Submitted to : Barry Halloran
Submitted by :Oriane Misonne
A) Reminder: what the "collective security"?
The collective security designates the mode of organization of the international relations of the interwar period. Fruit of the Conferences of Peace held in Versailles after the Great War, it joins completely in line with the optics of the 14 points of Wilson and is inaugurated by the League of Nations.
Carried by the pacifist fervour relieving the abomination of the atrocities of 14-18, the League of Nations intends to solve the international tensions by the dialogue and by the law and either by the trial of strength. It thus makes of the diplomacy the main lever of the relations between States, legitimizing the call to arms only in case of ultimate recourse.
This political line, tinged with idealism, tilts more to recognize to the States of the praiseworthy intentions rather that a will to satisfy strictly national interests. This tendency of optimism deforms the vision that the League of Nations gives itself of the international context. Its trust renewed in the policy of reassurance prevents it from dreading with realism the threats which weigh on the world. The development of the League of Nations, too late, will not allow any more to avoid the worst.
B) New international tensions bound to the imperialism of the authoritarian regimes
The objective risk of the war is inherent to the authoritarian regimes which were set up in Europe after the World War I. It is registered in the doctrine of the fascism which governed Italy since 1922 and in the one of the Nazism which takes control of Germany in 1933. Because of their national ambitions, these regimes developed a will of hegemony. This presents the war as a normal and natural phenomenon, a logical result of their nationalist aspiration.
From this point of view, Nazi Germany, especially, threatens the European balance. Since 1933, it leaves the League of the Nations which it had joined in 1926. Denying then the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles, it restores in 1935, the compulsory military service and throws a busy schedule to endow the country of a modern military aviation. The necessity of Lebensraum, at the heart of the Nazi doctrine, legitimizes the war. Hitler calls upon it determinedly in his speeches. He wants that it is offered to him to celebrate his fifty years. He was born in 1889.
In Italy, the pro-birth policy led by Benito Mussolini also justifies the territorial expansion. He wants to make of Italy the pivot of Danube and Mediterranean Europe. He also tries to spread his influence in Africa by the colonial conquest.
Additionally, Japan says itself that the island is lacking outlets. The country supports its claiming in the Southeast Asia where it looks for a place on the continent, a territorial base of a domination called to extend over the continent.
C) Localized conflicts translate the powerlessness of the collective security
From 1923, the annexation of the port of Memel by Lithuania casts a first depreciation on the League of Nations. Three conflicts briefly presented below tarnish definitively the image of the international organization. All commit member states of the League of Nations. All confirm successively, in the eyes of the world, its incapacity of realizing the objective for which it was established: "offer mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to the small as to the big States ", according to the fourteenth point of Wilson.
The affair of the Manchuria
From the first years of the twentieth century, Japan among which the army and the big industrial groups impose their sights on the political world, made of the Manchuria its zone of economic expansion favoured in China. Its investments bring it so to administer the entire south-Manchurian railroad. These railroad infrastructures are protected by a garrison of 30,000 Japanese soldiers,