League of Nations

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  • League of Nations
    • Main aims of the League
      • Stop future war
        • Discourage aggression
        • Deal with disputes by negotiation
        • Provide collective security by a community of power
      • Enforce the Treaty of Versailles
      • Disarmament
      • Improve living and working conditions
        • Encourage trade and business
        • Direct action to improve health and welfare
      • The League was intended to police the world
        • It began work in January 1920
        • There were 42 members to start with, and around 60 by the 1930s
          • All the members were to follow a Covenant (agreement) of 26 rules
          • Every member country had a vote in the Assembly and the Council
        • The League could warn countries in disputes, apply economic sanctions by blocking international trade with misbehaving countries, and then send troops in
    • The Structure of the League
      • The Secretariat
        • Carried out decisions taken by the Council, the permanent 'civil service' of the League
      • The Council
        • Small committee that made major decisions
        • 4 permanent members (Britain, France, Italy + Japan) with other temporary members
          • Britain and France dominated the Council
        • All decisions had to be unanimous
        • They only met 3 times per year, or in emergency
      • The Assembly
        • Met once a year
        • All member nations of the League had one vote
          • The USA never joined the League because:
            • The people of America hadn't liked the Versailles treaty, and refused to accept it
              • They thought the League of Nations was connected to it
            • Isolationism - many people wanted to stay out of Europe and wanted only to worry about American affairs
            • Many thought that all people should be free under democracy
              • They weren't willing to be dragged into wars to help countries like Britain and France keep undemocratic colonies
        • Could only recommend to the council
        • Had to have unaninmous agreement to important decisions
        • Not all nations were members of the League
      • The Permanent Court of International Justice
        • Gave legal advice to the Assembly and the Council on things such as border disputes
        • Not all legal issues were referred to the Court, because the disputes were settled between the countries involved
      • The Special Commissions
        • Dealt with issues such as slavery, minorities, mandates, women, refugees, health, drug addiction and help for undeveloped nations
        • Not all countries agreed with the work of the committees
        • They couldn't deal with problems in non-member countries
    • The League in the 1920s
      • The special commissions
        • The International Labour Organisation
          • It successfully restricted the addition of lead to paint
          • It convinced several countries to adopt an eight-hour work day and 48-hour working work
          • It worked to end child labour, increase the rights of women in the workplace, and make shipowners liable for accidents involving seamen
          • It was difficult to ensure all countries and companies complied with the new rules and regulations
          • Big businesses were not always pleased with government interference
          • Economic instability in Europe and the isolation of the USA meant that far-reaching changes were restricted
          • It continued to exist after the end of the League, becoming an agency of the UN in 1946
        • Slavery commission
          • It sought to eradicate slavery and slave trading across the world, and fought against forced prostitution
          • It worked with Liberia to abolish forced labour and inter-tribal slavery
          • It secured a commitment from Ethiopia to end slavery as a condition of membership in 1926
          • It fought against organised raids against slave traders in its efforts to stop the practice of forced labour in Africa
          • It reduced the death rate of workers constructing the Tangangika railway from 55% to 4%
          • Approaching slavery as an open issue forced it 'underground' as people increasingly began to be traded on the black market
        • Commission for Refugees
          • At the end of WWI there were 2-3 million ex-prisoners of war dispersed throughout Russia
            • Within 2 years of the commission's foundation in 1920, it had helped 425,000 of them to return home
          • It established the Nansen passport as a means of identification for stateless people
          • Racism and animosity remained a problem in many countries, and success in this area was dependant on success in all the other areas of the League; this made lasting progress difficult
        • Health Committee
          • Focused on starting an international campaign to exterminate mosquitoes
          • Vast resources and scientific research were channelled into ending leprosy, malaria and yellow fever
          • It worked successfully with the government of the USSR to prevent typhus epidemics
          • It was an essential and relatively successful branch of the League
          • Each area and community presented its own problems which only time and a great deal of money could solve
      • Successes
        • 1920 Upper Silesia
          • As laid down in the Treaty of Versailles, the League held a plebiscite to decide Upper Silesia's future
            • 700,000 people voted to join Germany, 500,000 became part of Poland
              • The League partitioned the area 1/3 to Poland, 2/3 to Germany
        • 1920 Aaland Islands
          • They had belonged to Finland but Sweden disrupted ownership because most of the islanders were Swedish
            • The League decided that the Islands should remain part of Finland
        • 1923-24 Mosul
          • It had been Turkish but the peace treaties gave it to Iraq, which was controlled by Britain
            • The Turks claimed Mosul but the League decided it should remain part of Iraq, and Turkey accepted this
        • 1920 Greece/Bulgaria
          • During a border dispute some Greek soldiers were killed, so Greece invaded Bulgaria
            • The League ordered Greece to withdraw and pay damages
      • Failures
        • 1919 Vilna
          • It had once been the capital of Lithuania but most people were Polish
            • When Lithuania became independent in 1919, it claimed Vilna
              • Poland used force, and its army seized the city
                • The League protested but allowed the Conference of Ambassadors to award the city to Poland
        • The Corfu incident
          • Mussolini occupied the Greek island of Corfu in 1923 after the murder of an Italian diplomat
            • Mussolini demanded financial compensation and an apology from Greece
              • The League demanded that the money should be paid to them, not Italy
                • But Mussolini got the decision overturned and received the money and the apology he wanted
        • French occupation of the Ruhr
          • Germany failed to keep up with its reparations payments
            • In retaliation, France invaded and occupied the Ruhr in 1923
              • The League didn't intervene
                • The USA resolved the situation with the Dawes Plan
                  • Untitled
    • The League wasn't powerful enough
      • Britain and France were in charge, but neither country was strong enough after the war to do the job properly
      • Economic and military sanctions could only work if a powerful nation like the USA was applying them
        • Most countries were too busy rebuilding to be able to apply them
      • Germany and communist Russia were not allowed to be members when the League was first formed
      • The League had no army of its own, and most members didn't want to commit troops to war
        • Some countries like Italy were quite prepared to ignore the League
    • The Great Depression made the work of the League more difficult
      • The Depression caused wide-spread poverty, and desperation
        • In desperation, people become more likely to support extreme right-wing leaders - hoping they'd provide strong government
          • In 1933 Hitler and the Nazis were elected in Germany
            • The Nazis wanted to defy the League of Nations by overturning the Treaty of Versailles
      • The Depression meant that countries like Britain and France were less willing to help the League by getting involved in resolving international conflicts
        • They wanted to concentrate on dealing with domestic problems such as unemployment
      • The Depression was also a factor in some international conflicts, e.g. the Manchurian Crisis
    • The Manchurian Crisis
      • When the Depression wrecked Japanese industries, the military leaders and business interests in Japan called for military expansion to strengthen the country
        • Japan had a large army and navy
          • Since 1905, it had controlled Korea and the territory of the South Manchurian Railway Since 1905, it had controlled Korea and the territory of the South Manchurian Railway
            • In September 1931, it used the excuse of a disturbance to take Mukden and send its troops to overrun the rest of Manchuria
              • The Japanese pretended to give Manchuria independence by putting a weak leader called Puyi on the throne so they could control him
                • The League of Nations sent Lord Lytton to assess the situation
                  • He produced a report, which said the Japanese had been wrong, but the League didn’t do anything else – it failed to stop Japan and end the crisis
                    • Japan refused to accept Lord Lytton’s report and withdrew from the League in 1933
                      • In 1933 the Japanese invaded China’s Jehol Province, which bordered Manchuria
                        • Dictators like Hitler and Mussolini saw the obvious weakness of the League
                          • Japan signed a treaty with Germany in 1936, and in 1937 started to invade China – again the League did nothing to stop it
      • This was the first major challenge for the League of Nations, and the whole world saw it fail to confront the Japanese aggression
    • The Invasion of Abyssinia
      • Mussolini invaded Abyssinia for 4 reasons:
        • Italy had been defeated by Abyssinia in 1896 and the Italians wanted revenge
        • Abyssinia was close to other Italian colonies in Africa (Eritrea and Somaliland)
        • Mussolini had seen Japan get away with the Manchurian invasion despite the League’s threats
        • Mussolini dreamed of making Italy a great empire again
      • In October 1935, Mussolini sent troops with heavy artillery and tanks to invade
        • Haile Selassie, the Abyssinian leader, directly appealed to the League for help
          • The League imposed economic sanctions, but they excluded coal, iron and oil, all vital war materials
            • The sanctions were also incomplete due to the USA not being a member, which meant they could trade with Italy
              • Additionally, Britain and France didn’t close the Suez Canal, allowing supplies to get through despite the League’s sanctions
                • The Hoare-Laval Plan was leaked – it revealed that Britain and France, the leaders of the League, were willing to reward Italy for its aggression
                  • The Hoare-Laval Plan was a plan by Britain and France’s foreign secretaries to split up Abyssinia, giving Italy much of the fertile land in the north and south of the country – exactly what the Italians wanted, and the Abyssinians weren’t consulted
                  • By May 1936, Italy had conquered all of Abyssinia
      • Consequences
        • The League’s reputation was in tatters – it was seen to be weak and ineffective, and nobody took it seriously again
        • Italy became more confident, and started making pacts with Germany
          • Mussolini and Hitler agreed to the Rome-Berlin Axis in 1936, and in 1937 Italy joined Japan and Germany in the Anti-Comintern Pact
          • Italy also attacked Albania in 1938, and signed the Pact of Steel with Hitler in 1939
            • Germany’s new alliance with Italy made it more confident and gave it more opportunities – it had the extra strength it needed to bounce back after the losses of Versailles
              • Mussolini and Hitler agreed to the Rome-Berlin Axis in 1936, and in 1937 Italy joined Japan and Germany in the Anti-Comintern Pact

Comments

waben

Bit all over the place it is hard to keep concentration when you have one box and one box left to it, right to it or top and bottom of it.

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