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Why did the League of Nations Fail?

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Why did the League of Nations Fail ? The absence of the United States definitely made a difference to the League - it was the only major world power outside the League. The presence of USA would not have made such a great deal of difference in the thirties because of the Wall Street crash and ensuing depression. It could be argued that the USA could never have made the League work in the long-term because there would always be a strong public motion against its involvement. Washington's theory of isolationism was deeply ingrained in the average American's psyche. Even if the USA had been part of the League in the beginning, it is highly probable that they would have withdrawn interest after October 1929, if not withdrawn altogether. Having said all that, the remaining members of the League could have combined and made a force to be reckoned with. ...read more.


The world wide depression had hit Japan hard and many people within Japan saw conquering new territory as a way out of the depression. During the night of September 18, Japanese soldiers blew up a section of the Japanese railroad and blamed the explosion on the Chinese and so had an excuse to occupied the city of Shenyang. China asked for the Leagues help. The League ordered the troops to withdraw. Japan agreed to order the withdrawl of the troops, but the Japanese government did not have control over their troops. The Japanese army continued to advance into Manchuria. By the end of 1931 the Japanese troops had control of the entire province of Manchuria which they renamed Manchukuo. The League of Nations was meant to keep the peace through 'collective security'. If persuasion did not work, the League could use economic sanctions (a ban on trade with the attacker) ...read more.


(These are vital to modern warfare.) So half-hearted were the sanctions that Italy was able to complete the conquest of Abyssina by May 1936. A few weeks later sanctions were abandoned and Mussolini had flouted the League. Britain and France had not wanted to antagonise Mussolini and had even tried to form a secret deal with him during the invasion to give him two thirds of Abyssinia. They did not want to push him into an alliance with Hitler. Mussolini was annoyed by the sanctions anyway and began to draw closer to Hitler; small states lost faith in the League; and Hitler himself was encouraged to break the Versailles Treaty. After 1935, the League was not taken seriously again. I conlude that the league had problems before it started with the USA not joining and this meant that it would be a uphill struggle and with problems taking place in Abbysinya and Manchuria meant that the league struggled and proved to be weak. People such as Hitler saw this and proved to come out on top of the battle each time. ...read more.

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