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Foreign Policy Essay

1834 words - 8 pages

The First World War was a global war that involved the opposing alliances of the Allies and the Central Powers that lasted from July 28th, 1914 until November 11th, 1918. The First World War, also known as WWI or The Great War, suffered over 10 million casualties and resulted in the collapse of the old-world empires. The fundamental change to the international system that took place over those four years aided in the formation of actual international relation theories and is a powerful metaphor that modern leaders use for the causes and the outcomes of war. It was during the course of the First World War that ideas for an international organization to prevent future wars began ...view middle of the document...

If the states in dispute failed to listen to the Assembly’s decision, the League could introduce economic sanctions. This would be arranged by the League’s Council. The purpose of this sanction was to financially hit the aggressor nation so that she would have to do as the League required. The logic behind it was to push an aggressor nation towards bankruptcy, so that the people in that state would take out their anger on their government forcing them to accept the League’s decision. The League could order League members not to do any trade with an aggressor nation in an effort to bring that aggressor nation to heel. If this failed, the League could introduce physical sanctions. This meant that military force would be used to put into place the League’s decision. However, the League did not have a military force at its disposal and no member of the League had to provide one under the terms of joining, unlike the current United Nations. Therefore, it could not carry out any threats and any country defying its authority would have been very aware of this weakness. The only two countries in the League that could have provided any military might were Britain and France and both had been severely depleted strength-wise in World War One and could not provide the League with the backing it needed. Also, both Britain and France were limited in the use of their finances to pay for an expanded army, as both were financially hit very hard by World War One. The United States Senate rejected the United States’ involvement in the League, and as a result President Woodrow Wilson was forced to abandon the very institution he advocated so much for. United States did not join the League of Nations despite the potential benefits following World War I because it believed the international system was too unpredictable and would force the U.S into another conflict.
In order to successfully explain the proposed question, this paper will be divided among five sections. The historical background will provide a reference that will be referred to multiple times through the essay. The second section will describe two international relations theories, {theory one and two} as it relates to the U.S not joining the League of Nations. Next, I will identify evidence from Kennedy’s book, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, which is relevant to each theory. Then, I will provide an in-depth analysis as to the reason the United States did not join the League of Nations following World War I using the two international relations theories. Lastly, I will provide a conclusion that will summarize, but offer a theoretical explanation, the motives of the US in not joining the League of Nations.
US and the League of Nations
The League of Nations came into being after the end of World War I. However, the League of Nations can be traced as far back as the 17th century, when plans for a league to keep the peace were proposed. The great philosopher Immanuel Kant foresaw that “piece in the world...

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