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To What Extent was the League of Nations Weakened at Birth

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Introduction

Angus Walker To What Extend was the League of Nations Weakened at Birth? The League of Nations was set up following the First World War, as part of the Treaty of Versailles. The aims of the League were to encourage the separate nations to talk instead of going to war. The notion of the League was part of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, and so in my opinion idealistic, and several factors meant that the strength of the League was severely compromised at its birth. The first and in my opinion largest blow to the League was the absence of the USA from it. Congress had voted twice to withhold the USA from the League in 1919 and then again in 1920 49 votes to 35. The reasons that the USA did not join the League were that they were now, following the war, isolationist; they did not want to get involved with and struggles that did not involve them. ...read more.

Middle

Russia also had a huge industry, and with this extra money the League would be able to function much better. The third and I believe fatal flaw in the League of Nations was that the defeated powers were not invited to join the League. The League was set up as a place to talk about issues instead of taking action, but if the other side to these arguments were not there how could the trouble be talked about? Germany was also resentful at not being included, they felt that they had been punished enough and the countries should not sit down and talk. Due to the absence of America and Russia, Britain and France had to act as leaders. They were not up to the job both financially and militarily. Both of the countries had suffered immensely from the war; Britain was now broke and some of France was now completely destroyed, with the toll for rebuilding the shattered areas in the billions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another flaw with the League's punishments was that if a country sitting on the permanent council liked the country in question, they could veto this move, effectively tying the League's hands behind its back. The League only met once a year, so theoretically decisions could only be made then and so it would take a long time for the League to take any action, such as the Manchurian Crisis. Angus Walker In conclusion I shall say that the League of Nations was hugely crippled at birth, lacking leadership and impetus from America, and money and influence from Russia. Without the defeated countries present the could not discuss the most important problems, and with Britain and France in charge, both severely weakened by the First World War, the League lacked the unbiased outlook that the USA would have provided. I believe that even if everything had worked out perfectly for the League it still would not operate well, but with these huge added flaws I think that the League was unable to function at all. ...read more.

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