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[O] History(Elect) Smart Guides

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  1. Unit 1: The World in Crisis

    1. Impact of World War I in Europe
    14 Topics
  2. 2. Stalin's Soviet Union
    12 Topics
  3. 3. Hitler's Germany
    27 Topics
  4. 4. Outbreak WWII in Europe
    13 Topics
  5. 5. Germany's Defeat in World War II
    21 Topics
  6. 6. Outbreak War in Asia Pacific
    6 Topics
  7. 7. Japan's Defeat
    10 Topics
  8. Unit 2: Bi-Polarity and the Cold War
    8. Reasons for the Cold War in Europe
    21 Topics
  9. 9. The Korean War
    19 Topics
  10. 10. Cuban Missile Crisis
    25 Topics
  11. 11. The End of Cold War
    19 Topics
Chapter 4, Topic 2
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Failure of Disarmament

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Failure of Disarmament

  • Disarmament: was seen as the most effective step in preventing another world war and to establish world peace – by disallowing the development of defence or weaponry.
  • League not able to achieve much success in this area as successes in disarmament were the result of individual major European powers
  • International relations were determined by powerful nations that acted individually & still having a military capacity for war; there was nothing to stop them from engaging in conflict.
  • European powers not always cooperative, and at times, took matters into their own hands.
  • When League attempted to organise disarmament conferences in 1926 and the 1930s, the major powers refused to cooperate.
  • There was an unwillingness to disarm as it would expose the vulnerability of the state against foreign attacks and conflicts; they did not trust each other and wanted to ensure they had the ability to protect their own national interests.

❖ Attempts at disarmament during 1920s and 1930s

i. 1921 Washington Naval Conference (Success)

  • Successfully negotiated outside League & organised by US (non-League member)
  • Set the following powers ratio for tonnage of capital ships:
CountryBritainUSJapanFranceItaly
Ratio of capital ships5531.671.67

ii. 1925 Locarno Treaties (Partial Success):

German troops march across the Hohenzollern Bridge to re-occupy Cologne and the Rhineland. March 7, 1936. This violated the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaties, but met no limit.
  • Negotiated outside League between Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia
  • Belgian and French borders were guaranteed by Germany
  • Weimar government accepted demilitarisation of Rhineland and agreed to settle any disputes with these countries through the League

iii. 1926 League Commission to prepare for World Disarmament Conference (Failure)

  • Britain and France refused to cooperate

iv. 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact (Failure)

Frank Billings Kellogg (1856-1937), U.S. secretary of State (1925-29) at the State Department in 1925. Kellogg received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1929 for Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928.
  • Initiated by US Secretary of State, Frank Kellogg, and French Foreign Minister, Aristide Briand.
  • Negotiated outside League between 15 countries including US, France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Japan.
  • Agreement that all conflicts should only be resolved by pacifist means, but no clear way to enforce the pact.

v. 1932-1934 World Disarmament Conference (Failure)

  • Germany insisted on matching the level of the armament of other powers whilst France refused to limit their own armaments.
  • Britain and US also refused to commit at a level requested by France.
  • Hitler withdrew Germany from both the conference and League.

• Failure of disarmament showed the importance of US involvement; the US commanded much more respect than the League itself which was made up of weakened European states.
• Britain and France were the only two nations capable of enforcing the League’s will.
• However, they were limited by their own interests & severely weakened by WWI & the Depression.
• Their refusal to reduce armed forces and unwillingness to compromise meant no meaningful progress in League towards disarmament.
• Atmosphere of distrust and tension continued and eventually led to WWII.