Why the League failed

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  • Why did the League of Nations fail?
    • Lack of troops - The League had no armed forces of its own, they relied on its members. Britain and France however, weren't wlling to risk their troops.
    • The USA and other important countries were absent - The USA was never a member. Without such major powers like Germany, Russia and Japan the League lacked authority.
    • Decisions were slow - when a crises occured the League was supposed to act quickly and with determination. The need for all 32 members to agree of an action undermined the strength of the league.
    • The treaties it had to uphold were seen as unfair - the league was bound to uphold the peace treaties which had created it. In time it became apparant that some of the the treaties were harsh and unjust which further undermined the league.
    • Economic sanctions did not work- members of the league weren't willing to impose them because they were worried that without the USA they wouldnt work. When they were imposed they didn't work. Therefore the League lacked the muscle to enforce them
    • The self-interest of leading members -  The League depended on Britain and France to provide firm support in times of crisis. When conflicts occured neither the British or French was prepared to abandon self intrest.
  • Decisions were slow - when a crises occured the League was supposed to act quickly and with determination. The need for all 32 members to agree of an action undermined the strength of the league.

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