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The GuardiansThe League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire$
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Susan Pedersen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570485.001.0001

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When Empire Stopped Working

When Empire Stopped Working

Chapter:
(p.325) Eleven When Empire Stopped Working
Source:
The Guardians
Author(s):

Susan Pedersen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570485.003.0015

In addition to a legitimation crisis, the mandates system also suffered from dwindling support from the mandatory powers themselves, especially once the Italo-Ethiopian war demonstrated how hard the revisionist powers might press their claims. British and French politicians began contemplating a new colonial settlement. This chapter reviews the history and key personalities — including British internationalist Arnold Toynbee and German colonial propagandist Heinrich Schnee — of this movement for ‘colonial appeasement’. While Hitler may never have been very serious about such plans, the revelation that Britain and France would hand over Africans to Nazis discredited the mandates regime further. When Hitler finally rejected a proposal by Neville Chamberlain for a new African repartition, it became clear that European peace could no longer be bought through imperial horse-trading. By 1938, all mandatory powers were scrambling to bind their territories more tightly together.

Keywords:   peaceful change, Henrich Schnee, Arnold Toynbee, German colonial claims, revisionism, Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, appeasement

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