Why the League of Nations Failed?

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Ulugbek Pessoa                                                                              7:00 PM  12/03/2009

The League of Nations

Why the League of Nations was formed in 1919-20 and why did it fail to achieve its major aims?

WWI was caused from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by Serbians; he was the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary, unsatisfied with Serbia's response to her ultimatum declared war on Serbia on the 28th July 1914. Russia was a friend of Serbia and announced mobilisation of its vast army in her defence. Germany, allied to Austria-Hungary by treaty, viewed the Russian mobilisation as an act of war against Austria-Hungary, and after scant warning Germany declared war on Russia on 1 August. Hence France, bound by treaty to Russia, found itself at war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany was swift in invading neutral Belgium more so to reach Paris by the shortest possible route. However, Britain allied to France had also declared war against Germany on 4 August. Her reason for entering the conflict lay in another direction: She was obligated to defend neutral Belgium by the terms of a 75-year old treaty. Furthermore Italy, although allied to both Germany and Austria-Hungary, was able to avoid entering the fray by citing a clause enabling it to evade its obligations to both. In short, Italy was committed to defend Germany and Austria-Hungary only in the event of a 'defensive' war; arguing that their actions were 'offensive' she declared instead a policy of neutrality.  The following year, in May 1915, she finally joined the conflict by siding with the Allies against her two former allies.

The treaty of Versailles was set on 28th June in 1919. It was signed by France, Britain, USA and Germany at the Palace of Versailles near Paris. It only dealt with Germany; it had over 400 clauses and ran for more then 200 pages. Some of the restrictions that the treaty had mentioned were to limit their army to 100,000 men and they could only be chosen voluntarily, Germany was not allowed tanks, submarines or military aircrafts and the navy could only have six battleships. Germany had lost quite a lot of their lands some of them were Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia. Worst of all Germany was accused of initiating the war by the Allies, so they had to pay the reparations. The amount was set £6600million in 1921. Woodrow Wilson the American president was an idealist he believed in finding the perfect solution. He had plans to make sure that a Second World War wouldn’t break out. He set up fourteen points that he believed that those points would definitely prevent another war. No secret treaties, free access to the seas in peacetime and wartime, free trade between countries, Disarmament, Colonies to be able to have a say in their own futures, German troops leave Russia, Independence for Belgium, France to regain Alsace-Lorraine, Poland to become an independent state with access to the sea and finally a League of Nations to be set up to keep the peace.

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The League of Nations was set up in 1919-1920 as part of the piece treaties. The most important aim of the League of Nations was to prevent another World War from happening. The League of Nations wanted as many countries as it could get so that if one country attacked another country other countries would support the country that was being attacked. Initially they had 42 countries but by the 1930s they had 52 countries already joined. However it was hard for the League of Nations to implement their aims because USA was not in the League of Nations ...

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