The Abyssinian Crisis

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The Abyssinian crisis was in the 1930’s and took place in Abyssinia (known as Ethiopia today) in Africa. Italy sent in soldiers to conquer the country to increase its colonial empire. The leader of Abyssinia appealed to the League of Nations for help. The League proved in effective in dealing with the crisis. This had serious consequences for not only Abyssinia but also the survival of the League itself and its principle of “collective security” In April 1935 the Stresa Front was formed, it was triggered by Germany's declaration of its intention to build up an air force, to increase the size of its army. It did not last long, However, falling apart when the Italians broke the peace with their attack on Abyssinia in October 1935.There a number of reasons why Italy’s fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, targeted Abyssinia for annexation in the mid-1930s, one was a retry of their failure attempt in 1896. Italy had previously been at war with Abyssinia but failed miserably, losing a huge amount of men and an enormous amount of casualties. The casualty rate suffered by Italian forces at the Battle of Adowa alone was greater than any other major European battle of the 19th century, beyond even the Napoleonic Era's infamous Waterloo and Eylau. The well-trained modern Italian forces had been defeated by backward, poorly equipped Abyssinian tribesmen. It was absolutely humiliating to have such a military record, revenge and final defeat would restore Italian pride. This would also be a distraction to the people of Italy, to take their mind of the Great Depression, which at this point was in full swing. Though Italy was not suffering nearly as much as countries such as USA, but they were still struggling. This war would give them purpose, and a sense that they were indeed moving forward, that this economic crisis was not their end. This would also make Mussolini look very good
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