• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Was the League of Nations doomed to fail?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Was the League of Nations doomed to fail? Established in the aftermath of the First World War, the League of Nations, ?a potentially revolutionary new concept in international affairs? was based upon American President Woodrow Wilson?s Fourteen Points. With the intent of aiding international communication to avoid further conflict, an intent that the vast majority of countries supported, the League had nevertheless disbanded by 1946 and the debate as to whether it was doomed from the start has been a contentious one ever since. After being drastically weakened by a lack of support from the USA, a collective failure to disarm across Europe, an overly complicated structure and the effects of the Great Depression, as well as the fact that the League had neither man nor materiel with which to enforce its decrees, the little chance of survival the League did have at the dawn of the 1930s was quashed through a combination of changing social attitudes and no spirit of compromise in and between Nations. The fact that from its creation, the League of Nations failed to adequately represent powers from across the world contributed to its demise. The power within the organisation appeared to be concentrated to Britain, France, Japan and Italy as the ?Big Four?, and moreover the representation amongst smaller Nations was not proportional, with Bolivia being granted an equal amount of representation as Brazil, a country several times its size and with considerably more political power in South America. ...read more.


French delegate M. Noblemaire even went as far as to state in 1921 that ?we must keep our arms at readiness France is obliged to be military for the present and to continue to be so in order to avoid the resumption of war? ? a clear contradiction of one of the most important parts of the League?s Covenant, that disarmament and cooperation is necessary to prevent any future conflict. With this example set from the leaders of the League, only Germany took steps towards disarming and only did so out of obligation to Versailles. The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 had the intention of remedying this, and it supplemented the Covenant of the League and united countries against war. Although it marked the increased involvement of the USA in European affairs, at most American commitment to the Pact was based on moral grounds; were it to be violated, morality has no real strength against guns. Indeed all members of the Pact were still not committed to anything of substance, and the success of the pact to aid disarmament relied upon the good will of Nations, an invariably unreliable thing. The Kellogg-Briand Pact, although like the League in that it was another good idea in theory, failed to translate into practicality and did little to help the disarmament process. ...read more.


Britain, for the sake of its empire and trade relations, continued with the ?old-school diplomacy? that Woodrow Wilson had wanted so much to eliminate, and the wide majority of countries failed to abide by the League?s principles. This was in part due to the fact that the atmosphere of 1919 had passed; people no longer felt as much resentment towards Germany and considered the Treaty of Versailles too harsh. Therefore, in a sense the League was doomed to fail as its remit was the ?peace to end all peace?. Ultimately, in order to succeed, the League of Nations needed to represent all Nations and definitely the major world powers, which it failed to do. All countries needed to fully commit to its work in order for it to be successful; given that the USA was never properly involved, the League did well to make the little international progress that it did. Although its chances of success were severely limited thanks to the lack of support from the USA and lack of commitment from its members, the League of Nations was not a unqualified failure; it allowed the international community to appreciate the potential in such an organisation and a much more successful organisation emerged from its ashes; in the words of Lord Robert Cecil in the last League assembly, ?the League is dead. Long live the United Nations?. Ciara Lally 09.03.2010 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Why did the policy of Collective Security established by the League of Nations fail ...

    This general atmosphere of positive willingness to collaborate lead to a number of highly ambitious proposals and initiatives, including the International Court of Law, the disarmament conference, itself hopelessly over ambitious hoping to succeed in the coordination of the wishes of 59 countries.

  2. Free essay

    May the League of Nations be considered a complete failure? Answer this question and ...

    all war armaments be reduced "to the lowest point consistent with national safety (Kitchen, p.48)".

  1. The League of Nations - Although the League of Nations had several successes, it ...

    [4] The idea sounded great to people as it involved defending the rights of the people. A problem, however, was arising... The U.S. Senate believed the WWI was totally European countries' fault, and they should not get involved in their affairs.

  2. Why did collective security fail to keep the peace between 1920 and 1935?

    This caused them to turn their backs to the international community to stabilize their internal affairs. Countries realized that to survive they must expand to help their economy (i.e. Manchuria). With all member states unable to provide the force behind the idea of collective security it fell apart.

  1. The Westeinde is one of the higher parts of The Hague, and the story ...

    the house, and taking a bath in the bathroom on the Westeinde side of the passage, with the Mason's corgi dog, an inveterate barker, for company. She suddenly saw the corgi crouched back, all hackles up, dead quiet and obviously frightened, and at the same time she heard footsteps and saw the handle of the bathroom door turn.

  2. Why did Tsarism fail to survive the first world war

    Rather, caused its demise. Though Historians such as Robert Conquest (who is a reliable source since his works were written in the 21st century) have stated that if not for the First World War, Tsarism in Russia would have lasted much longer. This brings up the thought that maybe Tsarism failed because of the

  1. The Great Depression in the USA.

    of them were forced to eat weeds or find food in the garbage . Just one example of the awful consequences ?study conducted in eight American cities found that families that had a member working full time experienced 66% less illness than those in which everyone was unemployed.? Government was

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    In addition, PLO was ineffectual so they had to rely on their own efforts to "shake off" Israeli rule - Intifada Dec. 1987 - In November 1988 the PNC declared the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and Jordan severed ties with the PLO in an attempt to force Israel to negotiate with the PLO.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work