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How successful was the League in the 1920s?

The birth of the League

After the First World War everyone wanted to avoid repeating the mass slaughter of the war
that had just ended. They also agreed that a League of Nations ­ an organisation that could
solve international problems without…

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world. Americans had been appalled at the carnage of the First World War.
They wanted to stay out of such disputes.
Economy Others were worried about the economic cost of joining the League. They
thought it would be as if the USA were signing a blank cheque. The USA

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that if they had foreseen the American decision, they would not have voted to join the League
either. They felt that the Americans were the only nation with the resources or influence to
make the League work. In particular, they felt that the trade sanctions would only work if the…

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The League and border disputes in the 1920s

The treaties signed at the Paris Peace Conference had created some new states and
changed the borders of other existing states. However, putting a dotted line on a map was a
lot simpler than working out where the boundaries actually lay on…

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disputes. It safeguarded rail links between the two countries and made arrangements for
water and power supplies from one side of the border to be supplied to the other. Both
countries accepted the decision.

Aaland Islands. 1921

Both Sweden and Finland wanted control of the Aaland Islands, which were midway…

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Two years after Corfu, the League was tested yet again. In October 1925, Greek troops
invaded Bulgaria after an incident on the border in which some Greek soldiers were killed.
Bulgaria appealed for help. It also sent instructions to its army.

The League condemned the Greek action. It ordered Greece…

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Even in the areas where it could not remove social injustice the League kept careful records
of what was going on and provided information on problems such as drug trafficking,
prostitution and slavery.

How did the international agreements help the work of the League?

Disarmament in the 1920s

In the…

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The agreements paved the way for Germany to join the League of Nations. Germany was
guaranteed entry into the League in 1926. Now the Soviet Union was the only major European
power not in the League.

The KelloggBriand Pact, 1928

Three years after Locarno, the KelloggBriand Pact marked the high…

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trade and industry of all countries. It affected relations between countries. It also led to
important political changes within countries. Much of the goodwill and the optimism of the
1920s evaporated.

The effects of the Depression within various countries:

Britain suffered high unemployment. It was not willing to get involved…

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was a serious test. Japan was a leading member of the League which needed careful

There was now a long and frustrating delay. The League's officials sailed round the world to
assess the situation in Manchuria for themselves. It was September 1932 ­ a full year after
the invasion…


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