Mandates Essay

2142 words - 9 pages

A. Plan of the Investigation
This investigation evaluates the extent to which the victors of World War I (WWI) benefitted from the mandate system in the Treaty of Versailles. To assess the extent to which territory in the former German and Ottoman Empires given to Britain and France benefitted them, this investigation focuses on specific territories gained and the economic benefits of the industries established in these areas; to provide support for the contrary, it will also focus on the religious and ethnic conflicts that arose from oppressive ruling by Mandatories and illustrate how this diminished the economic benefits of the victors. To supplement the background information, the details of establishing the mandate system, including the various classes of mandates, are considered within this investigation, as well as various perspectives and opinions on this system at the time of creation. However, much of British and French postwar occupation of territories that determined which mandates they received will be excluded from this investigation.
The two sources selected for evaluation, Syria and Lebanon under French Mandate by Stephen Hemsley Longrigg and The International Mandates by Aaron Margalith, are evaluated for their origins, purposes, limitations, and values.

B. Summary of Evidence
For years prior to the start of WWI, economic motives incited tension between world powers and drove countries to fight over valued territory. For many countries, their status as industrial powers depended on their ability to exploit acquired colonies for raw materials and industrial space. Advancements in travel technology as well as industrial developments only increased the desire for developed countries to build cheap factories in colonies with cheaper labor and bring these resources back to their mainland (Margalith 1). For that reason, up until the end of WWI, the victors of most wars took control of the territory they occupied during battles and used these areas to support their mainland economies; this became a strategy characteristic of expansionist victors of wars in Europe. However, WWI brought many developments to the game of war; along with revolutionizing battle strategies and weapons, peace talks after the war revolutionized the way war was settled.
Woodrow Wilson occupied peace talks following WWI with detailed outlines of his now famous Fourteen Points, many of which addressed ideas of anti-imperialism and “equality of trade… among all the nations consenting to peace” (Valone 57). Wilson, in point V, advocated a “free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.” (Valone 57). Thus, Wilson was against imperial occupation of acquired territory for selfish...

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