Roads to War

Roads to War: The Origins of the Second World War 1929-1941
An Uneasy Peace 1929-35 The “New Era”: Hopes for Peace in 1929 Locarno and the New Era – with the increased tension over the French/Belgian invasion of the Ruhr Valley, the European statesmen met in Locarno, Switzerland and reached a series of agreements (1925). France, Germany, and Belgium agreed to respect each other’s borders and Britain and Italy agreed to enforce the terms of the agreement. This relieved France and Belgium’s concern over another German invasion (as in WW I) and Germany’s concern of a French/Belgian invasion (Ruhr). In effect, Locarno removed many of the suspicions between Germany and France. Friendship between Nations – By 1929, the world was largely at peace. The Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed by 65 nations and it provided that nations would not use war as a method to resolve differences. The Eastern Pact amongst Russia and six of its neighbors also agreed not to use war as a means of settling disputes. The League of Nations – 10thanniversary in 1929. Signatories agreed not to go to war with any member of the League, and if a member was attacked, the other members would join forces to defend it= “collective security.” The League had only three options to keep peace amongst nations: bring the matter to the Permanent Court of International Justice, economic sanctions – refuse to trade with the attacker to bring on economic ruin, and military sanctions (having the members provide forces and create a League army). The league was usually able to resolve issues short of sanctions. The League also had the Disarmament Commission which sought to persuade nations to reduce their weapon supplies and rely, instead, on collective security. The Limitation of the League – not every nation belonged (US – isolationist.