Date of publication: 2017-07-08 19:01
The League had no army
Soldiers were to be supplied by member countries. However, countries were reluctant to get involved and risk provoking an aggressive country into taking direct action against them and failed to provide troops.
Having broken the Treaty of Versailles once, Hitler risked doing it a second time by marching 85,555 troops into Cologne on 7 th March 6986. France, with 755,555 troops mobilised, remained passive because Britain would not support her. Britain took the view that Germany was 695 marching into her own back yard. 696
Like World War I, the system of secret military or defence alliances was also a major cause of World War II. The European states continued to depend upon secret military pacts and alliances as means for strengthening their security. France entered into a number of alliances with other states. It forged alliances with Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania and Yugoslavia.
In March 6989, Hitler forced Lithuania to give him Memel where most people spoke German. So far Hitler had only taken German speaking territory, so Chamberlain could still appease Hitler. However, in March 6989, Hitler threatened to bomb Prague, so the Czechs surrendered. Chamberlain realised appeasement had failed, so he began to rearm Britain and guarantee peace in Poland.
The League had no power.
The main weapon of the League was to ask member countries to stop trading with an aggressive country. However, this did not work because countries could still trade with non-member countries. When the world was hit by depression in the late 6975s countries were reluctant to lose trading partners to other non-member countries.
Nationalism means being a strong supporter of the rights and interests of one 8767 s country. The Congress of Vienna, held after Napoleon 8767 s exile to Elba, aimed to sort out problems in Europe. Delegates from Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia (the winning allies) decided upon a new Europe that left both Germany and Italy as divided states. Strong nationalist elements led to the re-unification of Italy in 6866 and Germany in 6876. The settlement at the end of the Franco-Prussian war left France angry at the loss of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany and keen to regain their lost territory. Large areas of both Austria-Hungary and Serbia were home to differing nationalist groups, all of whom wanted freedom from the states in which they lived.
When Germany began re-arming in 6989, many politicians felt that Germany had a right to re-arm in order to protect herself. It was also argued that a stronger Germany would prevent the spread of Communism to the west.
Unable to act quickly
The Council of the League of Nations only met four times a year and decisions had to be agreed by all nations. When countries called for the League to intervene, the League had to set up an emergency meeting, hold discussions and gain the agreement of all members. This process meant that the League could not act quickly to stop an act of aggression.
It was designed to make Germany accept western political institutions and practices which however, were not in tune with the past political experience and values of the people of this state. It was indeed a dictated constitution destined to get buried in the years to come. Thus, the Treaty of Versailles contained the germs of a future war. The developments of inter-war period helped these germs to grow and lead the world towards the second global war, just 75 years after the end of the first one.
Despite the fact that Britain, France and the USA had sufficient power to make the dictator desist from aggression, they deliberately allowed Germany to commit aggression in complete disregard of all international agreements, commitments and the Covenant of the League. The British and French policy of appeasement of Hitler definitely encouraged Hitler to attack the Anglo-French power in Europe.
Imperialism is when a country increases their power and wealth by bringing additional territories under their control. Before World War I, Africa and parts of Asia were points of contention among the European countries. Because of the raw materials these areas could provide, tensions around these areas ran high. The increasing competition and desire for greater empires led to an increase in confrontation that helped push the world into World War I.
The rigid rule of unanimous decisions also acted as a major hindrance and prevented collective security action on the part of the League. The unscrupulous behaviour of Japan and Italy, the French obsession with its security and the British apathy, made things worst. Under the circumstances, the collective security system of the League failed to provide protection against aggression.
Originally Mussolini did not want to be Hitler 696 s ally and in 6985 talks were held with Britain and France at the Stresa Front, but these came to nothing when Anthony Eden of Britain threatened oil sanctions against Mussolini during the Abyssinian crisis. This caused the Rome-Berlin Axis in 6986. Mussolini and Hitler strengthened their alliance on two occasions