The failure of the League of Nations to do more than slap Mussolini’s fingers, as it had done to the Japanese several years earlier, was inauspicious for the future of world peace. Those who would challenge existing arrangements by force realized the organization was no stronger than its leading powers, Great Britain and France, which meant it was not very strong at all. Both nations had proven irresolute in the face of challenges to collective security. The United States was little more than an interested spectator with regard to developments in Europe, and President Roosevelt had limited maneuverability in the Far East. From the mid-1930s on, fascism in Europe and Japanese militarism in Asia appeared to many as the wave of the future. Only in 1939 did the democracies begin to realize that appeasement of aggression only brought more aggression. Ultimately, their efforts to stop it resulted in the war they had sought desperately to avoid.