• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the League of Nations fail?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the League of Nations fail? By Richard Ward wattsvilleblues@hotmail.com The objectives of the League of Nations were to 'promote international co-operation and to achieve peace and security'. The League failed these ideals as early as 1921, when Poland occupied Vilna. It failed these objectives once more in 1923 when Mussolini held Greece ransom by occupying and bombing the island of Corfu. Yet the League was not dissolved until 1946. It continued to meet and its agencies continued their work. It was only after 1936 and the collapse of Abyssinian resistance that public opinion swung against the League on a great scale. Until the early 1930s, the League of Nations had been displayed in a favourable light as a success. The failures at Corfu and Vilna had been overshadowed by successes at the ´┐Żland Islands and in the Greek-Bulgarian war and the booming world economy. Added to that, improvements in international relations had cast a general aura of wellbeing over the world. In hindsight, it is arguable that the League had failed shortly after it had started, but at that time everyone was shocked at the realisation that the League was not everything it said it was. On October 24th 1929, the US stock market in Wall Street crashed. The value of shares plummeted as the stock market was ordered to 'sell at any price'. Herbert Hoover, US President, had advocated the purchase of shares by everyone as 'the final triumph over poverty'. ...read more.

Middle

Economic sanctions damaged the country delivering as much as the one on the receiving. Had economic sanctions been utilised to any significant extent during the depression, it would have been financial suicide on the part of the country employing them. Military sanctions were proven ineffective by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. First of all, Japan was on the other side of the world, a strategic nightmare for co-ordinating French and British troops. Secondly, it is questionable as to whether both countries would have been in the slightest bit interested in trekking to the other side of the world to fight a battle that they would undoubtedly lose. Both countries were suffering enough from the depression without the added financial burden of funding an expeditionary force to Japan. Wilson's 'Moral Force' also did not have any effect upon disarmament. Members of the League were not truly committed; this was proved by the actions of France and Germany in the Geneva Disarmament Conference of 1932-4. France, concerned with Hitler's 'new' Germany and German rearmament, would not disarm on the grounds of national security. Hitler withdrew Germany from the League in 1933 in order to rearm without commitment to the disarmament articles. "President Wilson had come to Europe with a program of peace for all men. His ideal was a very high one, but it involved great difficulties, owing to these century-old hatreds between some races."4 Georges Clemenceau The absence of the United States definitely made a difference to the League - it was the only major world power outside the League. ...read more.

Conclusion

This prompted Mussolini to turn aggressive, thus reminding Hitler that there were two great Fascists at the time. Yet if just one of these causes (long or short term) had not been present, would the League have worked? If there had been sufficient trust between member states and Germany, then there is a very real chance that the League would have succeeded. If there had been trust, though, the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand would not have resulted in the cataclysmic series of events that followed. There would have been no Great War, no Armistice, no fourteen points, no Treaty of Versailles and so on. Some people might argue that the American economy was doomed to failure at some point or other (what goes up must come down etc.) and Hitler was always going to exploit it to its full potential. If Hitler had not risen to power, and the Japanese economy had not collapsed, then the League would have had nothing to trouble it. Such are the complexities of counterfactual history. The League failed in the long term as a result of the deeply ingrained mistrust on the part of its member states, and in the short-term as a result of the Wall Street crash, the depression and ensuing events. 1 Modern day Ethiopia 2 'THE WAY TO PEACE: Wilson and the League of Nations' by Sanderson Beck 3 65 Congress, 3 Session, Senate Document No. 389, pp. 12 4 'THE WAY TO PEACE: Wilson and the League of Nations' by Sanderson Beck ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is a thorough response, with excellent knowledge of the key developments in the League's failure during the 1930s. Occasionally unnecessary narrative precedes the analysis but points are well explained and evaluated. 5 out of 5 stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 06/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the successes and failures of Mussolini's domestic policy.

    5 star(s)

    For Mussolini the control over education was seen as essential, and he wanted to teach all young people the fascist principles of manliness, patriotism and obedience. He also attempted to glorify himself, the Duce, to create a very pro-fascist generation that would be completely disciplined to the state, something that he really desired.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Using these four passages and your own knowledge, assess the view that Napoleons Empire ...

    5 star(s)

    Showing that, once again the benefits of the Napoleonic Empire would not be appreciated until after Napoleon?s reign. So overall, interpretation D is the more useful of the disagreeing interpretations as it mentions a wider spectrum benefits that Napleon offered, from modernization to nationalism, while also staying useful to answering the question throughout the interpretation.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How successful were Nazi economic policies in the years 1933-45?

    4 star(s)

    Therefore the Economic policies by Schacht were questionably deceptive in terms of ensuring economic stability long term, but the Nazi primary aim of rearmament disregarded the needs of German people. So therefore the extent of these policies successes are subjective to their results, which in regards to everyday Germans, the rearmament policy would not have been seen upon favorably.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Major Causes of French Revolution

    4 star(s)

    They were not used to paying taxes and were not about to start. Calonne's plans of reform three main elements. Firstly came the economic and administrative reforms designed to fix once and for all the structural problems troubling the royal finances.

  1. Discuss the success and failure of the Vienna Settlement.

    The statesmen aggress to hold occasional conferences to discuss important issues. In this way I was hoped that disputes could be settled peacefully, without resort to war. Other important achievements were the opening up of European rivers for peaceful use and the abolition of the slave trade.

  2. What were the effects of the First Five Year Plan on Russia?

    was the government that were governing the way in which the Plans were run. It was the government that were feeding off the people because a strong economy would provide a strong power hold for Stalin, which would help to ensure his remaining in power.

  1. To what extent was Bismarck responsible for German unification?

    A war also occurred with France in 1870, but it is the war itself with Austria in 1866, previously promised by Bismarck, which changed the course of German history forever. Talk had been considered of a united Germany, but little came of it, as discussion could not decide whether Austria

  2. What impact did war have on the French Revolution 1789-1799?

    In order to crush resistance to the policies of Total War, levee en masse and requisitioning - introduced to prevent more economic crises, the Revolutionary Tribunals, Representatives-on-mission and surveillance committees were put in place to keep order and crush uprisings.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work