Presentation on theme: "By: Mehrdad and Philippe Abyssinia (Ethiopia) greatly appealed to Italy because its lands were fertile and rich in mineral wealth and it would connect."— Presentation transcript:
Abyssinia (Ethiopia) greatly appealed to Italy because its lands were fertile and rich in mineral wealth and it would connect the existing Italian colonies of Eritrea and Italian Somaliland to create one large colony. In December of 1934, a clash occurred between the armed forces of the two States at Wal-Wal on the Ethiopian side of the frontier with Italian Somaliland. Throughout the summer of 1935 Mussolini amassed troops along the Abyssinian border.
Haile Selassie,the emperor of Abyssinia, appealed to the League of Nations for help. The intervention was slow and ineffective. The Abyssinian army suffered a heavy defeat due to the fact that they were ill equipped and had hardly any training. The capital Addis Ababa fell to the Italians on the 5 th of May 1936. Haile Selassie fled into exile. It was then that Mussolini declared Victor Emanuel III as the new emperor.
The main purpose of the League was to maintain world peace and keep collective security alive. It was to protect its members if they were attacked. When Selassie begged the League for help they threatened economic sanctions against Italy. However, when Mussolini refused to withdraw and even threatened war if sanctions on oil imports and exports were imposed, the League of Nations backed down.
The vigor of the major powers in responding to the crisis in Abyssinia was tempered by their perception that the fate of this poor and far-off country, inhabited by non-Europeans, was not a central interest of theirs. In addition, it showed how the League could be influenced by the self-interest of its members; [ one of the reasons why the sanctions were not very harsh was that both Britain and France feared the prospect of driving Mussolini and German dictator Adolf Hitler into an alliance. [