Peacekeeping and The League of Nations

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Organisation 6: International Labour Organisation

Improving working conditions around the world

  • government representatives, workers and employers met each year
  • set minimum working standards
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Organisation 4: The Secretariat

The Civil Service - adminisatration

  • kept records of meetings
  • prepared reports for the different organisations
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The Paris Peace Conference


  • 32 states attended (defeated nations and Russia didn't attend)
  • dominated by 'The Big 3' - George Clemencaeu, Woodrow Wilson and David-Lloyd George
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Organisation 7: Permanent Court of International J

Based at the Hague in the Netherlands

  • made up of 15 judges who represented different legal systems of member countries
  • gave decisions on disputes between countries

Had no means on enforcing its decisions and laws.

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Case Study 1 : Manchuria (1931-33)

Japanese population was increasing and Wall St crash had affected them (poverty and unrest) Japann used an 'explosion' on the South Manchurian railway as an excuse to invade (Incident at Muckden)  they reorganised Manchuria and called it 'Manchuko' - they claimed they were restoring order.

China appealed to the League and they set up the Lytton Commision that was released ONE YEAR LATER.

By 1933- Japan occupied the whole of Manchuria


  • Economic Sanctions didn't work because Japan could still trade with the USA
  • Economic Depression - all countries were suffering and didn't want to be involved in international problems (Britain didn't want to effect trading with Asia)
  • Britain weren't prepared to risk their fleet against Japan in the Far East
  • France had no intention of sending in troops
  • USSR could've stopped Japan - not a member
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Organisation 5: Commissions

Carry out specialist work

  • refugees commission from WW1 (short term)
  • dealth with slavery and health (more permanent)
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Case Study 2: Abyssinia 1935-36

Mussolini wanted to recreate the Roman Empire and needed Abyssinia to do so. He also wanted revenge for the defeat by the Abyssinians at the Battle of Adowa (1896). He owned Italian Somalia Land and Eritrea.

Incident at Wal Wal- Haile Selassie (Emporer) appealed to the League and they condemned the Italian aggression and imposed economic sanctions (banned cotton,gold etc,) for 2 months

  • didn't include oil/steel
  • didn't close Suez Canal (access) - may have changed his mind
  • still trade with the USA
  • needed him as an ally against Hitler
  • Hoare Laval Pact - secret agreement to give Mussolini 2/3 of Abyssinia (leaked to press and forced to resign)


  • May 1936 - Italy leave the League
  • Hitler took advantage and invaded the Rhineland
  • Stresa Front ended - relations with Italy were ruined
  • Mussolini signed Rome-Berlin axis agreement with Hitler
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The League of Nations

42 original member countries

  • nearly 60 by 1930

Some nations were not members

  • USA refused to join
  • Germany not allowed (1926)
  • Russia (Communism)


  • prevent secret treaties
  • reduce and control arms
  • solve disputes by using collective security
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Terms of the Treaty of Versailles

  • GUILT - Germany must accept all blame for starting war
  • ARMY army = 100,00 , conscription banned, no armoured vehicles, submarines or military aircraft. Navy = 6 battleships, 30 small ships and 15,000 men
  • REPARATIONS £££ - £6,600 million (cancelled in 1932)
  • GERMAN LAND LOST (Alsace-Lorraine returned to France, Saar Coalfield put under control of the League for 15 years (plebiscite), Poland made independant - Danzig Port and upper Silesia. ALL GERMAN COLONIES GIVEN TO B+F AND THE LEAUGUE
  • EXTRA POINT - banned from union with Austria (Anschluss)
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Organisation 2: Assembly

Debating Chamber

Located in Geneva, Switzerland

Met once a year

Had the powers to:

  • elect permanent members to the council
  • suggest changes to the existing peace treaties
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David-Lloyd George - MIDDLE GROUND

  • wanted to protect the British empire
  • Get the German economy up again so Britain could trade with them
  • He was worried that of the treaty was too harsh, then the German people would turn to Communism and Britain relied on Germany for trade.
  • usually the middle ground between the two extrem views of Wilson and Clemenceau
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German Objections to the Treaty

  • Diktat - 'Dictated Peace' felt that the treaty was forced on them with no negotiation
  • Loss of Land - split into two by Poland (caused tension) this went against Wilson's idea of self-determination. Saar coalfield - important industrial area for Germany
  • Military Restrictions - 100,000 not enough (14 points = disarmament for all)
  • War Guilt - Kaiser to blame (new Government Weimar Republic had nothing to do with it.)
  • Reparations - too much, ruined economy and caused a depression.
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Organisation of the League 1: The Council

Met up 3 times a year and in times of emergency.

Had 5 permanent members

  • France
  • Britain
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • (1926) - Germany

Four temporary members were elected for 3 years at a time

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Woodrow Wilson - IDEALIST

Fourteen Points - January 1918

  • ban on secret treaties
  • countries shouldn't claim colonies without consulting each other
  • self-determination for all countries (right to determine their own future and who is in charge of their country)
  • Begian Independance
  • France should regain Alsace-Lorraine
  • Poland should have independance (with access to the sea)

Only been in the war since 1917 (less damage - only 100,000 deaths)

Didn't want to impose a harsh treaty (German revenge)

Main Aims = Self determination for all and International Cooperation

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George Clemenceau - DESTROY GERMANY

France has suffered 1.4 million deaths in the war

  • make Germany pay
  • make Germany weak
  • Get Alsace-Lorraine back
  • Germany should accept all blame
  • seen Germany invade France twice in his lifetime
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Organisation 3: Peacekeeping Role

Main duty was resolve disputes between nations (done by negotiation)

Actions taken against the aggressor (3 stages)

  • Moral Condemnation - shame the aggressor into stopping (seen as half-hearted)
  • Economic Sanctions - all countries in the Leaue would stop trading with the aggressor (Economic sanctions wouldn't work because the aggressor could still trade against with the aggressor.)
  • Military force - supply armed forces to act against the aggressor (no one was willing to)
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