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League of Nations

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Introduction

Examine critically the structure and organisation of the League of Nations The League of Nations was an international organization created in 1919, in response to the devastation of WW1. The League arose from the Paris Peace Conference, forty two countries joined the League at the start and sixty three nations were members. The League managed to reduce diplomacy and alliances to an extent, it opened up new international relationships between states and the international organization. It encouraged peace and international cooperation between states. Living conditions like health and education were also improved. The League's aims were international peace and cooperation, to improve people's lives, to disarm countries, prevent war and enforce the Treaty of Versailles. However the League failed in most of their goals such as world peace, enforcing the treaty and disarming countries. There were major weaknesses in the League that caused its downfall. They can be classified into two categories: structure and organisation. Structure- "what a system is made of. It is a configuration of items. It is a collection of inter-related components or services." Organisation- "a social arrangement which pursues collective goals, controls its own performance, and has a boundary separating it from its environment." ...read more.

Middle

The main countries in charge of the League were great powers including France, Britain, Italy, Japan and (after 1936) Germany. This gave it strength and authority. The many nations involved meant that new international relationships were built. This is an example of strength in the League's organization. Although, there was a problem with how the League was perceived by nations (including some of it's own). A common view on the League was that the main leaders viewed themselves and their position in the world as the victors and the authority. This is partly due to the isolation of the countries blamed for WW1. "Because of its close linkage with the much hated treaty of Versailles, it was seen as a victor's club.", this shows that the League was, at times viewed, as a further way for the winners of WW1 to triumph over their victory. This suggests that, to an extent, the League was perceived as superficial and conceited. It also suggests a weakness in the Leagues structure, due to the rejection of powers such as Germany and Russia. Another weak point in the League was the efficiency of collective security. Collective security was too idealistic as it was very difficult to get members to agree and fully commit. ...read more.

Conclusion

Before the League of Nations was formed alliances often proved to be detrimental due to the tension they caused and the military rivalry. Although the League didn't prevent WW2, it led to the foundations of the United Nations, which proved to be a more effective organisation. The League gave a voice to all their members, disregarding their strength and size. The League of Nations extended its influence beyond just military issues, it had many different organisations and aimed to help in many different areas. Its strengths in organisation include the covenant agreement, universal membership and the influence of the major powers. Its strength in structure is shown through the success of the committees, which passed many laws and created new systems to help improve peoples living conditions across the world. On the other hand the main reason the League failed in its main goal in preventing war was due to its lack of organisation and its weak structure. This is shown through slow agreements, poor relationships with powers (such as Germany, Japan and Russia), insufficient funds, lack of American support, unsettled disputes and inability to enforce certain terms. In conclusion the league did have its weaknesses and strengths in structure and organisation but essentially it failed and this was mainly caused by lack of commitment from members, Germany's inflexibility and America's absence. ...read more.

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