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Chronology 1936

Date Event Historical Background
January 1936 Dissolution of Nationalist Party in Syria The French administration in Syria dissolved the Nationalist Party due to widespread political disorder. The Syrians responded with violent street-fighting in most cities and the French proclaimed martial law in an attempt to regain control of the situation.
January 1, 1936 Expiration of International Naval Limitations International naval limitations set by treaties officially expired, which ended warship construction holidays and the maintenance of the status quo in fortifications in the Pacific. There had been rumors since 1932 that the Japanese were building fortifications and submarine bases in their Pacific mandate territories. After 1935, both Australia and New Zealand expanded their coastal defenses and the U.S. government planned a series of fortifications from the Alaskan coast and Aleutian Islands to Midway Island, Guam, and Samoa.
January 6, 1936 Dissolution of Cortes in Spain The inability of the Spanish to form a viable government led to the dissolution of the Cortes and elections in February.
January 15, 1936 Japanese Depart Naval Conference The Japanese delegation left the naval disarmament conference after rejecting tonnage restrictions on various types of warships. The Japanese government was determined to modernize the fleet and was unwilling to accept further restrictions.
January 20, 1936 Death of King George V of Britain King George V of Great Britain died and was succeeded by his oldest son, King Edward VIII.
January 20-24, 1936 Ninetieth League Council Session The League of Nations Council held its ninetieth session in Geneva.
January 21, 1936 Bolivian-Paraguayan Peace Treaty The Bolivian and Paraguayan governments signed the final peace treaty which ended the Chaco War. The terms of the treaty were worked out in arbitration by six Latin American governments.
January 22, 1936 Downfall of the Laval Government in France As a result of the foreign policy disaster in the Ethiopian War and the government's failure to contain Italy, the government of Pierre Laval fell. A stop-gap government under Albert Sarrault replaced the Laval government for a short time.
February 1936 Abandonment of Oil Sanctions against Italy Members of the League of Nations could not agree on petroleum sanctions against Italy in the Ethiopian War, although the loss of petroleum supplies would have severely hampered the Italian war effort. As a result, the Italians were able to circumvent the League economic sanctions, especially after the Germans remilitarized the Rhineland in March.
February 1936 General Strikes in Syria In response to the French dissolution of the Nationalist Party and the proclamation of martial law, Syrian nationalists launched a general strike. The economic gridlock forced the French to concede to nationalist demands.
February 1-March 17, 1936 Thirty-Sixth Session of the Permanent International Court of Justice The Permanent Court of International Justice held its thirty-sixth session in the Hague.
February 4, 1936 Assassination of Gustloff in Switzerland A Jewish assassin murdered Wilhelm Gustloff, the National Socialist leader in Switzerland, at Davos. The Swiss government disbanded the National Socialists as a national organization. The German government immediately protested this action and tensions arose between the two countries.
February 16, 1936 Spanish Parliamentary Elections The leftist political parties in Spain (the Republicans, Socialists, Syndicalists, and Communists) formed the Popular Front, which won a decisive victory over the Conservative Republicans, Clericals, and Monarchists. The new government vowed to implement a massive social reform program for Spain.
February 17, 1936 Anglo-Irish Trade Pact After several years of a disastrous trade war, the British and Irish governments signed a trade pact which greatly reduced tariffs between the two countries. The Irish government finally agreed to pay the land annuities to British claimants, but Irish exporters regained access to their most lucrative market.
February 17, 1936 Military Revolt in Paraguay The Paraguayan army overthrew President Eligio Ayala due to the government's perceived weakness in the Chaco War negotiations. Rafael Franco emerged as the provisional president. Supported by a military junta and nationalists, he established himself as a military dictator and proclaimed Paraguay a totalitarian state on March 11th.
February 19, 1936 Popular Front Government in Spain Manuel Azana formed a new Popular Front cabinet in Spain, proclaiming a general amnesty for political prisoners and moving to restore Catalan autonomy. The Azana ministry introduced a social reform program which included land distribution and school development as well as an anti-clerical policy. President Azana also restored the Constitution of 1931.
February 23, 1936 Formation of Nationalist Government in Syria The failure of martial law and the Syrian general strike forced the French administration to permit the formation of a Nationalist cabinet. Talks regarding the independence of Syria became a top priority for the new government.
February 26, 1936 Assassination of Saito in Japan In an uprising of young army officers in Tokyo, the Japanese Finance Minister, Viscount Saito, and several other ministers and generals were assassinated. The rebels sought to establish a military dictatorship in Japan. The revolt was crushed by the Japanese government and in July a military court sentenced 17 rebels to death.
February 29, 1936 U.S. Neutrality Act of 1936 Congress extended the Neutrality Act of 1935 to continue until May 1, 1937 and forbid the extension of loans or credits to belligerents.
March 2, 1936 U.S.-Panamanian Treaty President Juan Arosemena, the new leader of Panama, began negotiations with the Roosevelt administration regarding sovereignty issues and the Canal. The two countries signed a treaty which addressed many of the objections the Panamanians raised with the Treaty of 1926.
March 7, 1936 German Reoccupation of the Rhineland In violation of the terms of the Versailles Treaty and Locarno Pacts of 1925, the German government sent troops across the Rhein and remilitarized the Rheinland. Chancellor Adolf Hitler took advantage of the crisis in Ethiopia, which diverted British and French attention from Europe, and defended the act by claiming the threat of encirclement by France and the Soviet Union through their new alliance system.
March 9-10, 1936 Czechoslovak State Visit to Austria The Czechoslovak prime minister, Milan Hodza, conducted an official state visit to Vienna. The meeting reflected a rapprochement between the two countries in the face of growing German power. The Austrians feared German designs and were uncertain of Italian resolve, while the Czechoslovaks, with French support, hoped to bring Austria, and perhaps Hungary, in association with the Little Entente to form a stronger coalition against Germany.
March 12, 1936 Western Denouncement of Rhineland Militarization The British, French, Belgian, and Italian governments protested the German government's violation of the Locarno Treaties. The League of Nations also noted this violation of international law. The threat of war loomed between Germany and France, but the crisis dissipated after the British government decided not to participate in economic sanctions against Germany. Chancellor Adolf Hitler's general proposals for a new security agreement to guarantee West European frontiers fell through when he refused to negotiate a similar agreement for Eastern Europe.
March 14-24, 1936 Ninety-First League Council Session/First Meeting The League of Nations Council held the first meeting of the ninety-first (extraordinary) session in London.
March 19, 1936 Albanian-Italian Economic Agreements The Albanian and Italian governments signed a new series of agreements on financial and trade relations, which provided the Italians with even greater control over the country.
March 23, 1936 Three Power Pact of Rome The Austrian, Hungarian, and Italian governments signed the Three-Power Pact in Rome in an effort to counter the growing power of Germany in central Europe.
March 25, 1936 London Naval Agreement The British, French, and U.S. governments signed a new naval agreement after Italian and Japanese delegates abandoned the negotiations. Under the terms of the agreement, no quantitative limitation was set, but the signatory states accepted limitations of tonnage and gun size for each ship category. The treaty provided for only very minor limitations made largely ineffective by numerous "escape clauses."
April 1936 Formation of the Arab High Committee in Palestine To oppose Jewish claims in Palestine, the Arabs established the Arab High Commission. By this time, Arab demonstrations and riots had reached a critical level, resulting in an open war against the Jews. While four Arab leaders called for peace negotiations in August, the Arab High Commission instituted a general strike.
April 1, 1936 Austrian Conscription In violation of the terms of the Treaty of St. Germain, the Austrian government reintroduced military conscription. The Austrian government sought to build a military force that was more reliable than the Heimwehr.
April 1, 1936 British Letters of Reassurance The British government sent "letters of reassurance" to the Belgian and French governments, assuring them of British support in the event of a future war with Germany.
April 2, 1936 Austro-Czechoslovak Trade Agreement One result of Czechoslovak Prime Minister Hodza's visit to Vienna was the signing of a trade agreement as a means to promote cooperation between the two states
April 2, 1936 Saudi-Iraqi Treaty of Non-Aggression and Arab Brotherhood The Saudi Arabian and Iraqi governments signed a treaty of non-aggression and Arab brotherhood, which became the basis for a series of pacts between Arab states. All of the signatories were united in their stand on the future of Palestine. These agreements also promoted the concept of Pan-Arabism and discussions on the formation of an Arab federation.
April 8, 1936 Russo-Mongolian Mutual Assistance Treaty In response to growing Japanese power in the Far East, the Soviet and Mongolian governments signed a Treaty of Mutual Assistance.
April 10, 1936 Spanish Cortes Removal of President Zamora The Cortes voted to oust President Alcala Zamora for exceeding his powers. In his stead, Manuel Azana was elected president.
April 11, 1936 Turkish Request to Fortify the Straits Due to international tensions, the Turkish government appealed to the signatories of the Lausanne Treaty to revise the agreement by allowing the Turkish military to fortify the Straits. The request led to the Montreux International Conference in July.
April 20, 1936 Ninety-First League Council Session/Second Meeting The League of Nations Council held the second meeting of the ninety-first (extraordinary) session in Geneva.
April 20-May 2, 1936 Conference of Central Authorities of Middle East and Far Eastern Authorities on the Traffic of Women The League of Nations hosted a conference in Bandoeng in the Dutch East Indies to abolish traffic in women in the Middle East and the Far East.
April 22, 1936 Representation of Natives Act in South Africa The South African parliament finally clarified the role of natives in the government. Natives retained the right to register as voters in the Cape Province, but this right was not extended to the other three provinces. Instead, native voters signed up on separate electoral rolls and could elect three Europeans to represent their interests in the Union Parliament. The act also established a native representative council (composed of 22 members of which twelve were elected), but the council was limited to an advisory role.
April 28, 1936 Death of King Fuad of Egypt The death of King Fuad of Egypt ended royalist intrigues in Egyptian government as his son, Farouk, became the new king. King Farouk quickly became a popular ruler during the early years of his reign.
April 28-May 19, 1936 Thirty-Seventh Session of the Permanent Court of International Justice The Permanent Court of International Justice held its thirty-seventh session in the Hague.
April 30, 1936 Royal Navy Rearmament Program The British government announced plans to construct 38 new warships in light of the world crisis. This program was the largest British shipbuilding effort since 1921 and the advent of naval disarmament conferences.
May 1936 German-Yugoslav Barter Agreement The German and Yugoslav governments concluded an economic agreement to promote trade between the two countries. The Yugoslav government found this new arrangement necessary in light of the significant decline in trade with Italy as the result of Yugoslavia's imposition of economic sanctions during the Ethiopian crisis. Closer trade relations with Germany represented a first step towards rapprochement between Germany and Yugoslavia, a decision that was unpopular among the Yugoslav people.
May 1, 1936 Popular Front Established in Argentina Several leftist groups combined to form a Popular Front in Argentina. Despite this action, fascist organizations continued to gain popular support in the republic.
May 2, 1936 National Elections in Egypt The Nationalists won a major victory in the Egyptian elections and established a new Wafd cabinet under Nahas Pasha. The ministry began negotiations with Britain regarding the withdrawal of British influence in the kingdom.
May 3, 1936 French Parliamentary Elections The Popular Front in France achieved a majority of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, which led to the formation of the first Popular Front ministry under Leon Blum.
May 5, 1936 Italian Occupation of Addis Ababa The Italian army entered the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, which finally ended the Ethiopian War. The Italians employed armor, artillery, poison gas, and air power to subdue the Ethiopians and incorporated the country into the Italian empire. Emperor Halie Selassie fled to the coast and escaped to Palestine and, eventually, England. The end of the war marked the complete collapse of the League of Nations as an effective political organization. Although Ethiopia was a member of the League, the international organization abandoned the country in the face of Italian aggression. Coupled with Japanese aggression in Manchuria, it was clear that military force could overwhelm world opinion and circumvent economic sanctions.
May 7, 1936 Saudi-Egyptian Agreement The Saudi Arabian and Egyptian governments signed a treaty whereby the Egyptians officially recognized the Saudi annexation of Hejaz.
May 9, 1936 Italian Annexation of Ethiopia The Italian government officially proclaimed the annexation of all of Ethiopia into the Italian empire. King Emmanuel assumed the title of Emperor of Ethiopia and the Italians combined Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Italian Somaliland into a new colony called Italian East Africa. The Italians then began a pacification program to establish firm control over the new colony. The Italians built posts and forts across the occupied territory, linked by new roads. They faced a major challenge in terms of defeating the native forces who remained in the field and the Italian army began a program to disarm the Ethiopians. The Ethiopians undertook a guerilla war against the Italians, launching a number of small raids. The incorporation of Ethiopia into the Italian empire ended that state's participation in the League of Nations.
May 11-13, 1936 Ninety-Second League Council Session/First Meeting The League of Nations Council held the first meeting of the ninety-second (extraordinary) session in London.
May 14, 1936 Guatemalan Withdrawal from the League The government of Guatemala informed the League of Nations of its intention of withdrawing from the organization.
May 14, 1936 Schuschnigg Consolidation of Power in Austria Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg forced Prince Ernest Stahremberg, commander of the Heimwehr, to resign as Vice Chancellor and leader of the Fatherland Front. This move eliminated Chancellor Schuschnigg's only real rival for power.
May 23, 1936 Australian Tariff Increase The Australian government imposed a new and higher tariff rate policy which replaced the more modest tariff rates of 1932. The new trade policy resulted in considerable friction with the Japanese government as Japanese textile exports were seriously hurt by the new program.
May 24, 1936 Belgian Parliamentary Elections Despite the reelection of Government of National Unity, led by Prime Minister Paul Van Zeeland, the Rexists, under Leon Degrelle, won 21 seats. The Rexists were Belgian fascists and began to make expand their political base in the kingdom.
May 27-30, 1936 Preliminary Conference for the Pacific Regulation of International Problems In an effort to save arbitration and mediation as the primary means to avoid conflict, the League of Nations held a conference in Madrid on this issue.
May 31, 1936 Formation of National Front in Argentina Several groups representing the Right formed the National Front in Argentina in support of the government. The National Front favored the establishment of a conservative dictatorship in the republic.
June 1936 Southwest African Government Committee Report In response to the Southwest African petition to join the Union of South Africa as the fifth province, the South African legislature sent a committee to investigate the political situation in the mandate. The committee reported that the existing government in Southwest Africa was a failure and there was no obstacle for the incorporation of the mandate into the Union. Despite the findings of the committee, the Union Parliament decided not to take action to incorporate Southwest Africa.
June 1, 1936 Austrian State Visit to Rome During Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg's state visit to Rome, Premier Benito Mussolini recommended a compromise measure to relieve tensions between Austria and Germany, which became the Austro-German Agreement of July 1936. Premier Mussolini sought to secure the good will of Germany in response to the Ethiopian campaign.
June 2, 1936 National Guard Revolt in Nicaragua General Anastasio Somoza, commander of the National Guard, deposed President Juan Sacasa. General Somoza would become the new president and virtual dictator of the country. He proceeded with the outmost vigor to weed out Communists and other radicals in Nicaragua.
June 3-July 25, 1936 Thirty-Eighth Session of the Permanent Court of International Justice The Permanent Court of International Justice held its thirty-eighth session in the Hague.
June 4-24, 1936 Twentieth Session of the International Labor Conference The International Labor Organization (BIT) held its twentieth session in Geneva, under the chairmanship of Dr. C.V. Bramsnaes (Denmark). The delegates adopted three conventions which addressed the regulation of special work recruitment systems, reduction of public work hours, and annual paid holidays.
June 5, 1936 First Popular Front Government in France Leon Blum organized the first Popular Front government in France, composed of Socialists and Radical Socialists, with the support of French Communists. The new government introduced a wide program of social reforms which strongly supported workers' rights and welfare. These policies simultaneously raised the hositility of capitalists and employers. The rapid increase in production costs resulted in rising prices and the franc fell as capital fled the country in large amounts. The Popular Front faced a wide range of problems in foreign policy as well in terms of the German remilitarization of the Rhineland, the Italian victory in Ethiopia, the collapse of the League of Nations, and the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. The French government began a massive rearmament program to modernize the French military and the state had to begin a major fortification project on the Belgian frontier after the Belgians declared their neutrality. Blum strove to restore waning Anglo-French relations after the serious debacle in Laval's Italian policy.
June 8-26, 1936 Conference for the Repression of Illicit Traffic in Dangerous Drugs To reduce the traffic in dangerous drugs, the League of Nations sponsored a conference in Geneva.
June 12, 1936 Reorganization of the Bank of France As part of the Popular Front's social program, the Blum ministry reorganized, and eventually nationalized, the Bank of France.
June 19, 1936 IRA Declared Illegal in the Irish Free State The Irish government proclaimed the Irish Republican Army illegal.
June 22, 1936 Honduran Withdrawal from the League The government of Honduras informed the League of Nations of its intentions of withdrawing from the organization.
June 25-July 4, 1936 Ninety-Second League Council Session/Second Meeting The League of Nations Council held the second meeting of the ninety-second (extraordinary) session in Geneva.
June 26, 1936 Nicaraguan Withdrawal from the League The government of Nicaragua informed the League of Nations of its intentions of withdrawing from the organization.
June 26-July 4, 1936 Ninety-Second League Council Session The League of Nations Council held its second meeting of the ninety-second session in Geneva.
June 30, 1936 Suppression of Fascists in France The Popular Front ministry moved against Fascists in France by suppressing these political organizations.
June 30-July 4, 1936 Sixteenth League Assembly Session/Second Meeting The League of Nations Assembly held the second meeting of the sixteenth session in Geneva.
July 2-4, 1936 Intergovernmental Conference on the Adoption of a Judicial Statute for German Refugees To address the growing number of German refugees, the League of Nations held a conference in Geneva to assist the expatriates receive legal status during their transit.
July 4, 1936 End of League Sanctions against Italy The League Council voted to end economic sanctions against Italy with the collapse of Ethiopia. The cancellation of economic sanctions against an aggressor state marked the failure of collective security under the League and was a harbinger of conflict in the upcoming years.
July 11, 1936 Austro-German Agreement The German and Austrian governments signed an agreement which ended several years of intense bitterness between the two states. Chancellor Adolf Hitler promised to respect Austrian sovereignty and to abstain from future interference in Austrian affairs. In return, the Austrian government vowed to implement a more "German" foreign policy. The German concessions paved the way for the formation of the Rome-Berlin Axis between Germany and Italy.
July 17, 1936 Nationalization of French Munitions Industry To meet the demands of French labor, the Blum ministry nationalized the republic's munitions industry.
July 18, 1936 Beginning of Spanish Civil War The Spanish military mounted a coup against the Republican government in Spain, with the active support of the German and Italian governments. The war began when the army commanders (General Emilio Mola and General Francisco Franco) at Mellila in Spanish Morocco revolted and the coup rapidly spread to the garrison cities in Spain (Cadiz, Seville, Saragossa, and Burgos). In Madrid and Barcelona, the government maintained control and the insurgents could not seize immediate control of the country. All of the leftist parties united in resistance and the Republicans were able to regroup, with the assistance of the Soviet Union. The League of Nations proved powerless to end the fighting, but the British and French governments attempted to quarantine the fighting by drafting an international agreement against intervention (which most powers ignored). The Spanish Civil War helped define Europe into two major camps, the fascists and non-fascists.
July 19, 1936 Nationalist Chinese Gain Control of Guangdong General Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists established control over Guangdong (Kwangtung) in spite of Japanese support to his opponents. By capturing Guangdong, the Nationalists were able to secure their control of southern China.
July 20, 1936 Montreux International Conference In light of the Ethiopian crisis and Turkish support for League sanctions against Italy, the signatories of the Lausanne Treaty met in Montreux to consider the Turkish request to fortify the Straits. All of the signatories, with the exception of Italy (which did not vote), agreed that the Straits should return to Turkish control. As a result, the Turks recovered their sovereignty over the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. The Turkish government regained responsibility for communications between the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
July 28, 1936 Spanish Confiscation of Religious Property In response to the insurgency, the Republican government confiscated all church property in Spain to consolidate resources in opposition to the military coup. The Republican regime threatened an anti-clericalism policy which convinced Pope Pius XI to eventually recognize the government of General Francisco Franco in August 1937.
July 30, 1936 Establishment of the Junta of National Defense in Spain The Insurgent leaders, General Francisco Franco and General Emilio Mola, set up a Junta of National Defense at Burgos. The initial leader of the military coup, General Jose Sanjurjo, was killed in an airplane accident at the very beginning of the revolt. Generals Franco and Mola enjoyed the support of the bulk of the Spanish army and air force and could call upon Moorish troops in Spanish Morocco. The Portuguese government, under Olivera Salazar, immediately sided with the Insurgents and became a major supply route for the Nationalist army. Premier Benito Mussolini took an active role providing the Insurgents with troops and equipment, declaring that Italy could not permit the establishment of a Communist government in the Mediterranean. Chancellor Adolf Hitler openly sided with the Insurgents as well, supplying General Franco with armaments and technical experts (the number of German "volunteers" were small in comparison to the Italian contingent). Premier Josef Stalin responded by sending aircraft and other military supplies to the Loyalist forces. The Spanish Civil War soon became a battlefield of rival ideologies as German and Italian "volunteers" arrived to join the Insurgents while the Soviet Union supplied the Republican government with military equipment and advisors.
August 2, 1936 French Call for Non-Intervention in Spain The French government called on the international community to resist intervention in the Spanish Civil War.
August 4, 1936 Greek Military Coup A political vacuum in Greece emerged with the deaths of General George Kondylis (January 31st) and Eleutherios Venizelos (March 18th in Paris). On April 13th, General John Metaxas became the prime minister of Greece. He led a military coup and declared himself dictator, proclaimed marital law, and dissolved the parliament. He established a rigid regime and eliminated political opposition with his support based squarely on the Greek army. General Metaxas instituted social reforms and a huge public works program which included a rearmament program. In foreign affairs, General Metaxas drew closer to Germany through the negotiation of a series of barter agreements, but simultaneously attempted to maintain the good will of Britain and France. He maintained the policy of strong relations with Turkey.
August 11, 1936 Nationalist Chinese Gain Guangzhou General Chiang Kai-shek and Nationalist Chinese forces entered Guangzhou (Canton), a key city that united almost all of China under Nationalist rule.
August 15, 1936 Spanish Nationalists Capture of Badajoz The Insurgents captured Badajoz and launched a major offensive through the Tagus Valley to Talaverna and Toledo, relieving the Nationalist garrison in September.
August 19-23, 1936 Trotskyist Show Trials in Moscow Premier Josef Stalin ordered a new trial for Grigori Zinoviev, Leo Kamenev, and a group of their followers for plotting with foreign powers against the Communist regime in Russia. Already found guilty of state treason in January 1935, these men openly confessed their support for Leon Trotsky and their conspiracy to the astonishment of world opinion. Upon conviction, sixteen were immediately executed.
August 24, 1936 German Conscription Law The German government adopted a law which required two-years of compulsory military service in an effort to expand the size of the German armed forces.
August 27, 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty The British and Egyptian governments signed a treaty which was very favorable to Egyptian Nationalist goals. The British agreed to withdraw their military forces from the kingdom, with the exception of a 10,000 man garrison to protect the Suez Canal Zone (in the event of war, the British had the right to augment this force). The British were also permitted to keep a naval base at Alexandria for eight years. The British agreed to negotiate the abolition of the capitulations in Egypt and Egyptian immigrants received unrestricted access to the Sudan. In return, Egyptian troops would evacuate the Sudan and the Egyptians accepted a 20-year treaty of alliance with Britain. Egypt would become a member of the League of Nations as a result of this treaty.
August 29, 1936 Resignation of Romanian Foreign Minister Titulescu Members of the Right parties in Romania, and supporters of Germany and National Socialist ideals, forced the resignation of Foreign Minister Nicholas Titulescu. The former prime minister promoted close connections with France, Russia, and the Little Entente against Germany. Despite the resignation, the regency attempted to maintain friendly relations with France and Czechoslovakia by purchasing Czechoslovak armaments using French loans.
September 1936 Hitler's Denunciation of Communism In a speech at Nuremberg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler stridently denounced Bolshevism and declared his goals of seizing Russian territory for German expansion.
September 4, 1936 Spanish Nationalists Seized Irun The Insurgents occupied Irun in northern Spain. On the same day, Largo Caballero formed a Popular Front government in Madrid in support of the Spanish republic. This regime included Catalan and Basque Nationalists in the new government.
September 6, 1936 Nationalist Chinese Gain Control of Guangxi General Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists established control over the southern province of Guangxi (Kwangsi). The local provincial leaders demanded that Chiang begin a war against the Japanese, but he believed that the Nationalists were still not prepared to start a war.
September 9, 1936 Franco-Syrian Treaty of Friendship and Alliance The French and Syrian governments signed a treaty of friendship and alliance which marked the beginning of Syrian independence. The French mandate was scheduled to end within three years and Syria was to be admitted into the League of Nations. The new Syrian state would include Jebel Druse, Alouite, and Alexandretta, with special status. Lebanon would retain its "individuality" in relation to the Syrian state.
September 9, 1936 Non-Intervention Committee Meeting in London Members of the Non-Intervention Committee met in London to discuss means to prevent foreign intervention in the Spanish Civil War. Despite the efforts of the international community, the Germans, Italians, and Russians would send troops and equipment to assist both sides in the civil war.
September 10, 1936 German Anti-Soviet Propaganda Aimed at Czechoslovakia Dr. Josef Goebbels, the German Minister of Propaganda, launched a public propaganda campaign against Czechoslovakia based on the Czechoslovak-Soviet Mutual Assistance Pact of May 1935. The Germans accused the Czechoslovaks of harboring Soviet military aircraft and providing airfields to the Soviet air force. Despite Czechoslovak protests, the Germans expanded the propaganda program and denounced the Czechoslovak government. The Czechoslovak government expanded its armament program and began the construction of strong fortifications along the German border.
September 12, 1936 Spanish Nationalists Capture of San Sebastian Insurgent forces gained control of San Sebastian, which gave the Spanish army control of the Basque region of Spain.
September 17-23, 1936 Intergovernmental Conference for a Convention for the Use of Radio Broadcasting to Promote Peace In an effort to use radio broadcasting as a means of peace education, the League of Nations hosted a conference in Geneva to develop a plan of action.
September 18-26, 1936 Ninety-Third League Council Session The League of Nations Council held its ninety-third session in Geneva.
September 21-October 10, 1936 Seventeenth League Assembly Session The League of Nations Assembly held its seventeenth session in Geneva.
September 26, 1936 Devaluation of the Swiss Franc In response to the French government's decision to devalue the French franc, the Swiss government took similar steps with the Swiss franc. The devaluation spurred the Swiss economy resulting in an economic revival.
September 27, 1936 Swiss Abandonment of the Gold Standard The Swiss government took the franc off the gold standard in an effort to further stimulate the Swiss economy.
September 27, 1936 Dutch Abandonment of the Gold Standard The Dutch government took the guilder off the gold standard in an attempt to spur the Dutch economy.
September 28, 1936 Spanish Nationalists Relief of Toledo Insurgent forces relieved the army garrison from a ten-week siege by Spanish Loyalists of the Alcazar fortress.
October 1936 German Four-Year Plan The German government announced a four-year economic plan designed to develop and expand the national economic and financial system. Under this plan, General Hermann Goering became an economic dictator.
October 1936 Twenty-Second Session of the International Labor Conference The International Labor Organization (BIT) held its twenty-second session in Geneva, under the chairmanship of Paal Berg (Norway). During these sessions, the delegates addressed the issues of manning ships and the hours of work at sea, as well as the minimum age of children as sailors employed at sea.
October 1, 1936 Franco Appointed Chief of the Spanish State The Insurgents proclaimed General Franco as the Chief of the Spanish State and leader of the Nationalist movement.
October 1, 1936 Japanese Seven Secret Demands The Japanese issued a series of secret demands to the Nationalist government and threatened immediate invasion of north and central China. The demands included the integration of Japanese troops in Chinese forces to fight Communists anywhere in China (a demand which would allow the Japanese to send military units across the country); the employment of Japanese advisors in all branches of Chinese government; autonomy for the five northern Chinese provinces; and a reduction of Chinese tariffs to the 1928 level. The Japanese dispatched troops to Shanghai, but the Nationalist government refused to acquiesce to these terms.
October 1, 1936 Soviet Accession to the London Naval Convention The Soviet government joined the American, British, and French governments in signing the London Naval Convention of 1936.
October 2, 1936 Devaluation of the French Franc The French government finally passed a bill which devalued the value of the franc, although the legislation did not fix the franc's new gold content. Since the implementation of the new social policies under the Popular Front, production costs greatly increased in France and prices rose steadily. At the same time, capital fled the republic which undermined the value of the franc. Only with the cooperation of the British and U.S. governments were the French able to avert violent fluctuations in their foreign exchange transactions.
October 2-10, 1936 Ninety-Fourth League Council Session The League of Nations Council held its ninety-fourth session in Geneva.
October 5, 1936 Devaluation of the Italian Lire The cost of fighting a war in Ethiopia and sending troops to Spain, coupled with the demand for more armaments, took a heavy toll on the Italian economy. As a result, the Italian government was forced to devalue the lire and introduce a variety of levies on capital. Military intervention in Spain alienated the Italian government from Britain and France, increasing tensions in the Mediterranean region. As a result, Premier Mussolini had no option but to draw closer to Germany.
October 6, 1936 Turkish Rioting in Syria The Turkish population in Alexandretta started riots in protest against the arrangements outlined in the Franco-Syrian Treaty of Friendship and Alliance. The Turkish government aggravated the situation and talks began between the Turkish and French governments to find a solution to Turkish minority problems. This led to the Franco-Turkish agreement of July 1938.
October 6-24, 1936 Twenty-First Session of the International Labor Conference The International Labor Organization (BIT) held its twenty-first session in Geneva, under the chairmanship of Paal Berg (Norway). The delegates approved conventions on the requirements for masters and officers on merchant ships, annual pay for holidays for seamen, the liability of shipowners in cases of sickness, injury, or death, sickness insurance for seamen, and work hours for seamen.
October 8, 1936 Basque Home Rule The Popular Front government in Madrid adopted home rule for the Basque region of Spain, establishing the first autonomous Basque government under President Jose Aguirre.
October 10, 1936 Austrian Dissolution of the Heimwehr Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg disbanded the Heimwehr and transferred the members to the Fatherland Front militia. He expelled the Heimwehr members of his cabinet, eliminating that organization as a political force.
October 12, 1936 End of Arab General Strike in Palestine The Arab High Commission called off a general strike after the British dispatched additional troops to stop the fighting in Palestine. The British also appointed the Peel Commission to investigate the political situation and to take evidence during the autumn of 1936. The Arabs boycotted most of the proceedings of the commission.
October 14, 1936 Belgian Withdrawal from the French Alliance The Belgian government announced its withdrawal from the military alliance with France and the resumption of Belgium's liberty of action in foreign affairs. The Belgian government's decision reflected Germany's remilitarization of the Rhineland and the Franco-Soviet alliance. The kingdom sought to remain neutral in any future wars between Germany and France to avoid the catastrophe of World War I.
October 18, 1936 Schuschnigg Proclaimed Front Fuehrer Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg of Austria was proclaimed Front Fuehrer, consolidating his dictatorial powers over the republic.
October 22, 1936 Belgian Proclamation of Martial Law To deal with the excesses of the Rexists, the Belgian government proclaimed martial law and clamped down on the fascists. Leon Degrelle was arrested in the crackdown.
October 25, 1936 Rome-Berlin Axis Pact The Italian Foreign Minister, Count Nobile Ciano, conducted a two-day visit to Germany which resulted in the Rome-Berlin Axis Pact. The agreement strengthened the positions of Germany and Italy against Britain and France by establishing a league of revisionist powers against a league of status quo states. Premier Benito Mussolini proclaimed the agreement in Rome on November 1st.
October 26, 1936 Italian-German Agreement on Austria Due to growing tensions with the British and French over military intervention in the Spanish Civil War, the Italians signed an alliance with Germany which served as the foundation for Italian-German cooperation. This agreement marked the beginning of the Rome-Berlin Axis. The Italians extended a free hand to the Germans regarding the future of Austria and the German government recognized Italy's conquest of Ethiopia.
October 26-December 16, 1936 Thirty-Ninth Session of the Permanent Court of International Justice The Permanent Court of International Justice held its thirty-ninth session in the Hague.
October 27, 1936 Scandinavia's Day In light of the collapse of the League of Nations and the general rearmament of Europe, the leaders of the Scandinavian countries agreed to take steps to increase their security.
November 3, 1936 New Irish Constitution After abolishing the Senate in June, the Irish adopted a new constitution which restored the Senate as a functional body. In the new fundamental law, Ireland's relationship to Britain was deleted with the elimination of the chief functions of the Governor-General, although the King was retained for external relations.
November 3, 1936 Swiss Suppression of Communists The Swiss government took new steps to repress Communism in Switzerland and several cantons made the Communist Party illegal.
November 6, 1936 Spanish Nationalist Siege of Madrid Insurgent forces encircled Madrid and the Republican government moved to Valencia. Despite heavy fighting in the suburbs of the city and Nationalist air attack, Loyalist forces dug in and defended the capital. The Nationalist offensive ground down, resulting in a siege of the city.
November 9-12, 1936 Vienna Conference Representatives of the Rome Protocol States (Austria, Hungary, and Italy) met in Vienna to discuss European tensions. The conference marked the gradual consolidation of Italian power in the Danubian Basin.
November 10, 1936 Communist Party Outlawed in Argentina The Argentinean government declared the Communist Party illegal. This move reflected the growing power of the Right in the country.
November 13, 1936 Franco-Lebanese Treaty The French and Lebanese governments signed a treaty which recognized the special social and political character of Lebanon in relation to the new Syrian state.
November 14, 1936 German Denouncement of International Waterways Under the Versailles Treaty, major German rivers and canals came under international control. Chancellor Adolf Hitler announced that the German government would resume control over waterways in Germany. Only the Czechoslovak, French, and Yugoslav governments protested against this unilateral action, otherwise the denouncement caused barely a ripple of protest despite another breach of the international treaty system.
November 17, 1936 German-Japanese Pact The German and Japanese government signed an agreement against Communism, which, in practice, was an extension of the Rome-Berlin Axis and a counterweight to the Franco-Russian alliance.
November 18, 1936 German and Italian Recognition of the Nationalist Spanish Government The German and Italian governments officially recognized General Francisco Franco's government as the new regime in Spain. The British and French governments continued to maintain their embargo on military supplies to the Republican government and attempted to organize the other powers to embrace a policy of non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War for fear that the war would escalate into a general European conflict. Twenty-seven nations, including Germany and Italy, agreed to participate in a non-intervention committee in London. They drew up a supervision scheme, but the plan proved ineffective as powers who wished to participate in the fighting ignored the agreement. The Italian government slowly expanded their public support for the Franco government and sent approximately 75,000 troops to Spain.
November 23, 1936 Mexican Expropriation Law The Mexican government passed a new expropriation law which authorized the state to seize private property when necessary for the "public or social welfare." This law would lead to tensions between the U.S. and Mexican governments when Mexico began to expropriate the property of American and foreign corporations.
November 23, 1936 Preparatory Diplomatic Conference for the Protection of the Rights of Authors Concerned for the protection of authors' intellectual rights, the League of Nations hosted a conference to address this issue in Paris.
November 25, 1936 Anti-Commintern Pact The German and Japanese governments, followed by the Italian and Japanese governments, signed an agreement designed to combat Communism and counteract the Third International. This fascist political agreement pledged common action to defeat the world Communist threat. This agreement further drove the Soviets to seek support from the democratic states to avoid political isolation.
December 1936 Belgian Military Manpower Expansion The Belgian government extended the term of service for infantry troops from seven months to 18 months in a plan to expand the size of the Belgian army.
December 1-23, 1936 Pan American Conference On the opening day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the delegates at the Pan American Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, outlining his plan for an American peace program. For the first time, the U.S. government accepted the principle of consultation with other American states in the event that the peace of the hemisphere was threatened. Secretary of State Cordell Hull then called for a neutrality pact for American nations to contain future war in the Western Hemisphere. The delegates drew up a convention, the Non-Intervention Protocol, which called for a common policy of neutrality in the event of conflict between American states. The protocol was signed on December 16th.
December 5, 1936 Adoption of New Soviet Constitution In an effort to improve relations with the Western democracies, the Soviet Union adopted a new constitution. The Soviet Federation was reorganized, composed of Russia, the Ukraine, White Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Turkmenia, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kirghistan. A number of political reforms were included such as universal suffrage, direct elections to higher assemblies, equal votes, proportional voting, and the secret ballot. A two-chamber parliament, the Supreme Soviet, consisting of the Council of Nationalities and the Union Council, replaced the Congresses of Soviets. When the Supreme Soviet was not in session, a Presidium acted on its behalf. The constitution guaranteed civil rights but the Communist Party remained the only legal political party in the country.
December 10, 1936 Abdication of King Edward VIII King Edward VIII was the first British monarch to abdicate the throne voluntarily, as the result of a constitutional crisis. The Baldwin ministry and the Dominion governments refused to accept a morganatic marriage between Edward VIII and Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American whose second divorce was not yet finalized. The king already had significant differences of opinion with his chief ministers on several issues (primarily social policy) and decided that he would rather surrender the throne than lose the right to shape his own life. He was succeeded by his brother, King George VI, and Edward became the Duke of Windsor, marrying Mrs. Simpson in June 1937 in France.
December 10-16, 1936 Ninety-Fifth League Council Session The League of Nations Council held its ninety-fifth (extraordinary) session in Geneva.
December 12-25, 1936 Kidnapping of Chiang Kai-Sheik General Chang Hsueh-liang kidnapped General Chiang Kai-shek in Xi'an (Sian) in an effort to force Chiang to declare war against the Japanese. There were demonstrations of support for Chiang across China, including the Communist Chinese. These demonstrations forced Chang to release Chiang and Chiang's support reflected a great deal of unity among the Chinese people.
December 22, 1936 Ratification of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty Despite criticism from a number of different groups, the Egyptian parliament ratified the Anglo-Egyptian treaty.
December 26, 1936 Ratification of the Franco-Syrian Treaty A new Nationalist government in Syria, elected on November 30th by a huge majority, ratified the Franco-Syrian Treaty of Friendship and Alliance.
December 27, 1936 Japanese-Australian Trade Agreement The Australian and Japanese governments negotiated a textile trade agreement in response to the Australian tariff increase of May. The Australian government agreed to import as many Japanese textile products up to the 1934 level, while the Japanese pledged to purchase a specified amount of Australian wool.

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Blandine Blukacz-Louisfert, Chief, UNOG Registry, Records and Archives Unit, United Nations