The manchurian invasion showed that a great power

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The Manchurian invasion showed that a Great Power using force, contrary to the Covenant, could only be stopped by greater force, of which was found lacking. 1.) The Corfu Incident (1923) In the Corfu Incident of 1923 involving Italy and Greece, Italy refused to accept the authority of the League. Mussolini over-reacted to the news of the murder of the Italian soldiers. He used force to demand compensation from the Greek government. When this was not immediately forthcoming, he shelled and then captured the Greek island of Corfu. Greece protested to the League of Nations. The League seemed unable or unwilling to respond. Italy was one of the four permanent members of the Council and so the League trod carefully. The Corfu Incident was seen as serious failure for the League in the 1920s. It showed that powerful nations could still bully a less powerful neighbour. The dispute was fi nally settled through the mediation of Britain and France. 2.) Invasion of Manchuria (1931) Japan ignored the League when it seized Manchuria in 1931 and when it invaded China in 1937. In 1931, China appealed to the League of Nations which condemned Japan and ordered its troops to be withdrawn. When Japan refused, the League appointed a commission under Lord Lytton which decided in 1932 that there were faults on both sides and suggested that Manchuria be governed by the League. However, Japan rejected this and withdrew from the League in March 1933. The League had some points to its CREDIT over Manchuria. Japan’s aggression had been fairly assessed, and then made public to the whole world. Japan had been condemned and from 1932 onwards, Japan was to be isolated until it found friends in the Fascist dictators.
07/05/16 09:45 The League of Nations - IGCSE History Page 6 of 12 The sanctions did not include a ban on exports of oil, coal and steel to Italy. Moreover, Britain and France dragged their feet over a scheme to prevent Italy’s obtaining oil. Members not only feared that the Americans would not support the sanctions, they also feared their own economic interests would be damaged. Some nations like Germany and the USA were not involved. Their fi rms continued their trade with Italy. The sanctions were thus incomplete: they caused some shortages in Italy but failed to halt the Italian war e ff ort. More important still, the Suez Canal which was owned by Britain and France was not closed to Mussolini’s ships although the canal was the Italians’ main supply route to Abyssinia and closing it could have ended the Abyssinian campaign very quickly. Italy was allowed to make use of the Suez Canal to reach their supply ships. This could only have been enforced by Britain and France, but they did not suggest it. This failure was fatal for Abyssinia.

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