Hopes for the League of Nations
What does this
cartoon say
about what the
hopes for the
League of
Nations were?
Be specific by
referring
directly to the
cartoon.
Can YOU Resolve International
Disputes?
REAL EXAMPLES FROM THE LEAGUE OF
NATIONS
CASE ONE
The Aaland Islands
(1921)
The Aaland Islands (1921)
 Islands located between
Sweden and Finland
 Finland possessed the
islands but most people
wanted to be governed by
Sweden
 Neither could come up
with a decision that pleased both sides so they asked
the League of Nations to intervene
The Aaland Islands (1921)
Do you:
a) Give the Island to Sweden since most people
wanted to join that country
b) Do nothing and let Finland and Sweden settle the
issue on their own
c) Let Finland keep the islands, but ensure that no
weapons are ever placed there
The Aaland Islands (1921)
Answer:
c)
Let Finland keep the islands, but ensure
that no weapons are ever placed there
Both sides accepted the decision and this
remains enforce to the present day
CASE TWO
Teschen (1919)
Teschen (1919)
 Teschen was a small town between Poland and
Czechoslovakia.
 Its main importance was that it had valuable coal
mines there which both the Poles and the Czechs
wanted to make their newly formed economies
strong.
 January 1919: Polish and
Czech troops fight in the
streets of Teschen.
Many died.
Teschen (1919)
Do you:
a) Split the town so both the Czechs and the Poles
have access to the coal
b) Place the town under the protection of the League
of Nations to administer the coal as it seems fit
c) Support the Poles by sending them reinforcements;
after all, Teschen was part of Poland
Teschen (1919)
Answer:
a)
Split the town so both the Czechs and the Poles have
access to the coal
The League decided that the bulk of the town should go
to Poland while Czechoslovakia should have one of
Teschen’s suburbs. This suburb contained the most
valuable coal mines and the Poles refused to accept this
decision. Though no more wholesale violence took
place, the two countries continued to argue over the
issue for the next twenty years.
CASE THREE
Upper Silesia (1921)
Upper Silesia (1921)
 The treaty that ended WWI
gave the people of the region
the right to a referendum in
order to determine whether
they wished to be part of
Poland or Germany
 In the vote 700,000 voted to join Germany and
500,000 opted for Poland
 The close results sparked violent protests
 The League was asked to settle the dispute
Upper Silesia (1921)
Do you:
a) Respect the results and hand over the territory to
Germany
b) Split the province in two parts, handing one to
Germany and another to Poland
c) Decide to administer the region as a protectorate of
the League of Nations for 2 years until another vote
is held
Upper Silesia (1921)
Answer:
b)
Split the province in two parts, handing
one to Germany and another to Poland
Both groups within the province and both countries
involved accepted the ruling
CASE FOUR
Memel, Lithuania
(1923)
Memel (1923)
 Memel was an area and port in Lithuania that was to
be administered by the League of Nations after WWI
 Most people living there were Lithuanians and
resented the fact that a French general was in charge
of their territory
 Lithuanians invaded the
port and the League had
to step in
Memel (1923)
Do you:
a) Send in forces to squash the rebels and reinforce
the League’s control over the region
b) Return the area of Memel to Lithuania, but keep
the port as an International Zone
c) Cede the port and all of the Memel region to
Lithuania to satisfy the desire of the population
Memel (1923)
Answer:
b) Return the area of Memel to Lithuania, but
keep the port as an International Zone
Lithuania accepted the decision, however
how could the response of the League be
viewed as a failure?
CASE FIVE
Greece & Bulgaria
(1925)
Greece & Bulgaria (1925)
 Bulgaria and Greece shared a border
 In 1925, sentries patrolling this border fired on one
another and a Greek soldier was killed. The Greek
army invaded Bulgaria as a result.
Greece & Bulgaria (1925)
Do you:
a) Tell Greece to leave and promise Bulgaria that
Greece will be punished by the League for the
invasion
b) Send in forces to help Bulgaria defeat the Greeks
c) Support Greece by reprimanding Bulgaria and
demanding that Bulgaria issue a public apology for
the shooting
Greece & Bulgaria (1925)
Answer:
a) Tell Greece to leave and promise Bulgaria that
Greece will be punished by the League for the
invasion
The Bulgarians asked the League for help and the
League ordered both armies to stop fighting and
that the Greeks should pull out of Bulgaria. The
League then sent experts to the area and decided
that Greece was to blame and fined her £45,000.
Both nations accepted the decision.
CASE SIX
Invasion of the
Ruhr (1923)
Invasion of the Ruhr (1923)
 Germany failed to make a payment on war damages
owed to Allies because they simply did not have the
money.
 France and Belgium didn’t believe Germany and
claimed it needed to be taught a lesson.
 They invaded the Ruhr area, Germany’s
most important industrial region.
Invasion of the Ruhr (1923)
Do you:
a) Diplomatically negotiate a new payment schedule
between Germany and Belgium and France
b) Send troops to Germany to forcefully remove
Belgium and France
c) Support Belgium and France because they are
important League members
Invasion of the Ruhr (1923)
Answer:
c) Support Belgium and France because they are
important League members
Within Europe, France was seen as a senior League
member – like Britain . Here were two League
members clearly breaking League rules. For the
League to enforce its rules, it needed the support of
its major backers in Europe, particularly Britain
and France. Few countries criticised what France
and Belgium did. How do you think these actions
were viewed internationally?
CASE SEVEN
Corfu (1923)
Corfu (1923)
 5 Italian surveyors, working for the League of
Nations to map the unclear border between Albania
and Greece, were killed on the Greek side of the
border.
 Mussolini, the Italian dictator, demanded
compensation from Greece.
 When Greece refused,
Mussolini bombarded and
occupied Greek island of
Corfu.
Corfu (1923)
Do you:
a) Support Italy by forcing Greece to pay the
compensation demanded
b) Place economic sanctions on Italy to persuade it to
leave Greece alone
c) Invite both sides to a conference in Switzerland to
negotiate a peaceful solution
Invasion of the Ruhr (1923)
Answer:
a)
Support Italy by forcing Greece to pay the
compensation demanded
Even though the League wanted to condemn
Mussolini’s aggressive actions, France and Britain
did not want to upset the new Italian dictator.
Therefore, they put pressure on Greeks to accept
Mussolini’s demands. Mussolini only withdrew his
forces once the Greeks had apologised and paid.
CASE EIGHT
Manchurian Crisis
(1931-1933)
Manchurian Crisis (1931-1933)
 Japan invaded Manchuria, which was part of China,




to expand its living space and to get more resources.
Japan already claimed special interests in the area
because Japan ran the South Manchuria Railway and
controlled some cities along its route.
Japan blew up a section of the Railway and accused China of being
responsible for the sabotage.
China denied.
Japan invaded.
Manchurian Crisis (1931-1933)
Do you:
a) Condemn Japan’s actions and order the withdrawal
of troops
b) Send a coalition force to forcefully remove Japan
from China
c) Impose economic sanctions to persuade Japan to
hand over Manchuria
Manchurian Crisis (1931-1933)
Answer:
a)
Condemn Japan’s actions and order the
withdrawal of troops
Japan kept Manchuria and left the League of
Nations in 1933. League members did not want to
impose economic sanctions because the Great
Depression had already damaged the world
economy too much. Britain and France did not
want to use military action because they feared
Japanese reprisals against their colonies in the Far
East.
CASE NINE
Abyssinian Crisis
(1935-1936)
Abyssinian Crisis (1935-1936)
 Abyssinia was the only independent black African
state.
 Italy wanted Abyssinia because it already had land
along Abyssinia’s borders and because it wanted to
show the world its newfound strength and power.
 Italy invaded.
Abyssinian Crisis (1935-1936)
Do you:
a) Give certain areas of Abyssinia in return for Italy’s
withdrawal of troops
b) Impose economic sanctions by cutting off trade
with Italy.
c) Offer to act as an arbitrator between Italy and
Abyssinia to come to a peaceful resolution
Abyssinian Crisis (1935-1936)
Answer:
All of the above
The League of Nations attempted all these
solutions. However, non-League nations continued
to trade with Italy. The economic sanctions did not
include oil, coal or iron. The Abyssinian public
refused to accept a concession of land to the
Italians. The Italians refused to negotiate, knowing
that they had military strength and that Britain and
France were very reluctant to go to war again.
Italy-Ethiopia War (1935)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of
the League of Nations
Country Membership
 Had 42 founding members, but throughout its existence many
members joined and left the League of Nations
Member
Joined
Left
Japan
1919
March 1933
Germany
1926
October 1933
Italy
1919
December 1937
USSR
1934
December 1939
France
1919
June 1940
Britain
1919
April 1946
 Britain and France considered most powerful  both wanted to
avoid war at all costs.
 Which important country was NEVER part of the League
of Nations?
Discussion Question
 How do you think the effectiveness of the
League of Nations was hampered by the
absence of the United States?
League of Nations Summary
After considering the examples given, what do you
think was a serious weakness of the League of
Nations?
2. What do the following cartoons tell us about the
successes and/or failures of the League of
Nations?
1.
Cartoon 1
Japan
China
Cartoon 2
Cartoon 3
Hitler & the League of Nations
Hitler’s Aims
Reverse the Treaty of Versailles
2. Unite all German speaking peoples
1.

Greater Germany including all Germans into one homeland
 Germans in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc...
3. Lebensraum (“living space”)

Greater Germany would include +85 million people  would
need more land to provide enough food and raw materials
4. German rearmament
Hitler’s Land Gains
Hitler’s Successes
 Reoccupation of the Saar region
 Saar under occupation of the League of Nations for 15 years
after WWI
 Vote held in 1935  90% of population voted to be reunited
with Germany
 Reoccupation of the Rhineland
 1936: Hitler marches troops into Rhineland; takes control
back from the French who had received Rhineland under the
Treaty of Versailles
 Met with no resistance – French unwilling to fight
 Later 98% of population voted for German reoccupation
Hitler’s Successes
 Anschluss with Austria
 96% of Austrians spoke German; Hitler was born in Austria;
strong Nazi party in Austria
 March 1938: German troops march into Austria; Austria
made a province of Germany
 Nazis later claimed that 99% of Austrians voted for
Anschluss
 Sudetenland
Hitler’s Successes





Mainly a German –speaking area given to Czechoslovakia
upon its creation post-WW1
Pro-Nazi Sudeten leader strongly supported
Hitler told this leader to demand separation from
Czechoslovakia  Czechoslovakia refused  needed
fortifications to prevent German invasion  thought they
would be supported by the League of Nations
British Prime Minister (Chamberlain) did not want a war over
Sudetenland  met with Hitler, Mussolini and French Prime
Minister in Munich and they agreed that Hitler would have
the Sudetenland if he promised to stop expanding
Chamberlain met privately with Hitler and they promised
never to go war with each other again
Poland
 Demanded the return of Danzig and Polish Corridor.
 Signed a treaty with Italy to help each other should
there be a war.
 Signed a pact with Russia  prevent war on 2 fronts


Russia would not object to a German invasion of Poland
Russia and Germany would divide Poland between them
 Germany invaded Poland  British and French
issued an ultimatum that Germany must leave or risk
war  Germany did not reply  Britain declares war
on Germany
What do
these
cartoons tell
us about the
successes
and/or
failures of
the League
of Nations?
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League Of Nations EXAMPLES