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What led to the collapse of collective security pre-WWII?

The collapse of collective security pre-WWII was primarily due to the failure of the League of Nations and appeasement policies.

The League of Nations, established after World War I, was designed to maintain peace through collective security. However, it was fundamentally flawed and failed to prevent the aggressive expansionist policies of Germany, Italy, and Japan in the 1930s. The League's inability to enforce its decisions and the absence of key powers, such as the United States and the Soviet Union, significantly weakened its effectiveness. The League's credibility was further undermined by its failure to take decisive action against Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and Italy's invasion of Abyssinia in 1935.

Moreover, the policy of appeasement adopted by Britain and France in the late 1930s also contributed to the collapse of collective security. This policy, which involved making political or material concessions to an aggressive power to avoid conflict, was largely driven by the desire to avoid another devastating war. However, it only emboldened the aggressors. The Munich Agreement of 1938, which allowed Germany to annex the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia, is a prime example of appeasement. This not only failed to prevent further German aggression but also undermined the principle of collective security by demonstrating that the League's members were willing to sacrifice smaller nations' sovereignty to maintain peace.

Furthermore, the rise of totalitarian regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan, which were inherently expansionist and militaristic, posed a significant challenge to the concept of collective security. These regimes, driven by ideologies of racial and national superiority, were not deterred by the prospect of collective action by the League's members. They were willing to risk war to achieve their territorial and ideological ambitions, which ultimately led to the outbreak of World War II.

In conclusion, the collapse of collective security pre-WWII was a result of the League of Nations' ineffectiveness, the policy of appeasement, and the rise of aggressive totalitarian regimes. These factors undermined the principle of collective security and paved the way for the most devastating conflict in human history.

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