Setting up the League of Nations.
The Role of Woodrow Wilson
In January 1920 the council of the League of nations met for the first time. Lots of people dies during WW1. so they decided to set up the league of nations in Woodrow Wilson's 14 points for world peace. Woodrow Wilson made sure that the league was included in the peace treaties.
The aims of the League
- to achieve international peace
- to encourage nations not to result to war. when in dispute with each other
- to reduce military forces of each state
- to improve working condition all over the world
to encourage nations to co-operate in areas like fighting disease and slavery
The Organisation of the League
- The Assembly
This was where all the representatives from each member of country met.
- each country had one voe
- the assembly could discuss and decide on any matter, but usually met once a year
- the decisions had to be agreed by all
the assembly was too big an did not meet up often enough to deal with crisis as they occurred so the council was set up.
- the Council
4 permanent members: Britain, France, Italy + japan (Germany joined in 1926)
- they met 4 times a year
- permanent member could stop the council from making a decision
the assembly and the council needed help with their work so a secretarist was set up
- The secretarist
they got papers of meetings and kept record of meetings and reports. it was based in Switzerland.
2 important bodies set up by the league were the court of international justice and the international labour organisation
- The court of international justice
this was based in Holland. its judges were from different counties and it decided on the disputes between member of countries. it had no way of enforcing its decisions but it did settle over 70 major cases in the 1920's and 1930's
- the international labour organisation
its aim was to improve working conditions. each country sent reps.. to its annual meeting. workers and employers were rep.. as well as governments. it collected info. about working conditions and made suggestions to improve these conditions.
- Special Commissions
these were set up for specific problems eg. drugs, slavery, health and mandated territories.
Membership of the League
It started with 42 members by 1930s there were nearly 60 members. however the 3 important countries were not members at 1st.
- the USA. many americans wanted to stay out of european affairs. they though Europe would involved them in wars + Americans would be killed. America never joined the league.
- Germany was not allowed to join. many countries still did not trust germany. they was only allowed if they proved to be a responsible country. Germany joined in 1926
- the USSR. Russia became communists in 1917. the Russians regarded the league as a club of capitalist countries who were the enemies of communism. the other great powers were also suspicious of Russia and afraid of communism. Russia joined in 1934.
the powers of the league
to be effective the league needed to be able to enforce its decisions however it powers were rather weak and not very clear.
- if a member of the league attacked another country or ignored a decision made by the league the league could impose economic sanctions.
- if economic sanctins did not work the member countries of the league would put together armed forces to enforce it decisions.
the leagues weakness and strengths
- the USA(the most powerful country) didn't join
- other powerful countries (Germany + USSR) were not members at 1st. the league had depend on Britain + France but neither were powerful as it used to be.
- the league depended on member countries putting their own interests second to what was best for everyone. not many countries were willing to do this.
- economic sanctions were difficult to enforce because they were often harm the countries imposing the sanctions.
- the league had no armed , to enforce its decisions. Britain and France could'nt afford to supply all the troops. Germany didn't like the peace settle memt and one day would challenge it.
- a total of 42 countries joined an d more joined later
- the aims of the league were widely supported and the members did genuinely want to co-operate and avoid another war
- the league could impose damaging economic sanctions on aggressive nations.
1. what were the main aims of the league of nations? (4)