The Horn of Africa in the mid-1930s


Pu Yi

Benito Mussolini

Haile Selassie

The League at Its Worst, 1929-1936
History 300 / September 3, 2013

I. The “end of globalization”
         A. The disruption of global finance
                  1. America's bubble drains liquidity elsewhere
                  2. Wall Street crashes, industrial production plummets
                  3. The banking crisis of 1931
                  4. Britain drops the gold standard (September 1931)
         B. The disruption of trade: “beggar thy neighbor”
                  1. America’s Smoot-Hawley Tariff (June 1930)
                  2. Britain’s turn toward imperial preferences
                  3. Germany negotiates bilateral trade arrangements
         C. German war reparations lifted (July 1932)
II. The League in shambles
         A. Japan’s aggression in Manchuria
                  1. Background: Japanese control of the Chinese E. Railr.
                  2. The Mukden Incident (September 1931)
                  3. The fiction of “Manchukuo” (March 1932)
                  4. The Lytton Commission report (October 1932)
         B. The farce of the World Disarmament Conference (1932-33)
III. The Abyssinian Crisis
         A. The Walwal incident (Dec. 1934)
         B. The failure of deterrence
         C. The failure of sanctions
         D. Italy’s use of poison gas

Rep. Hawley and Sen. Smoot

The "Mukden Incident"

Japanese soldiers enter Mukden

Haile Selassie at the League of Nations

Debate in Britain's House of Commons on the Lytton Report, Nov. 1932

Haile Selassie's speech to the League, June 1936

Further reading
Barry Eichengreen, Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939 (Oxford, 1992)
Harold James, The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression (Harvard, 2001)