Assessment of the Success of the League of Nations
In 1914 war broke out in Europe. The war ended in 1918 and Germany
solely blamed. The end of the war was signed with the treaty of
Versailles. From the war was born the League of Nations; who helped
nations resolve disputes peacefully without going to war. When the
League was formed, the defeated nations were not invited to join. The
League originally had forty-two members. All forty-two members made up
the assembly, who met once a year. As incidents occurred more often
there was a smaller group of nations who made the council. The council
had four permanent members Britain, France, Italy and Japan. From the
beginning the league had a major weak point, which was the USA’s
refusal to join, ironically it was Woodrow Wilson’s idea to form the
League of Nations.
Most of the League’s successes were in the 1920’s, mainly problems to
do with territory. In 1921 the League was invited to settle a dispute
between Finland and Sweden. In between the countries were the Aaland
Islands; both countries claimed the land belonged to them. The league
awarded Finland the land, this was a success; moreover a lucky
decision. In 1922-3, the League helped Austria and hungry rebuild
their economy. The league succeeded in this situation, as it took
effective actions quickly. In 1925 the League had success in the
Greek-Bulgarian dispute. Was the league a success overall? The league
did have successes with small nations and did prevent war.
The league had theoretically started failing when the USA refused to
join. The USA was the most powerful country in the world at the time.
In 1923, the league was faced with a dilemma. Five Italian surveyors
were shot on the Greek side of the border. The league was feeble and
unfair in their actions and asked Greeks to accept the demands in
order for Italian forced to withdraw their army from Corfu. In 1921
votes took place in Upper Silesia for which country, Germany or
Poland, would take over. The votes favoured Germany, although the
league chose to override the votes and award Germany and Poland.
Germany received more than half of the land, although Poland received
the industrial land. The League was unfair in their decision. This may
have also been one of the points that helped build up Hitler’s power.
In 1920 Vilna was occupied by polish armed forces that refused to
leave. The league wanted to take action against Poland however the
league had no armed forces, the members refused to supply them. This
was a failure for the league and portrayed its weakness. The league
and its members had failed to accomplish their aim at this point. The
agreement of the League states that it is the duty of the council
members to provide armed forced for the Leagues action.
The 1920’s did seem a success for the league as well as...