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Did The League of Nations Have any chance of long Term Success?

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Introduction

Did The League of Nations Have any chance of long Term Success? Background The League of Nations came into being after the end of World War One. The League of Nation's task was simple - to ensure that war never broke out again. After the turmoil of the Versailles Treaty, many looked to the League to bring stability to the world. America entered World War One in 1917. The country as a whole and the president - Woodrow Wilson in particular - was horrified by the slaughter that had taken place in what was meant to be a civilised part of the world. The only way to avoid a repetition of such a disaster, was to create an international body whose sole purpose was to maintain world peace and which would sort out international disputes as and when they occurred. This would be the task of the League of Nations. After the devastation of the war, support for such a good idea was great (except in America where isolationism was taking root). The organisation of the League of Nations The League of Nations was to be based in Geneva, Switzerland. This choice was natural as Switzerland was a neutral country and had not fought in World War One. ...read more.

Middle

They had traditionally belonged to Finland but most of the islanders wanted to be governed by Sweden. Neither Sweden nor Finland could come to a decision as to who owned the islands and in 1921 they asked the League to adjudicate. The League's decision was that they should remain with Finland but that no weapons should ever be kept there. Both countries accepted the decision and it remains in force to this day. Upper Silesia (1921) The Treaty of Versailles had given the people of Upper Silesia the right to have a referendum on whether they wanted to be part of Germany or part of Poland. In this referendum, 700,000 voted for Germany and 500,000 for Poland. This close result resulted in rioting between those who expected Silesia to be made part of Germany and those who wanted to be part of Poland. The League was asked to settle this dispute. After a six-week inquiry, the League decided to split Upper Silesia between Germany and Poland. The League's decision was accepted y both countries and by the people in Upper Silesia. Memel (1923) Memel was/is a port in Lithuania. Most people who lived in Memel were Lithuanians and, therefore, the government of Lithuania believed that the port should be governed by it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many of the groups that work for the United Nations now, grew out of what was established by the League. Teams were sent to the Third World to dig fresh water wells, the Health Organisation started a campaign to wipe out leprosy. This idea - of wiping out from the world a disease - was taken up by the United Nations with its smallpox campaign. Work was done in the Third World to improve the status of women there and child slave labour was also targeted. Drug addiction and drug smuggling were also attacked. These problems are still with us in the 21st century - so it would be wrong to criticise the League for failing to eradicate them. If we cannot do this now, the League had a far more difficult task then with more limited resources. The greatest success the League had involving these social issues, was simply informing the world at large that these problems did exist and that they should be tackled. No organisation had done this before the League. These social problems may have continued but the fact that they were now being actively investigated by the League and were then taken onboard by the United Nations must be viewed as a success. ...read more.

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