Account For The Sucesses And Failures Of The League Of Nations

2055 words - 8 pages

Account for the successes and failures of the League of Nations.In order to ascertain what the successes and failures of the League of Nations were, and account for them, I intend both to look at the structure of the League of Nations and to look toward the involvement of the League of Nations in World events and discuss what the successes and failures were.On the eighth of January 1918, the President of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson, in his message on the Conditions of Peace given at a joint session of the two houses of the American Congress, identified the "fourteen points" intended to serve as the basis for World peace. He stated in his fourteenth point that "a general association of nations should be formed on the basis of covenants designed to create mutual guarantees of the political independence and territorial integrity of States, large and small equally."1As a consequence, the Paris Peace Conference (January 18th 1919 - January 16th 1920) accepted the proposals for the creation of a League of Nations. On January the 27th, a committee was elected to draught a Covenant. By April the 18th, the Peace Conference unanimously adopted the draft Covenant on the motion of President Wilson. The Covenant consisted of 26 articles which the "contracting parties"2 agreed to, in "order to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security"3. These articles became operating rules for the League, and the covenant also became part of the Treaty of Versailles which ended the First World War in 1919. As the end of the First World War, known at the time as "the Great War"4, was thought to be "the war to end all wars"5. With a total of 8,538,315 6 deaths as a direct result of the First World War, it is blatantly a success of the League.Further successes of the League include the International Labour Organization. It was established in 1919 by the Covenant of the League; and developed and worked to improve working conditions all over the world. It persuaded governments to set a maximum working day and week, specify adequate minimum wages and introduce old age pensions, unemployment and sickness benefits, in order to maintain "fair and humane conditions of labour for men, women and children"7. The International Labour Organisation also "helped make international co-operation in yet another field"8 and for these reasons can be called a success of the League.The International Refugee Organization solved the problem of the thousands of prisoners of war marooned in Russia at the end of the war; about half a million were returned home. After 1933 valuable help was given to thousands fleeing from Nazi persecution in Germany. While the Health Organization worked at investigating the causes of epidemics and was particularly successful in combating typhus in Russia which endangered the health of the rest of Europe. The League drew up Mandates in order to supervise the governments of the territories taken from Germany and...

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