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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Essay length: 1411 words

Why America didn't join the league of nations.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Why America didn't join the league Although the League of Nations was much of the work of President Woodrow Wilson America never joined the League of Nations. This was for several reasons, firstly America had suffered casualties in the war, and many people in the USA wanted to keep America out of European affairs. This policy was called isolationism. Joining the league meant that this might involve having to do things that might set back the economy or damage America otherwise. America had had enough of wars and dealing with other countries problems. They also had little or no support for British or French policies or the Treaty of Versailles, which they refused to accept. So although when the League was actually being formed Woodrow Wilson still backed America joining it, by this time and, despite Wilson, America never joined the League. The League of Nations in the 1930s The Disarmament Conference in Geneva 1930-1932 failed. Germany was angry that no other nations were forced to disarm and withdrew from the conference. Countries were expanding their military because of the Depression. There was no trust between countries. The world was not a safe place in the 1930s. Economic recovery in the 1920s meant that countries were less likely to fight each other. However the effects of the Wall Street Crash and the Depression made the work of the League much more difficult.

Middle

Wall street crash and economic problems ended this and tension rose again. Leading members put their own interests first. Britain: High unemployment, didn't want to sort out other problems when it had enough at home. Japan: Depression lead Japan to take over Manchuria (part of China). Italy: Mussolini tried to expand empire. French and British self-interest wouldn't abandon these to support league. Absent powers like USA and Russia. Lacked authority and sanctions inefficient. Sanctions were meant to be the League's biggest weapon but without USA they didn't work. Broken easily. Lack of armed forces. The League of Nations had no armed forces of its own. Britain and France never fought for the league. Unfair treaties. Too harsh so the league had trouble imposing them. Reached decisions too slowly. Sanctions didn't work because they. Were too slow. Met too infrequently. The League of Nations, a former international organization, was formed after World War I to promote international peace and security. The basis of the League, also called the Covenant, was written into the Treaty of Versailles and other peace treaties and provided for an assembly, a council, and a secretariat. Because the peace treaties had created the League of Nations, the League was bound to uphold their principles. But however, it became apparent that some of the terms of the treaties were harsh and unjust and needed amending.

Conclusion

Another reason why the league failed was that because one their aims, 'To keep collective security...' failed. Britain and France along with other members were more concerned about their own interests. As a result they were reluctant to get involved in collective security (one of the reasons why Britain and France were reluctant to commit troops to fight for the League of Nations) and their League could not make powerful countries obey their rulings. The League also failed because there was a lack of unity between Britain and France. They often disagreed and they did not trust each other. With this and the fact decisions had to be unanimous made it almost impossible for the League to make a decision. The Great Depression that hit the world in the years following the Wall Street Crash also weakened the League. At a time of economic crises it meant that the League had trouble imposing sanctions especially at this time. This meant that countries like Japan and Italy were able to annex other countries without effective punishment. All these reasons did not fear the likes of Hitler and Mussolini; in fact they gained in confidence. Therefore the failure of the League was really a vicious circle as the basic problems led to other problems and encouraged the rise of powerful nationalist dictators and militaristic governments prepared to ignore the League and to use force.

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