The nature of fascism itself was very aggressive and linked to the rise of dictatorships also increased the idea of revenge and violence. Germany and Italy also dealt with the economic crisis in 1929 in an aggressive way. And the fact that the League of Nations should ensure peace in the world and it was weak and failed facing Germany and Italy aggression let both countries became even more powerful and aggressive. One of the reasons for the German and Italian aggressive foreign policy was The Paris Peace Settlement, which was created to punish Germany. Nobody was happy with it and Italy and Germany wanted revenge.
Fascist ideology can be seen as a key feature to the outbreak of world war two at the end of the 1930s however fascist foreign policy was developed within Germany and Italy for other reasons. Germany and Italy were both defeated during world war one and were not invited into the league of nations also both countries suffered from the treaty of Versailles and wanted revenge and to re look the points of the treaty. Germany felt humiliated by the terms of the treaty her once great and powerful military was now minimum and she could not defend her borders if invaded. Italy felt betrayed by the allied forces who had promised her lands in the Adriatic for her support within the war. When Hitler came to power within Germany in the 1930s he aimed to bring all German speaking people under one great empire and that Germans were the master race who were superior to Jews and Slavs this showed the aggressive nature of Germans foreign policy because for Hitler to bring all German speaking people into one great empire it would mean having to invade territory she had lost from ww1.
Prior to his taking of Abyssinia, Mussolini’s foreign policy seemed to differ greatly from Hitler’s, for example in 1934 Mussolini sent troops to the Italian border with Austria in reaction to Hitler’s attempt to invade Austria. This move indicates that Mussolini was untrusting of Hitler and made a concentrated effort to ensure that Hitler’s position in the region remain largely unchanged. Moreover his joining of the Stresa Front in 1935 along with Britain and France in a bid to contain Germany would indicate once more that prior to Abyssinia, Mussolini’s position in regards to Germany was one of reluctance and hesitance. However, following Abyssinia, Italy’s international position shifted, with Britain and France condemning the move. Crucially however, Hitler supported Mussolini’s invasion and did not condemn it, and Hitler soon appeared to be Italy’s stronger option within Europe, and so Mussolini steadily synchronised his foreign policy with Hitler’s and it could be argued that it was at this point Mussolini’s foreign policy took the greatest shift.
The unification of Italy in 1861 brought with it a belief that Italy deserved its own overseas empire, alongside those of the other powers of Europe. However, Italy had arrived late to the colonial race, and its relative weakness in international affairs meant that it was dependent on other great powers for its empire expansion. Italy made attempts to seize many countries in Africa but were frequently ‘bullied’ off them by superior powers such as France and Germany. Italy under Francesco Crispi, a promoter of Italian colonialism in Africa began searching for colonies before reaching an agreement with the British to crumble the Egyptian empire. This new gain in land denied the Ethiopian empire an outlet to sea, with some of the land around Ethiopia surrounded; the Italian Prime minister Agostino Depretis ordered an invasion.
His first move was to test the other European powers by inserting troops into Germany’s coal mining area next to France. This was ofcourse forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles and Hitler wanted to see how far he could push his adversaries before they would strike back. If Britain had not been so passive to Hitler they might have stopped this war before it ever started. They, however, allowed Hitler to do this because they did not want to start another war. Hitler then pushed the European powers further and further until he invaded Poland and Europe had no choice but to react.The results of the vote were fixed and showed that 99% of Austrian people wanted Anschluss (union with Germany).
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.
Benito Mussolini was an extremely influential figure in Europe in the 1930s. Many argue that Mussolini was responsible for the downfall and eventual failure of the League of Nations. Mussolini wanted to regain the Roman Empire to it's former glory, and initiated his nationalistic plan with the invasion of Abyssinia in 1935. Both Italy and Abyssinia were members of the League, meaning that it fell to them to deal with this, and could possibly help the League regain respect and credibility which it had recently lost. Instead, the situation in Abyssinia seemed to spark the end of the League.
It seems that the British favored opening a second front to relieve some of the pressure from Russia, but did not agree with the second front being opened in the beaches of Normandy, but rather that of Italy through the Mediterranean. Had the United Sates Army been wavering in its commitment to a landing in Normandy, it is unlikely
Peacemaking and the League of Nations 1) The French leader, Clemenceau, saw the oppportunity at the Treaty of Versailles to cripple Germany so it could not attack France again. Describe how the Treaty of Versailles weakened Germany. (4marks) It weakened Germany through the loss of territory, restricted armed forces and economics such as the loss of the Saar and the reparations Germany had to pay. 2) 'I do not suppose that in the history of the Assembly there was ever a more difficult moment for a speech and a discussion. The world is worried about the Abyssinian Crisis and there are strong feelings on both sides.
But Italy did not follow them into war; in fact they eventually joined the Allies. * Germany’s allies proved themselves to be rather weak and required German support at various fronts. * Germany ended up having to give a lot more than they received from their allies. For example: they had to provide money and soldiers. * Germany and its allies ended up fighting on its own and uncoordinated.