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

How far was the League of Nations a complete failure?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐How far was the League of Nations a complete failure? The League of Nations, a former international organisation, was formed after WWI by Woodrow Wilson, in conjunction with his 14 points, to promote worldwide peace and security. As the League of Nations was written into the Treaty of Versailles, the League was bound to uphold their principles. Wilson also thought that the League would persuade nations to uphold their promises made in the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. The main aims of the League (also known as The Covenant of The League) were to discourage aggression from any nation, encourage countries to co-operate, especially in business and trade, increase disarmament and to improve the living and working conditions of people in all parts of the world. Because The League was included in Wilson's 14 points, he was the most enthusiastic and willing to co-operate. Britain and France went along with this to appease Wilson, but were more concerned with their own countries wellbeing rather than that of those who had been defeated during the war. Many signs of weakness within The League were presented very early on, as America would not join, as the American Senate refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles and join, wanting isolation from Europe and it's problems - even though Wilson was the main figure in the creation of The League. ...read more.


Collective Security failed, as Britain and France, along with other members, were more concerned with their own interests. As a result of this, they were reluctant to get involved in disputes involving aggression, as they were unwilling to send troops to fight. During the first few years of The League, there appeared to be a genuine desire for peace after the horrors of World War One. Therefore, the League did have successes, though these tended to be in areas that had little strategic or economic importance. The main strength of the League was that it had been formed by the Treaty of Versailles, and had been agreed by everyone at the conference. The League was successful in the Aaland Islands in 1921. These islands are of equal distance between Finland and Sweden. Originally, they had belonged to Finland, but a majority of the islanders wanted to be governed by a Swedish government. 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 decided that they should remain with Finland but that no weapons should ever be kept there. ...read more.


The Depression in 1929 showed many of the League's members' real intentions - to make certain that the welfare of it's own country was secure, ridding all thought of world peace. As trade was limited during the Depression, the punishment of placing sanctions of significant trading partners was too risky, any government willing to do this put themselves under threat of not being voted in a second term. Faith in the League had detoriated more as the League failed to act successfully in major incidents. The permanent members had failed to uphold the main aims and had betrayed the League; Japan and Italy had disobeyed the principles of the League in the thirties, and Britain and France had no relative interest in the main events concerning the League, deeming the League powerless against strong nations. Hitler and Mussolini observed these failures and their confidence increased; the problems the League faced encouraged the rise of powerful nationalist dictators and militaristic governments - such as Hitler and Mussolini. They were certain that if they acted whilst the League was still weak, they would be successful and the League would be powerless against them. This proved to true, as in the following years after the collapse of the League, Hitler rose to power and gained the position of Chancellor of Germany in 1933, and then dictator, following with WWII. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. Why was the Abyssinian crisis a death blow to the league when the Manchurian ...

    There was no question of who was going to win. One of the main reasons for this was that the league was at least seen to do the right thing in the Manchurian crisis as they condemned Japan for invading and although they didn't do anything about it they did, in the end, came to the right decision.

  2. What Were the Main Criticisms of the League of Nations and To What Extent ...

    to involve the majority of nations in the world, and treat them equally. The Invasion of the Ruhr in 1923 demonstrates one instance in the history of the League where the discrimination against Germany, particularly by Britain and France, had carried on from the War and the Treaty of Versailles.

  1. Why America didn't join the league of nations.

    Its ending in 1946 was because it had some basic and fundamental problems such as dealing with aggression involving major powers. Countries like Japan and Italy were able to just walk over the League of Nations because it had no armed forces of its own and it relied upon the co-operation of its members.

  2. Was the League of Nations a Success or Failure?

    Also the American public didn't want to get caught up in European wars as they could harm the American economy. Vilna (1920) was under Lithuanian government but with 30% of its population being Polish and only 2% being Lithuanian. The Poles took Vilna by force, Lithuania asked for help from

  1. How successful was the League of Nations by 1929.

    The League supported Iraq; Turkey agreed. Greece and Bulgaria (1925) Both these nations have a common border. In 1925, sentries patrolling this Border fired on one another and a Greek soldier was killed. The Greek Army invaded Bulgaria as a result.

  2. Was the league of nations a complete failure?

    The league did not have an army of its own and therefore relied upon member countries to send in their own troops were a situation ever to arise. However, many members particularly Britain and France were reluctant to commit troops which meant that the league lacked the authority it required if it was ever to be a success.

  1. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    Whereas Britain and France were only interested in punishing Germany for supposedly starting the war. Germany would have been happy about the Treaty being based on the fourteen-point plan and sort of expected it, so when it came to when Germany was given the Treaty they were very angry.

  2. The League of Nations: Its achievements and its failures

    However, a bigger problem was facing the Conference- what was to be done about Germany. They had been in the League for six years, and most people agreed that they should be treated more fairly than the Treaty of Versailles.

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