The League of Nations

Revision cards for the league of nations

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  • Created on: 30-03-13 19:37

The Structure of the League of Nations

The Assembly- The assembly met once a year and each country had a vote

The Council- The council met more frequently and they met about 3 times a year. The council included the 5 permanent members . There was originally 4 permenant members including Britain, France, Italy and Japan but Germany joined later and was also given a permanent place.

Permenant court of International Justice- decided on border disputes between countries

Secretariat- Carried out the work of the league

Special Commisions- This is responsible for mandates, refugees, slavery and the health organinsation

International Labour Organistation- Responsible for helping to improve living and working conditions.

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Basic Information

Began in the 1920s

There were 42 members to begin with and 60 members by the 1930s

There was a Convenant Agreement of 26 rules

The league of nations could apply ecconomic sanctions (block international trade with countries who disobeyed the league)

It tried to improve social conditions including health, slavery and refugees

Every country had a vote in the assembly and the council

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Successes of the League

1921 dispute between Germany and Poland over Upper Silesia

1921 dispute between Sweeden and Finland over the Aaland Islands

1925  conflict when Greece invaded Bulgaria

Helped refugees after world war 1

Reduced the spread of serious diseases such as leprosy and inoculated (gave people vaccines) against them

Fought against slavery

Helped improve working conditions

Kellog Briand Pact - the Pact of Paris, it was signed by 15 Nations on 27 August
1928 and pledged to never use war again to settle disputes.

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The USA didn't join the league because

1. The American people did not like the treaty of Versaille and the league enforced it

2. The thought it was too expensive

3. Wanted to stay out of Europe (Isolationism)

4. Didn't want to use their army to help Britain and France keep undemocratic colonies as they believed all people should be free under democracy

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Problem: The League's power

1. Neither Britain or France were powerful enough to take charge after the war

2. Economic and military sanctions would only work if a powerful nation like the USA was enforcing them.

3. Germany and communist Russia were not allowed to join when the league was first formed

4. The league had no army

5. Bad organisation

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Conflicts in the 1920s

Corfu - Mussolini, the Italian leader, occupied Corfu in 1923 after the murder of an Italian diplomat. Mussolina demanded financial compensation and an apology from Greece. The league demanded the money should be paid to them but when the decision was over turned, the league looked weak

Ruhr- Germany failed to pay the reparations so France invaded and occupied the Ruhr, an industrial region of Germany. The league didn't intervene, USA had to solve the problems.

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The Effects of the Great Depression

The American stock market crashed in 1929

As a consequence, the USA stopped lending money abroad and called in all it's loans. It caused the unemplyment of 12 million people in the USA

Germany was affected by the depression the most as they relied on loans to pay of the reparations.

This effected the league as it

1. Increased Poverty

2. Hitler was elected and he wanted to defy the league and thr treaty

3. Britain and France were less willing to help the league

4. Caused to Manchuria Crisis which lead to the Abyssinia crisis which meant people began to lose faith in the league

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Manchurian Crisis 1931

Depression wrecked Japanese industries

Japan had a large army and used it to take over the rest of Manchuria. It already controlled the south Manchurian railway.

The Japanese pretented to give Manchuria independance by putting a weak leader called Puyi in charge so they could control him.

The League sent Lord Lytton to asses the situation. He produced a report which said the Japanese had been wrong

The Japanese withdrew from the league

In 1933, they overtook China's Jehol Province which bordered Manchuria

Showed the leagues weakness.and Japan signed a traty with Germany and started to invade the whole of China in 1937


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Abyssinia Invasion

Mussolini controlled Italy with his Fascist Party

He was a Dictator and banned other political parties.

He invaded Abyssinia because

1. Italy had been defeated by Abyssinia in 1896 and wanted revenge

2. Abyssinia (ethiopia) well position for Italy and it was between Italy's somaliland

3. The Manchurian crisis showed Mussolini that the league was weak and he thought he could get away with it

4. Mussolini wanted to make Italy a great empire again

He sent troops in 1935 with artillery and tanks. The Abyssinian leader appealed. The league enforced economic sanction but didn't ban oil exports. Britian and France didn't close the  Suez Canal so supplies still got through. Italy conquered the whole of Abyssinia by May 1936

This made Italy more confident and they made a pact with fascist leader Hitler

Rome-Berlin Axis agreed in 1936

Anti-Comintern Pact agreed in 1937 by Japan, Italy and Germany

Italy attacked Albania in 1938

Pact of Steel Pact between Mussolina and Hitler in 1939

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Faliure of the League

1. Didn't meet main aims

2. Usa didn't join, hard to enforce sanctions

3. Depression made political situation more difficult

4. Italy, Germany and Japan went against the League

5. Countries could leave the league

6. No strong leadership from Britain and France

7. Secret Alliances

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