- 法と政治 (ISSN:02880709)
- vol.37, no.1, pp.1-34, 1986-03-20
Since the unification of the Italian Peninsula, friendly relations with Great Britain had been one of the basic principles of the modern Italian foreign policy. In the Fascist era, this principle remained a pivot of Italy's foreign policy until the Ethiopian crisis of 1935. Although it had been no secret for many months that Benito Mussolini was preparing the conquest of Ethiopia, Great Britain did not venture to prevent the disaster until the summer of 1935 when she finally decided to reinforce the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean by sending a great number of vessels of her Home fleet thereto. This British decision and Mussolini's reaction to it threatened the longtime good relations between Italy and Great Britain. This paper proposes to examine the nature of this Mediterranean crisis between these two powers, both of which had vital interests in this region. In particular, this study is a reexamination of Fascist Italy's motivations, purposes, and tactics in this crisis as well as the British 'appeasement' policy toward Italy on the eve of the conquest of Ethiopia. The author's paper consists of following sections : I. Introduction. II. Fascist Italy's Designs for the Ethiopian Conquest. III. Mussolini's Negotiations with Great Britain and France. IV. Change of Italy's Image of Great Britain-from Confusion to Confrontation. V. Anglo-Italian Tension and Mussolini's Vacillation. VI. The Brink and Escape from Collision. VII. The Structure of the Mediterranean Crisis-A Chicken Game. VIII. Conclusion. The first three chapters of this study are in this issue; and the latter part will appear in the next issue of this Journal.