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When Hitler rose to power in 1931, Mussolini realized that Italy no longer played an important role within Europe. Mussolini had always wanted Italy to play a big role in world affairs, so in order to achieve that, he wanted Italy to conquer more territories around the world, particularly in Africa. Abyssinia was the only unclaimed land in Africa so Mussolini wanted to conquer it since he believed that Abyssinia's land had oil deposits which would benefit him economically. Mussolini began invading Abyssinia in October 1935, and around 51 states were against this, voting to impose economic sanctions on Italy. This was ineffective, since Germany and the USA did not impose any sanctions. France and Britain did not know what to do, because as the League of Nations they needed to impose sanctions in order maintain peace, and at the same time, they needed to be on good terms with Italy because they needed Italy's support. France and Britain decided to compromise in December 1935 by giving Italy two-thirds of Abyssinia, leaving the rest as an independent state. Yet that compromise never took place because it was leaked out, and was criticized by the public. This left the League of Nations the option of dealing with Italy by force, but both Britain and France were unprepared and un-willing to start a conflict with Italy. The Abyssinian conflict ended in May 1936, with Italy conquering all of it. The Abyssinian conflict proved that the League of Nations had lost its power.

ABYSSINIAN CRISIS TIMELINE

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