SMART TASK: At what stage would you say it was obvious that the League of Nations would fail to keep peace?

This short task and associated homework asks students to beat the textbook.  First they are reminded of the record of the League.  It was not a complete laughing stock as shown by the facts produced by Niall Ferguson on PowerPoint slide 2.  Now ask students to work in pairs to come up with as many of the possible events as they can that could be seen as sounding the death knell of the League.  Ask for feedback about likely contenders using slide 4 to reinforce the most likely answers.

Now show what contemporaries felt using slides 5 and 7.  Both suggest different dates.  Students are asked to speculate what these might be.  The answers are given on the slides.

Now for the main task.  Students are shown a diagram from Ben Walsh’s recent textbook in which he shows graphically how the League’s reputation was fatally damaged.  Discuss the main messages behind what Walsh is attempting to show.  Ask them to consider:

  • a. Was the League’s reputation as high in 1930 as is being shown?
  • b. Was the Manchurian incident as damaging as the Abyssinian?
  • c. Should the years 1932-5 be shown as a plateau?
  • d. Is the steepness of the
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