History League of Nations

The basic information on League of Nations and if it was a success or not.

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  • Created by: Rhian
  • Created on: 15-02-13 18:39

Think about and know about

  • What were the aims of the League?
  • How successful it was in the 1920's?
  • The weaknesses in the League's organisation and structure?
  • How did the Depression effect it?
  • Why did the League fail with Manchuria and Abyssinia?
  • The strength of the League's organistion and structure?
  • The successes and failures of peaekeeping?
  • How did the idea of disarnment work?
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Aims and Organisation

  • Was set up in 1920
  • They met in Geneva
  • 4 aims; Collective Security- all countries to help any member who was attacked, Peaceful Settlement Of Disputes- through negotiations and if necessary through the international court, International Disarnment- all members reducing their armed forces, Improving Living and Working Conditions- of all peole in the world through Special Agencies
  • The Council- a committee that took major decisions who were the major nations members
  • The Assembly- met once a year and members had one vote
  • The International Court of Justice- Fifteen judges met at Hague and settled international disputes
  • Special Agencies- drug addiction, health, slavery, help for undeveloped nations, refugges, minorities, mandates, women
  • International Labour Organisation- each nation sent two members, one employer and one worker, they discussed working conditions and improvements
  • Mediation- a document describing the relationship between parties will work
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Strengths and Weaknesses of A&O

  • 4 members on The Council- Britain, France, Italy and Japan. They each had a veto which meant that all of them had to agree before they could take action.
  • The Assembly only met once a year and decisions were unaminamous, everyone in the league had to agree
  • TPCOIJ- had no means of enforcing or making sur other countries followed its rulings
  • Membership- less than half of the nations were members
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  • The idea of the American President Woodrow Wilson
  • The American Senate did not accept the TOV and LON
  • This meant that the richest country at the time was not a member
  • Some countries were not allowed to join LON
  • France, Britain 1919-1945
  • Italy 1919-1937
  • Japan 1919-1933
  • Germany 1926-1933
  • USSR 1934-1939
  • USA never joined
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Collective Security

  • A key article was that all members had agreed to work together to protect the collective security of all its members
  • If attacked LON promised to investigate and punish the aggressor until they stopped, this was done by the 3 s's: soldiers, sanctions, shame
  • Moral Condemnation- a telling off
  • Economic Sanctions- members of the LON would agree to stop trading with that country
  • Military Sanctions- the LON would send an army to punish the aggressor and drive them out of the country that they had invaded
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The Work of the League in the 1920's

  • Vilna 1920- Poland and Lithuania- Polish forces invaded Vilna (Lithuania capital city)- Lithuania asked LON for help- no soldiers were sent to help- Vilna stayed in Polish hands for the next 20 years
  • The Aaland Islands 1921- Findland and Sweden- the islands belonged to Findland but wanted to become part of Sweden- they invited LON to settle the dispute- it was decided to stay part of Findland belongs no weapons are on there- this is still kept today
  • Upper Silesia 1921- Poland and Germany- Germany recieved over half the land and population, whilst Poland was given most of the industrial area- Germany was bitter
  • Economic collapse in Austria 1922-3- Austria and Hungary- not fully recovered from the war and could not afford reperations- gave international loans- they accepted the help and recovered quickly
  • Corfu 1923- Greece, Albania and Italy- five Italian surveyors were murdered, they were mapping the new border- Mussolini blamed the Greeks and ordered them to pay compensation- the Greeks payed and Mussolini withdrawed his forces
  • The Greek-Bulgarian Dispute 1925- after a Greek sentry was shot dead, the Greeks invaded Bulgaria in October- Bulgaria asked for help- Greece withdrawed- they had a moral sanction and was forced to pay compensation
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The Japanese Attack on Manchuria

  • The Japanese has deafeted the Russians in a war fought in 1904-5
  • Taken control of Korea in 1910
  • During the 1920's there was a civil war in China
  • Their population had risen to 97 million and there was not enough jobs, living space, raw materials and food to feed their population
  • In the past they created jobs by increasing their exports or through immigration
  • During the 1920's tarrifs made it hard to sell goods in those countries this led to rising unemployment and was made worse when countries stopped immigration
  • They fought to solve their problems by increasing their empire like European countries
  • They felt cheated by TOV for their support in the WW1
  • In 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria
  • They said that China tried to destroy their railway line Mukden and by 1932 they had seized the area and changed its name to Manchukuo
  • China appealed to the League but Japan was a permanent member and had the power to veto, they claimed they were defending themselves
  • Lord Lytton was scared of flying so took a boat, he concluded that Moral Sanctions should take place
  • They were unwilling to impose Economic Sanctions this made them look weak
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The Italian Invasion of Abyssinia 1935

  • During the 1930's Italy suffered from the effects of the Great Depresion
  • Mussolini wanted to distract his people
  • They planned to invade Abyssinia now known as Ethiopia
  • Abyssinia was a member of the League
  • The Italians attacked before in 1986 but they were defeated
  • October 1935 the Italian's attacked Abyssinia
  • Abyssinia asked for the League's help
  • The League decided to impose Economic Sanctions
  • Britian and France were worried that Italy would join up with Nazi Germany so they cut off Italy's supply through the Suez Canal
  • Hoare-Laval Plan ended the war, it said that Italy could control large areas of Abyssinia, Mussolini agreed
  • Hoare and Laval was accused of betraying the Abyssinians and they both resigned
  • After the plan failed, the war continued and Mussolini turned to the German dictator Adolf Hitler for an alliance
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Why did the League of Nations fail

  • The self interest of leading members- the League depended on Britain and France to provide support in times of crisis. Neither government was prepared to leave there own interests to support the League.
  • The USA and other important countries were absent- Germany, USSR, Japan, Italy and the USA- without such major powders the League lacked authority and sanctions were not effective.
  • Economic sanctions did not work- they were supposed to be the League's main weapon but they did not willingly impose them because they were worried without the USA it would not work. When they did impose them they were easily broken.  
  • Lack of troops- if the economic sanctions failed, military force was the next option. However, the League had no army of its own and relied on its members. Britain and France were not willing to commit troops to the cause.
  • The treaties it had to uphold were seen as unfair- the League were bound to uphold the peace treaties, over time it was realised that some of the treaties were harsh and needed mending, this underminded the League.
  • Decisions were slow- when a crisis occured, the League did not meet enough to be able to act quickly to solve it as they needed all members to agree.
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