Background Information and context:
In the early 1930's Italy's population was growing steadily. The Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, was eager to increase the size of the Italian empire. He wanted to increase the empire for several reasons. Firstly, an expanded empire would provide much needed raw materials needed to help Italian Industry and military expansion. Secondly an increased empire would send out a clear message of strength and add to national prestige. Thirdly, expansion would provide land for the expanding population to live in. Italy already held several colonies in Africa. Eritrea on Africa's eastern coast was an Italian colony, as was Libya on the Mediterranean coast. Expansion of the empire would almost certainly be a breach of international agreements: Italy had signed the Kellogg pact which criticized warfare and as a member of the League of Nations was forbidden to act aggressively against another member nation. Legally therefore such expansion could only really be achieved through effectively taking control of areas of an economy making it dependant on Italy. The Abyssinian Crisis
By 1935 Mussolini was eager to go to war. He wanted glory and now needed additional raw materials for Italian Industry. Abyssinia had Raw Materials and was conveniently located next to Eritrea, part of the Italian Empire. Sustained by the failure of the League of Nations to deal with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and reports that neither France or Britain were willing to go to war in defence of Manchuria, he began preparations for an invasion. More information
In December 1934, a dispute about the border between Abyssinia and the Italian Somaliland flared into fighting. In January 1935, Haile Selassie, the emperor of Abyssinia, asked the League to arbitrate (settle the dispute). In July 1935, the League banned arms sales to either side, and in September 1935, it appointed a five-power committee to arbitrate. In October 1935, the League's committee...
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