, Britain, Italy and France met in London

  • Ratio of capital ships moved from 5:5:3 for the US, Britain and Japan respectively to 10:10:7

  • France and Italy did not take part in this agreement however they did agree to continue to not build new naval armaments for the next five years

  • Agreements on the numbers of submarines, cruisers and destroyers that each country could have where made

  • Submarine warfare rules where made more strict

  • The Treaty was to remain valid until 1936

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London Naval Conference 1935-36

  • Japan wanted equality in terms of ratio of fleets with the US and Britain but this was denied and so Japan walked out of the conference, as did Italy

  • France, Britain and the US did agree on limiting the size and number of their naval armament however this collapsed in 1936 with the Japanese and German rearmament programs and the increasing conflicts arising in the world

  • All in all, the conference was a failure

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Geneva Conference 1932-34

  • There was an increased demand to revise the Paris Peace Settlement

  • The Great Depression of 1929 had reduced the optimistic outlook and international co-operation

  • The United States wanted the elimination of offensive weapons, however there where disagreements as to which weapons where offensive and which were defensive

  • France was worried about German regaining its strength and so it did not want to reduce its military spending unless it got a guaranteed agreement with the other major powers to support France

  • Germany wanted the major powers to either reduce their military spending to Germanys level or Germany should be allowed to increase its military spending to their level

  • This was not accepted by the major powers and so Germany walked out of the conference in 1932

  • Germany rejoined the conference in 1933

  • Adolf Hitler was now chancellor and wanted Germany to have equal treatment to the major powers

  • Once again this was denied and so Germany walked out of the conference

  • France had no choice but to increase its military spending as it did not gain the military guarantee from either the United States nor the UK. It was well aware of Germany's larger population and industrial capacity. Decreasing its military spending was not an option for France

  • Italy was also not interested in reducing its military spending

  • The conference was a failure as no agreement was reached

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League of Nations

  • The League Covenant was written into the Versailles Treaty and so all those who signed the treaty would become members of the League

  • The Covenant was made up of 26 articles

  • The most important one was Article X which stated that "all members undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and political independence of all members of the League"

  • The main goal of the League was to prevent further conflict but it also dealt with humanitarian and economic problems

  • There was the mandate commissions, the refugee department, the slavery commission, the drugs department as well as an International Court of Justice and an International Labour Organisation

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Effects of the absence of major powers

  • USA never joined, USSR and Germany excluded

  • Since Germany and the USSR were excluded from the League, once they regained strength and sought to recover their lost territory, it excluded the possibility to discuss the terms of the settlement and negotiate a compromise, instead it would lead to an inevitable conflict.

  • The exclusion of both of these countries also lead to the Treaty of Rapallo which represented a major threat for the League as these two where both major powers that now where co-operating economically and militarily. It also undermined the terms of the Treaty of Versailles as Germany could increase its armament and train military staff in the USSR without the League knowing.

  • The USA was the only country which had emerged stronger after the end of the war

  • The USA had the greatest power to intervene in case of tension between countries which could lead to possible conflicts

  • Affected the purpose and power of the League

  • Collective security depended on collective action

  • The status of the league was greatly diminished

  • When the USA refused to be part of the League and provide guaranteed military support to France, Britain also withdrew from the military guarantee.

  • France and Britain had very different mind sets about the treaty and Germany, Britain wanted Germany to rebuild its economy for the purpose of trade and France wanted to make it as hard as possible for Germany to recover economically as it was worried about a German attack in the future. This created conflict within the League.

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Early Attempts at Peacekeeping 1920-25

  • The successful interventions include the Greco-Bulgarian War of 1925 and Upper Silesia

  • The failed interventions include Vilna, the Russo-Polish War, the Seizure of Fiume and the Ruhr invasion

  • The successes of the League usually involved small or medium powered nations which wanted to avoid war and so the League managed to enforce a settlement on these disputes

  • The failures of the League usually involved major powers who where not interested in keeping the peace or did not agree with the League's settlement and would not submit to it

  • In the conflict between Turkey and Greece of 1920-1923 Britain and France took opposite sides

  • France and Britain disagreed on how to deal with Germany which made tension grow between these two members of the League

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Ruhr Crisis

  • When Germany missed a delivery of timber as part of her reparations, France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr region

  • Britain was strongly against this

  • The goal of France was to collect the missed payment from the Germans by taking the goods from the mines and factories and shipping them to France

  • The German workers did not co-operate with the French, instead they protested by destroying the goods, the mines and the factories

  • The event broke out into a violent conflict and resulted in inflation

  • The Weimar Government which already had a serious inflation problem made things worse by printing more money to help support the workers which resulted in disastrous inflation

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Locarno Treaty and the Locarno Spring 1925

  • Stresmann called off the resistance in the Ruhr and announced that Germany would agree to the obligations set by the Treaty of Versailles, it would also accept its current borders with France and Belgium

  • This resulted in the Locarno Treaty which was signed in 1925

  • The Locarno Treaty was an agreement made between Belgium, France, the UK and Germany in which Germany agreed to accept its western boundaries as it was agreed in the Versailles Treaty

  • Germany accepted its borders with France and Belgium and these borders where guaranteed by the UK and Italy. In addition, Germany would become a member of the League of Nations.

  • This was a step towards Franco-German reconciliation and it meant that Germany could start to grow economically again without being a threat to Western Europe

  • The Eastern borders of Germany had not been fixed however as Britain refused to guarantee the countries to the east of Germany. This lead Germany to believe that it could change its eastern borders with little objection from the Allies.

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Results of the Locarno Treaty

  • The Locarno Treaty resulted in a sense of excitement and optimism

  • Tension between the Allies and Germany was finally resolving which meant that a sense of peace was present

  • Germany obtained a permanent seat on the League council

  • The supervision of Germany's disarmament stopped in 1927

  • By 1930 Germany was an independent state again

  • However Germany was still in co-operation with the USSR under the Treaty of Rapallo

  • This meant that Germany could still avoid the disarmament that had been imposed on it

  • This meant that even though the Locarno Treaty had been successful in bringing about peace, the League of Nations was not strengthened and the collective security remained uncertain

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The Great Depression

  • Political and social turmoil, war debts and government deficits which were a result of the First World War played a major role in the depression

  • Since nations where struggling to survive, this lead to a new mentality. Nations stopped co-operating with trade and cut themselves off from their neighbours.

  • The sense of excitement and optimism which had resulted from the Locarno Treaty was gone

  • The result was the production of many aggressive states, it was no longer about helping each other out but rather an attitude of survival of the fittest

  • The Great Depression bought Hitler into power in Germany. Hitler's main goal was to destroy the Versailles Treaty as he argued that the only solution to Germany's economic problems was to expand its territory to get more resources. This was a great threat to peacekeeping.

  • The nations who had previously supported collective security could no longer afford to do so and lost interest in the idea

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Manchuria 1931-33

  • Japan was the largest industrial power in Asia due its large exports with the rest of the world. Its wealth depended heavily on its exports of manufactured goods with the USA.

  • Japan had few natural resources and had a huge population growth which lead to the country being unable to feed itself.

  • When the American markets collapsed it had disastrous consequences for Japan, massive unemployment and starvation resulted

  • The main goal of these nationalist groups was to take over Manchuria, a Chinese province which had many different natural resources. Manchuria had become an independent region as a result of the civil war in China.

  • The fact that Japan had greatly invested economically in Manchuria and had kept troops in the city of Port Arthur to protect its interests made the decision to invade the province easy

  • Japan invaded Manchuria under the pretext that her population and property had been attacked by the Chinese, although this was made up by the radical nationalists.

  • Due to the agreement in the Washington conference in 1922, non of the major powers had bases in Asia to stop Japan from taking over Manchuria and even if they could they probably would not have been interested to intervene due to their own economic situations

  • The Chinese were quickly defeated and in 1932 Japan established the puppet state of Manchukuo

  • The League of Nations asked Japan to withdraw its troops from Manchuria and when Japan refused to do so it dropped out of the League

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Abyssinia 1935-36

  • One of Mussolini’s ambitions was to have Italian colonies within Africa

  • Abyssinia was the only unclaimed African territory left and so Mussolini set out to conquer it

  • The invasion started in October 1935

  • 51 States voted to impose economic sanctions on Italy. However these were largely ineffective as these sanctions did not include oil nor stele and the UK did not close the Suez Canal to Italian shipping.

  • France and Britain found themselves in a complex situation. The League was suppose to make peace its main priority which would involve making the sanctions a lot more harsh however it also had to consider the fact that they needed Italy to keep the Stresa Front (this was an agreement made in 1935 by Britain, France and Italy to maintain the Locarno agreement and support the independence of Austria)

  • Hoare-Laval Pact - The compromise involved giving Italy two thirds of Abyssinia including the most fertile land and leave the rest as an independent state

  • However the compromise never took place as it was leaked to the press and was greatly criticised and protested by the public

  • The war ended in May 1936 with Italy taking over all of Abyssinia

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William Keylar

Said that the Treaty of Versailles was a “Workable Treaty”, but that the expectations were set too high.

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D.F. Fleming

Traces the rise of the philosophy to unite the world under a political structure to early Seventeenth Century France

Based in idealism - supranational

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Optimistic but understands the drawbacks of the League

Acute lack of central authority

Structural issues rather than ideological

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Necessity of reshaping and strengthening the League

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E.H. Carr

Principles behind the League are at fault

Used as a tool for national interests

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The Irreconcilables

Group of 16 American Senators

Fought for a complete rejection of Versailles and the League of Nations

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Mixture of bad luck and poor judgement

League killed itself - Departure of Germany & Japan, Abyssinia

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Ruth Henig

Entire philosophy was misplaced

Too many inputs and points of disagreement and no rigid framework to resolve this

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Sandra Wilson

Policies of the League centred around national interest

Backlash against traditional powers

Withdrawal from the League was not negative for Japan

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Andrew Webster

Couldn’t achieve disarmament due to national self-interest

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James Barros

Joseph Avenol (Secretary General 1933-1940) - had no foresight to the problems that were developing.

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AJP Taylor

“The real death of the League was in 1935. One day it was a powerful body imposing sanctions the next day it was an empty sham, everyone scuttling from it as quickly as possible.”

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De Felice

Mussolini had continued to consider an alliance with Britain and France until 1940 (this historian seen as very sympathetic to Mussolini)

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Robert Parker

Chamberlain was partly responsible for the failure of appeasement. Chamberlain did not listen to the advice of his officials and colleagues. Chamberlain betrayed Czechs. He overrated his skills.

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Paul Birdsall

Woodrow made mistakes, but few, and not entirely his fault. Birdsall places the blame of failure of the peace settlements on the “hypocrisy of major powers”.

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What was collective security?

The idea that every member of the league would take the threat of an aggressor against one a threat against them all and would collectively take measures to preserve peace through sanctions.

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What were the main issues with collective security?

Self interest of nations States did not regard themselves as members of a large international community and felt not responsibility to help others with whom they had no interest. Disparities of power League of Nations lacking power behind it to enforce collective security USA and Soviets not being in the League

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What are examples of when collective security failed?

Manchurian Crisis, 1931 Abyssinian Crisis, 1935

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How did collective security lead to appeasement?

By the 1930s collective security had visibly failed. Thus nations had to look to other options. This coupled with domestic factors led to the adoption of appeasement, especially in relation to Hitler.

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What were other reasons for appeasement?

Public opinion was strongly against another war after the horrors of WWI Economic situations in Britain and France were poor - the public wanted money to be spent on bettering life not the military Britain was not militarily prepared for war - biding time until rearmed. The Treaty of Versailles was too harsh anyway

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How had the Great Depression affected Britain?

Trade fell by half Industry output fell by a third In 1932, 3.5 million were registered as unemployed Britain's debt was at 180% of the national GDP

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In what ways was the British army too weak to face Hitler in 1938?

Would only have been able to send 2 poorly equipped divisions to face Hitler The British army was simply not equipped for continental warfare

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How did Chamberlain begin to rearm?

He began around 1936, but it was a slow process in the face of economic depression. By 1939, over half of government revenues were devoted to the military. RAF spending increased by 1939 to well over 100 million pounds Between 1938 and 1939 the defence budget doubled

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What were the aims of appeasement?

To avoid war with Germany and keep peace To give time for rearmament To keep Germany as a buffer against communism

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What government actions shows that Britain was preparing for war during the the Czech crisis?

They ordered the digging of air raid shelters and the distribution of gas masks. Chamberlain authorised a massive increase in arms spending He doubled the defence budget by 1939.

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Why did appeasement fail?

Hitler's Lebensraum ambitions extended further than just the revision of Versailles.

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Who was the Prime Minister of Britain in 1938?

Neville Chamberlain

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Who was the leader of Czechoslovakia in 1938?

Edvard Benes

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What did Hitler declare in May 1938 regarding his designs on Czechoslovakia?

That he would fight for the Sudetenland if he had to

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When did Chamberlain meet with Hitler?

15 September 1938

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When was the Munich Agreement?

September 1938

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What was agreed in the Munich Agreement?

That Hitler would receive Sudetenland as long as he did not go further.

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When was the rest of Czechoslovakia invaded?

March 1939

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What events other than the Sudeten Crisis can be considered examples of appeasement?

Rhineland remilitarisation (1936) Anschluss (1937) Hitler's rearmament (1933 onwards)

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What was French foreign policy in the 1930s?

France focussed on countering the increasing threat of Germany. She wanted a formal alliance with Britain. She also adopted appeasement increasingly alongside Britain due to her stagnant economy and internal political issues. She joined Britain with their policy of non-intervention during the Spanish Civil War

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What was British foreign policy in the 1930s?

Britain wanted to foster the strengthening of Germany on British terms however to prevent the uprisings of communists from taking over. After Hitler rose to power, Britain adopted appeasement.

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What was the foreign policy of the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 30s?

Mostly concerned with her own development after the revolution, and with fostering the growth of communism around the world. Comintern attempted to influence the Chinese Civil War to help the CCP to follow a similar revolution structure to Stalin. Stalin had two five year plans in the 20s and 30s to increase economic growth at the cost of millions. They joined the League of Nations in 1934. They did involve themselves in diplomacy with Germany for example the Rapallo Treaty (1922), Treaty of Berlin (1926) and the Non-Agression Pact in 1939.

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Susan Carruthers

The housewife became a heroine in the defeat of Hitler

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David Cesarani

In Kristallnacht Jews experienced murder, rape, looting ... terror on an unprecedented scale

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Jeremy Black

Ghettos were not intended in 1939 as a step towards the extermination of Jews, but rather a territorial confinement

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Peter Hayes

Gay men were defined as a problem if they were German or having sex with Germans

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When was rationing in Britain introduced and when did it end?

Introduced immediately and ended in 1958

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Why was rationing in Britain necessary?

A lot of clothes, food (more than half) and fuel was imported and thus restricted by U-boat blockades.

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Initially, how did the British rationing system work?

With ration books and regulated prices

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How was the British rationing system changed in Dec 1941?

It changed to a more effective points system

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What was the role of the National Food Survey?

It meant that the government had an idea of the general nutritional intake of the population and could make adjustments to try and mitigate the effects of rationing.

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How did the Lend-Lease Act benefit the Allies?

It allowed the US to send resources to the Allies, including food.

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What was "Dig for victory" campaign?

A propaganda campaign by the British government in which everyone was encouraged to use any available space to grow food and supplement the rations with home-grown vegetables.

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Did both Germany and Britain have a black market as a response to rationing?


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Was rationing in Britain successful?

Yes - it was upheld until 1958

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How were leftover goods conserved for weapons use?

Fat was used to make nitroglycerin

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How many women joined the Women's Land Army?

Over 80,000

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What was the extent of rationing in Germany early in the war?

Very little as Hitler wanted to keep morale high

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How were shortages mitigated in Germany?

By pillaging occupied countries and using forced labour from occupied civilians, those in concentration camps, and prisoners of war.

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How did the shortages progress in Germany over the course of the war?

They became worse and worse and eventually rationing was necessary. This was due to Germany's failure when fighting the USSR as well as allied bombing that affected production. Also, transportation systems were targeted in 1944.

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