League of Nations Aims
Aims of the League of Nations - SIDE:
- Stop wars
- Improve living & working conditions across the world
- Encourage international trade.
- Based in Geneva, Switzerland.
- 42 members - main members, Britain, France, Japan
- Non members - USA, Russia, Germany.
- Germany not allowed to join.
- USA did not join as American people did not want to be involved in other countries' problems.
League consisted of:
- Assembly - met once a year
- Council - met regularly to consider crisises
- Secretariat - to handle paperwork
- Court of International Justice
- Committees including International Labour Committee and Health Organisation to carry out humanitarian work.
Four Main Powers:
- Covenant - all members promised to keep the peace
- Condemnation - the League could tell a country it was doing wrong
- Arbitration - the League could offer to decide between two countries
- Sanctions - trade
- Set up by Treaty of Versailles so agreed by all countries at the conference.
- Able to offer arbitration through Court of International Justice or impose sanctions.
- Set up by Treaty of Versailles - hated by all nations
- Germany, Russia and USA not members
- No army
- All decisions had to be unanimous
- Aaland Islands 1921 - traditionally belonged to Finland but islands' people wanted govenance by Sweden. Neither country could decide who owned the islands and asked the League to adjudicate. The League decided Finland shoudl retain the islands but no weapons should be kept on the islands. Both countries agreed and the decision remains in force today.
- Upper Silesia 1921 - Treaty of Versailles gave the people the right to vote whether they should be part of Weimar Germany or Poland. The result was close but in favour of Weimar Germany and resulted in rioting. The League decided to split Upper Silesia between both countries and the decision was accepted by Weimar Germany, Poland and the people of Upper Silesia.
- Greece and Bulgaria 1925 - sentries fired at each other at the border and a Greek soldier was killed resulting in Greece invading Bulgaria. Bulgaria asked for help from the League and the League ordered both armies to stop fighting and the Greeks to pull out of Bulgaria. The League decided Greece was to blame and fined Greece £45,000. Greece accepted the League's decision.
- Austria - raised loan to save Austria from bankruptcy.
- World economy - revived by arranging world conferences on tarrifs and trade agreements.
- Humanitarian work - helped return prisoners of war to their home countries and found homes for refugees.
- International Labour Organisation - set up to improve workers' rights and working conditions across the world. Limited child labour in some countries.
- Slavery - 200l,000 slaves freed.
- Poland 1921 - Poland invaded the capital of Lithunania, Vilna and ignored the League's order to withdraw. No action taken against Poland.
- Corfu 1923 - Italy invaded Corfu and made Greece pay money to Italy. Mussolini ignored orders from the League to withdraw.
- Manchuria 1932 - Japan invaded Mancuria. A year later the League declared Japan should exit. Japan left the League. The League could do nothing without USA's membership and USA sanctions against Japan.
- Abyssinia 1935 - Italy invaded Abyssinia. Abyssinian emporah asked the League for help. The League banned arms sales. Britain and France secretly agreed to give part of Abyssinia to Italy. Mussolini conquered Abyssinia and the League was powerless to stop him.
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