• 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)

    Interpretation C, while shown as an interpretation that agrees with the view, does show some benefits offered by Napoleon, ?The methods?Restoration governments.? As mentioned in interpretation D, the Napoleonic Empire helped to lay the foundation for future governments to use successfully.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Major Causes of French Revolution

    4 star(s)

    It was after two years after the war that Calonne, French Financial Minister, was faced with a deficit of nearly a quarter of the nations incomes, declared the state bankrupt and called for drastic measures to overcome it. He believed it wasn't extravagance that was the problem and he believed

  2. Marked by a teacher

    To What Extent was fear of the Gestapo and the SS the main reason ...

    4 star(s)

    Even thought Hitler did have this power now, he didn't seem to have complete control over the state. He had definite control over the civil service, legal system and the local government.

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

    countries, which had been an aim of the French Revolution since the Law of Fraternity, 1792. The conquests also sustained the economy of France, helping to finance the Treasury and ensured that the nation did not go bankrupt. These were huge successes of the Directory and accounted to one of

  1. How did Joseph Stalin rise to power?

    Also, many of the politicians underestimated Stalin due to the fact that he was very quiet and never participated that much, this led to him being described as a 'grey blur' by his political colleagues. As a consequence he was able to do many things, such as form a triumvirate with Kamenev and Zinoviev, and not get noticed.

  2. Was the work of Gustav Stresemann the main reason for the Weimar governments ability ...

    German political culture was still heavily dominated by anti-Semitism, Social Darwinism and notions of white superiority. This was demonstrated to a larger extent through Hitler?s mass support in the later elections. It can thus be argued that Stresemann was in fact unsuccessful in certain aspects of his leadership.

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