To what extent was the League of Nations a success?
Focus Points
How successful was the League in the 1920s?
How far did weaknesses in the League's organisation make failure inevitable?
How far did the Depression make the work of the League more difficult?
How successful was the League in the 1930s?

Belu cevetto
06/03/2010 3:01pm

this essay is not one of those from the website but it about the League of Nations and i think it might be helpful. =]

Why did the League of Nations fail in the 1930s?
The league failed in the 1930s simply because it faced greater challenges than it had faced in the 1920s.

In 1920s many European countries were recovering again their economy thanks to USA. The Dawes Plan sorted out Germany’s economic chaos and got Britain and France’s economy moving. The recovery of trading relationship helped to reduce tension between then and they were less likely to go to war. But in 1930, the Wall Street crash affected USA and the rest of the world. USA couldn’t lend loans anymore. The Wall Street Crash quickly affected the rest of the countries, it’s led to important political changes and it’s damaged the trade and industry of all countries. Also it faced bigger challenges like the Abyssinian crisis in 1935.
One of the league successes in 1920 was Upper Silesia. It was a success because Germany and Poland wanted to take control of it so a plebiscite was organized for the Silesians to vote on which country they wished to join. Some voted for Germany and others for Poland so the League divided the land along these lines but built with many safeguards to prevent future disputes. So it was a success because the Silesians could vote on which country they wanted to join.
The Manchurian crisis was a bigger challenge than in the 1920s. Japan invaded Manchuria because they wanted to expand its empire. They claimed that the Chinese soldiers had sabotaged their south Manchurian railway. The Japanese troops invaded Manchuria and its government and then invaded shanghai. China appealed to the league. Japan claimed that it wasn’t an invasion, it was just a settling a local difficulty. One year later, the League said that Japan had acted unlawfully and Manchuria should return back to China. Japan felt insulted and left the league and, after that, they invaded Jehol. This made the League powerless. Its discussed economic sanctions but without the USA it would be meaningless. They also discussed banning arms sales to Japan but they were afraid to have war against Japan. However, Britain and France would no risk their armies in war with Japan.

The league could have succeeded if every time a crisis happens, they should have acted quickly and with determination. Britain’s and France’s government were not prepare to abandon its own self-interest and they should have risked their armies to fight against the aggressor to make the League work. Economic sanctions were the League’s main weapon but they were worried that without USA, they would be meaningless.

I think that the League had to accept its job no matter what. Also, I think that the League of Nations has always been a failure because, first of all, Britain and France promised to do what best or the League but they didn’t. They didn’t want to risk their navies and armies to defend the aggressor. Britain and France should have acted in other interests, not their own.

Sol Carregal
06/03/2010 6:31pm

How successful was the League in the 1930s? - this is the question I have chosen to develop.
The League of Nations havd been quite successful during the 20s, although situations such as Corfu or the Disarmament Conference in 1926 (it's "draft convention", actually) had not ended quite well, leaving this organization in a weak place.
However, the Depression had deeply changed the rulling of the League, making it more unsuccessful than before.
The League of Nations had to face three different conflicts during the 30s, all of them of major importance: The Manchurian Crisis, The Disarmament Conference (with the "walk out" of Germany from the League) and the Abyssinian Dispute. This institution was unable to handle these conflicts correctly, each ending in a quite "bad" result. The League of Nations was only able to condemn the aggressor's actions, but acutally did nothing to stop his actions (For example, Mussolini's in the Abyssinian Crisis. The League did nothing to stop the invasion of Abyssinia, in fact, the French and British minister tried to bribe him). The League let Japan take over Manchuria, and, although all sorts of excuses were offered for the failure of the League, the outcome of the dispute showed clearly how the League was powerless if a strong nation decided to prusue and aggressive policy and invade its neigbours (in this case, China). The same happened with the Disarmament Conference, leading Germany to finally stepping out of the League and rearming publicly. It showed how each country ignored the League and did what they thought best for each of them.

belu cervetto
06/06/2010 4:17pm

i like sol's essay =]

06/06/2010 6:06pm

I've found a great page where there are clearly explained every topic we had seen. This was taken from there, I hope its useful!
Reasons for the Failure of the League of Nations in 1930 were:
(Manchuria and Abyssinia)

Weak – Sanction taken by the League’s ‘powers’ did not work. It had no army.

America – the strongest nation in the world never joined. Britain and France were not strong enough to impose pace on their own.

Structure – the League was muddled, so it took ages to do anything. Members couldn’t agree – but decisions had to be unanimous. This paralysed the League.

Depression – the world-wide Depression made countries try to get more land and power. They were worried about themselves, not about world peace.

Unsuccessful – the more the League failed, the less people trusted it. In the end, everybody just ignored it.

Members – the League’s main members let it down. Italy and Japan betrayed the League. France and Britain did nothing to help it.

Big bullies – in the 1920s, the League had dealt with weak countries. In the 1930s, powerful countries like Germany, Italy and Japan attacked weaker countries. They were too strong for the League to stop them.

06/07/2010 12:30pm

In the 20’s the League was not successful but its work was better than in the 30’s.
To start with, there was a conflict between POLAND and LITHUANIA. The conflict started because the private polish army took control of Vilna, the capital of Lithuania. This country asked for help because both of them were members of the League. The League obliged Poland to withdraw but it did not. The League should have sent British and French troops but Poland was a possible ally for France against Germany, and Britain was not going to act alone. At the end, the League did nothing and the Poles kept Vilna. FAIL!
On the contrary, UPPER SILESIA was a success. It was an industrial region in the border of Germany and Poland. Both wanted to control it because it had an important iron and steel industry. A plebiscite was organized for Silesians to vote about which country hay would like to join. Industrial area vote Germany and rural areas vote
Poland, so the League divided the region in two.
The ALAND ISLANDS is other example of the success that the league had in the 20’s. Finland and Sweden wanted the control of the Aland Islands. Both wanted to avoid a new war, so when the league decided that the Islands should go to Finland, Sweden accepted.

06/21/2010 6:26pm

How successful was the League in the 1930s?
In my opinion, the league was not at all successful in dealing with the 1930s issues it had.
First of all, we have the Manchurian crisis, in 1931, when Japan which was deeply affected by the 1929 economic crash in USA invaded Manchuria with the excused that she owned the Manchurian railway. This crisis shows clearly how the league was powerless, as the league told Japan, after days of booming China to withdraw, but she decided not to but to keep on invading China and leaving the league. He didn’t even consider doing what the League told her.
Another example would be the Abyssinian crisis, in middle 1930s. Mussolini invaded Abyssinia as Italy was too affected by the economic crash and besides, he wanted to expand. This was difficult for the League to decide what to do, because Italy was a leading member of the League, like Japan, and Britain & France wanted to be in good terms with her, to have Mussolini as an ally. After playing for time, they decided to give him a part of Abyssinia, and time later, France decided to give him all Abyssinia if necessary so as to not loose him as an ally. Mussolini accepted this, but he became Hitler’s ally. This proves how France & Britain acted not on the others good, but on their own good, so the League was not successful because of the different objectives it members had.
To finish with, we have the huge failure of Disarmament. Disarmament was an aim of the League, but by the 1930s, only Germany had disarmed and only because she was forced to. Hitler protested so the Disarmament Conference started, and it had some achievements, but the big question was, should all countries disarm of should Germany rearm? After discussions, and a series of decisions, the DC ended in 1934, when Germany had left the League and made her secret rearmament public. The others countries didn’t want to stay back, so the started rearming more and more.
This event demonstrate how the League was a total failure during the 1930s, as she was powerless and it members, self-interested.

06/28/2010 8:33pm

This is a video I made about The League disputes in 1920. Watch it! ( I have to change some details, but I wanted to show it!)


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