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Why the League Of Nations Failed in the 1930’s

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Why the League Of Nations Failed in the 1930's The League Of Nations was an idea put forward by Woodrow Wilson, President of the U.S.A, in his fourteen-point plan with its priority of ensuring slaughter and destruction never happened again. It was set up in 1920 with its main aims being to settle disputes between nations fairly, discouraging aggression from any nation and encouraging disarmament and cooperation from countries. The forty-two countries that joined at the start would have to follow twenty-six rules, which included promising to accept decisions made by the League which some countries later found hard to follow. At first, The League was quite successful, which was during the twenty's where they settle disputes between Sweden and Finland, Greece and Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania and solved the Upper Silesia problem. The idea of the League falling apart was never even considered by most people at that point but was soon widely thought of later when certain events showed the weaknesses of the League. Weaknesses already evident in the League were the U.S.A's unwillingness to join and it having no real power with any permanent army, relying on goodwill and persuasion instead. In addition disarmament was still only a hope, not a reality, with The Disarmament Commission finding it impossible to achieve success. This being because of France fearing for its security, and with many other countries not disarming, Germany felt it had the ...read more.


Excuses were made for the League but it was clear that when an aggressive dictator wanted to invade neighboring countries, the League was powerless to prevent it. During this crisis, Germany, under the control of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler whose aims were clearly to overturn the Treaty of Versailles, began to rearm since it complained that it was the only country to disarm. The League was unable to respond to this because it couldn't get any other countries to disarm, so Germany left the League (which it joined in 1926) and began to rearm openly. There was no response in stopping this and League members also began to rearm themselves, which opposed the aims of the League and the Treaty Of Versailles, which they themselves created. The Leagues weaknesses were again revealed when another crises, much like that of the Manchurian one occurred. Italy had invaded Abyssinia under the dictatorship of Mussolini in revenge for the previous defeat by this country at the Battle of Adowa. Abyssinia was a poor and undeveloped country next to Italian colonies of Eritrea and Somaliland and had a poor army mainly consisting of infantry and cavalry, which was no match for Italy with its modern weaponry including tanks, planes and poison gas. During Mussolini's preparations for war, the League was fully aware of his planes to attack Abyssinia a few months before but didn't act for it was anxious to avoid a clash with Mussolini. ...read more.


Britain and France tried to work their way around the problem by planning to divide Abyssinia, giving Italy the best area of agriculture and leaving Abyssinia to barren mountains. This information was leaked to the press and there was proof of the British and French politicians putting the interests of their country before the Leagues. It showed how the League wanted to avoid any conflicts and this only encouraged dictators like Mussolini and Hitler to go against the Treaty of Versailles and the League. The Emperor of Abyssinia fled to Geneva and spoke out against the League and its lack of action. This lack of action did encourage dictators like Hitler to go against the League. He did so my marching troops into the Rhineland, going against a rule clearly stated in the treaty but he was not opposed. His army was under orders to retreat the area if opposed my any forces, but again France and Britain was too fearful to do anything about it. This crisis's greatly revealed the weaknesses of the League, that it was ineffective, powerless and irrelevant. Italy signed a treaty with Germany and left the League in 1937, showing what other, more powerful countries thought of it, that it was going nowhere and would just get in the way of their aims. This was really the end of the League of Nations. It wasn't taken seriously anymore but existed formally till 1946. Adam Howie ...read more.

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