Revision Diary

The League of Nations

   

The League of Nations membership, organisation, powers and peacekeeping role.

  

  

Make sure that you know about:

1.  the membership of the League, notably:

●   the story of America's failure to join the League

2.  The aims and organisation/work of the League, with examples

3.  The IMPORTANCE of the different powers of the League within the peace-keeping process

    

  

  

Membership

Overview

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 Communist.

Many countries left during the 1930s, when the League was failing to keep peace.

 

Facts

1.   Germany was admitted in 1926, but Hitler left in 1933.

2.   The USSR joined in 1934 when Germany was rearming, but left in 1938 in protest at appeasement.

3.   Japan left in 1933 when a vote went against it over Manchuria.   Italy left in 1937

  

 

  

America

Overview

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

 

Facts

1.    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'.

  

  

  

Aims, organisation and work

Stop War

ORGANISATION

   Assembly (met once a year - needed a unanimous decision)

   Council (GB+Fr+It+Jap+ Ger after 1926) met 4-5 times a year

   Secretariat (too small for all work)

   Court of international justice

SUCCESSES

   1925: Greece invaded Bulgaria, but withdrew when Bulgaria appealed to the League.

FAILURES

   Manchuria and Abyssinia in the 1930s.

Improve lives and jobs

ORGANISATION

To be accomplished by the 'agencies' of the League:

   Health committee

   International Labour Organisation

   Refugees committee

   Mandates commission

   Slavery commission 

SUCCESSES

   400,000 Prisoners of War repatriated

   Leprosy

   Drugs companies closed down

   Attacked slave owners

FAILURES

   The ILO failed to get a 48-hour week  

Disarmament

ORGANISATION

   Disarmament Conferences in 1923 and 1931

SUCCESSES

   Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928: signed by 23 nations, to outlaw war.

FAILURES

   Britain objected to the 1923 conference

   Hitler wrecked the 1932-1934 conference

  

  

  

Importance of the Powers

Moral Persuasion

SUCCESSES

   1925: Greece invaded Bulgaria, but withdrew when Bulgaria appealed to the League.

FAILURES

'Moral persuasion' did not work with powerful or determined countries

   Manchuria and Abyssinia in the 1930s

   Hitler

Arbitration

SUCCESSES

   1921: the League said the Aaland Islands should belong to Finland; Sweden and Finland accepted this.

FAILURES

Useless where countries determined to go to war:

   Manchuria and Abyssinia in the 1930s

   Hitler

Sanctions

SUCCESSES

   None - countries refused to impose sanctions because it hurt them as well.

FAILURES

   Abyssinia, 1935: the League banned weapons sales, and put sanctions on rubber and metal, but this hurt Abyssinia not Italy.

Military force

SUCCESSES

   none - it was NEVER attempted.

FAILURES

   The problem with this was that only Britain and France were big enough to do this, and they were not prepared to pay.

  

 

Revision Focus

This is a Paper 1 topic, so concentrate on learning:

1.   WHAT happened

2.   EFFECTS/ Importance

  

Links

Mini-book on the Aims, Work and Strengths of the LoN

  

Narrative account of how America rejected the LoN, and why

 

See the BBC Bitesize page on the Covenant

  

Online revision sheet  

  

Essays on the Aims and Work , Organisation, Strengths/Weaknesses and Achievements of the League