The League of Nations
The League of Nations – membership, organisation, powers and peacekeeping
Make sure that you know about:
membership of the League, notably:
● the story of
America's failure to join
aims and organisation/work of the League, with examples
IMPORTANCE of the
different powers of the League within the peace-keeping process
42 countries joined at the start - by the 1930s this had risen to 60. The leading members
were Britain, France, Japan and Italy -
America refused to join,
Germany was not allowed to join, and the USSR did not join because it was
Many countries left
during the 1930s, when the League was failing to keep peace.
admitted in 1926, but Hitler left in 1933.
joined in 1934 when Germany was rearming, but left in 1938 in protest at
3. Japan left in 1933 when a vote
went against it over Manchuria. Italy left in 1937
Wilson failed to persuade Americans to
approve the Treaty of Versailles.
Many Americans were 'isolationist' and
did not want to get dragged into the League of Nations.
Wilson set off on a 8000 mile tour of
America to try to persuade the public, but he had a stroke and was ill
(until he died), so in 1920
the Senate rejected the ToV/LoN
many German Americans thought the
ToV was unfair
2. the leader of the
opposition to Wilson was Senator Cabot Lodge
3.• 1920: Harding was elected
President promising 'a return to normalcy'.
1925: Greece invaded
Bulgaria, but withdrew when Bulgaria appealed to the League.
'Moral persuasion' did not work with
powerful or determined countries
• Manchuria and Abyssinia in the 1930s
1921: the League said the
Islands should belong to Finland; Sweden and Finland accepted this.
Useless where countries determined to go
• Manchuria and Abyssinia in the
• None - countries refused to
impose sanctions because it hurt them as well.
banned weapons sales, and put sanctions
on rubber and metal, but this hurt Abyssinia not Italy.
• none - it was NEVER attempted.
The problem with this was that only
Britain and France were big enough to do this, and they were not
prepared to pay.