The League of Nations was categorical that members must maintain peace among themselves and with other countries in the world. However, in 1935, one League member, Italy, attacked another member, Abyssinia. …
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This organization is commonly known as the League of Nations, which is the predecessor of the United Nations. The League of Nations was categorical that members must maintain peace among themselves and with other countries in the world. However, in 1935, one League member, Italy, attacked another member, Abyssinia. There were clear signs that Italy would attack Abyssinia but nothing was done by the League of Nations to prevent the attack. It seemed like the League was biased towards countries which led to that attack and several others that eventually led to the fall of the League of Nations. The Failure of the League of Nations to solve the Italy and Abyssinian crisis discredited the League significantly and is probably one of the reasons the League of Nations failed in the subsequent years. The League of Nations When the World War One finally came to an end in November 1918, many people in the world did not want to experience or have their future generations experience the horrors of war ever again. Leaders from Europe, United States and other world countries met in France in 1919 to come up with an organization that would safeguard the world from wars. The main working principles of the League of Nations were disarmament of the countries and provide security to the League members like an alliance. Under these terms and conditions, no League member would attack another League member. In the case of disputes among the members of the League, democratic process would be used to solve the dispute amicably under the oversight of the other members of the League of Nations. Events Leading to Italy-Abyssinia Crisis of1935 Italy was one of the most powerful countries immediately after the World War One. Benito Mussolini, the Italian Prime Minister of the time envisioned a large Italian empire that would be ruled by him. In this case, he was looking for regions to expand the Italian invasion to. The large empire would provide the much required material for the Italian industries and Military as well as provide regions for expanding population to settle in. A large empire would also play an important role in instilling national pride and prestige. In fact, Winston Churchill had lamented that countries that were dependent on many war commodities like Italy would consider getting unhampered imports (Florian 7). Italy also felt left behind by its European peers in the scramble for Africa in especially the Easy African region. The country has possessions in East Africa were not resourceful as its peers and wanted to expand. It is also claimed that the Battle of Adowa, in which Italian troops were defeated by Abyssinian troops was of great shame and Mussolini wanted to revenge the attack. In fact, it is thought that he was looking for reasons to regain glory by defeating Abyssinia (Mendum and Waugh 19). A German official was quoted saying that Mussolini was not moving his troops in Africa back to Italy without glory. There were Italian troops in Somalia and Libya at the time (Kelly and Lacey 78). An opportunity for Benito Mussolini to do exactly what he was waiting for arose in December 1934 during the Wal Wal dispute. It is claimed that on 22nd November 1934, Ethiopian troops arrived at the Wal Wal fort and demanded that the Somali-Italian troops there to withdraw from the fort as it was in Ethiopia. The head of the fort refused but the Ethiopian troops persisted for the following days. Tensions were high and between 5th and 7th December 1934, there were collisions between Ethiopians and Italians and Somalis. None of the two parties involved in the incident claimed responsibility. The Italian government demanded that the
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