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Why did the policy of Collective Security established by the League of Nations fail to prevent the outbreak of war in 1939?

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Why did the policy of Collective Security established by the League of Nations fail to prevent the outbreak of war in 1939? "I have returned from Germany with Peace for our Time!" waving in his hand the paper of the Munich Pact, on an airfield in Southern England, this famous phrase by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in September 1938 is mostly remembered for its massive misjudgement of Nazi Germany�s true intentions and the total failure of appeasement. However, it could - symbolically - also well be seen as the final nail in the coffin for the League of Nations covenant and its strategies of Collective Security and Disarmament. A few months earlier, in March 1938, Nazi Germany had annexed Austria, a League Member, thus causing a league member to "disappear" without any reaction from the League whatsoever, demonstrating to the world its absolute powerlessness, and less than a year after Chamberlain�s unintentionally ironic speech, Germany would invade Poland and start the Second World War. ...read more.


Further proof can be found in the Abyssinian crisis and the Munich Pact, which once again delineate the LON's restricted authority. Finally, with the Munich Pact, France and the United Kingdom conceded the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany in a direct violation of their military alliance with Czechoslovakia. Here two Nation-States were rigorously pursuing their own national interests to damaging another Country, ally even. This unilateral pursuit of security interests by individual nations is in stark contrast to the ideas and intentions of Collective Security proposed by the League of Nations, which by this time was incapable of any action. Equally, the above key examples of individual Nation-States aggressively pursuing their own interests throughout the 1930�s is in contrast to the rampant optimism and clear willingness to collaborate internationally that seemed to prevail throughout much of the 1920�s. Perhaps under the impression of the still fresh horrors of WWI, a conviction that only through working closely together on numerous fronts could Collective Security be effectively achieved. ...read more.


practice, the depression made countries desire more land and more power as they were more worried about their own problems than the international issues, as the league kept failing nations ended up ignoring it, the main members let the league down as Italy and Japan were more interested in satisfying their own needs and France and Britain betrayed it,. Ultimately, a contract, or covenant is only as good as the true intention and willingness of those that make part of it. If the partners, and especially the major players, continuously undermine and counteract the agreement, it must ultimately fail. This was the fate of the LON covenant. It was so ambitious and far-reaching, it wanted too much from too many too fast. Even the key proponents of the covenant were not able keep their promise once their National interests were seen as even potentially threatening. In the end, national sovereignty was of great importance and overcame internationalism and the League of Nations. Daniel Longo Collective Security Failure History 11th HL Ms. Mcphilemy Daniel Longo Collective Security Failure History 11th HL Ms. Mcphilemy ...read more.

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