France began to feel as though the Treaty of Versailles was being undermined and so the France, who desperately required the reparation payments, sought to secure the payments with the Wiesbaden Accords in October 1921, whereby they took a proportion of raw materials from the Ruhr.
When payments had fallen into arrears, with support from Belgium and Italy, France sent troops to the Ruhr to take the materials owed by force.
The German government still had to pay its striking workers, and so printed more money, thereby causing hyperinflation.
The French retaliated the 'passive resistance' and in 1924, Gustav Stresemann called an end to it, and initiated the Dawes Plan.
The plan mortgaged its main railway and various German industries in order to receive a load from the US to pay France.
Repayments were reduced.
Though it was not in France's best interest, it accepted as it brought the US into the picture; and this age became the 'golden age of reparations'.
This is an example of a failure of the League, as France had acted on its own initiative and interest, forcing payments and undermining the League's credibility.
France had alarmed its allies, and heightened the sense of patriotism within Germany.
Japan, Asia's greatest industrial and trading power, was greatly affected by the world depression.
The USA was attempting to increase its influence in the Pacific, and would be concerned with any 'aggressive' expansionism there.
In September 1931, the Kwantung Army claimed a bomb explosion near the town of Mukdem, a Chinese province, was evidence of growing disorder. Japan invaded.
China appealed to the League, and this incident was exactly the type that 'collective security' was to contain.
The League condemned Japan's actions and ordered a withdrawal of Japanese troops. The Japanese government agreed, however, its army refused (This exposed Japan's control over its military).
The League commission took more than a year to report, by which time the invasion and occupation was complete.
The League asked Japan to return the land to China, and in response, Japan left the League, and claimed that the condemnation of their actions in China was hypocrisy by powers such as Britain, which had a long legacy of using force to achieve its objectives in China.
Why did the League fail to resolve the Manchurian Crisis?Edit
Member states were unwilling to apply economic sanctions, however, it was the USA which had the strongest trading links with Japan.
Imposing a military solution was problematic in that Manchuria was geographically remote, and only Britain and the USA could access it.
France and Italy were too occupied by the events in Europe.
Japan was openly condemned, however privately, a sympathetic view was taken as Japan was struggling economically.
What was the impact of the Manchurian Crisis on the League of Nations?Edit
China had appealed to the League for help in the face of an aggressor, however, they received no support, neither militarily or economically (sanctions on Japan).
Richard Overy points out that by leaving the League, Japan had 'effectively removed the Fear East from the system of collective security'.
What was the impact of the Manchurian Crisis on the growth of Japanese militarism?Edit
Historians, such as Richard Overy, saw the Manchurian Crisis as the start of militarism within Japan.
Others, such as Sandra Wilson argue otherwise, and that Japan could have continued to work cooperatively and diplomatically with Britain and the USA.
Mussolini had a long-term ambition of securing a North-African empire, but also needed to distract his people from the impact of the Depression.
Conquering Abyssinia would link two Italian African territories, Eritrea and Italian Somaliland.
A full scale invasion occurred on October 1935, and Mussolini thought that the League would not respond and that Britain and France would protest.
Italy's invasion was condemned and the League decided to employ an escalating program of sanctions.
In fear of losing Italy to Nazi Germany, French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval and British Foreign Minister Samueal Hoare secretly rekindled a plan, known as the Hoare-Laval Pact, to allow Italy to control trwo-thirds of Abyssinia.
The pro-League British public heard news of the pact and both Hoare lost his job.
The League's sanctions were so diluted that they had little impact on the Italian war effort, and no embargo on oil was place.
Britain refused to close the Suez Canal to Italian shipping.
What were the effects of the Abyssinian Crisis on the League of Nations?Edit
The crisis had revealed (much like the Manchurian Crisis) that the League's powers were not prepared to stand up to other major members if their interests were not threatened.
Italy was isolated from its former allies, and moved closer to Nazi Germany.
The League's ultimate weakness was ready for Hitler to exploit.
The League could not longer exert any authority.
The Abyssinian Crisis was the 'final nail in the coffin' for the League, it was simply symbolic of an idea that had failed.
The idea was clearly incompatible with the old-style militaristic alliances and modern expansionist ideologies.