Failure of the League of Nations

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The League of Nations

  • Aim was to prevent war and resolve conflicts diplomatically and peacefully
  • Included in Woodrow Nilson's 14 points
  • Largely supported in order to maintain peace
  • League Covenant was written into Treay of Versailles, and so all that signed also became members of the League
  • 26 articles within the Covenant
  • Article X was most important:  "all members undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and political independence of all members of the League" 
  • Idea of collective security - if one country was under threat then all countries must protect it, like a giant alliance
  • Money and military would have to be sacrificed if one nation under threat
  • Also dealt with economic and humanitarian problems
  • Included mandate commisions, drugs department, refugee department, slavery comission, International Court of Justice, International Labour Organisation

Absence of Major Powers:

  • USA did not join, Germany and USSR excludedExclusion of Germany and USSR created tension instead of reconciliation, no chance of discussion and negotiation
  • Once USSR and Germany had recovered from war, could become a major threat when it wanted to regain territory
  • Treaty of Rapallo caused major threat to the League as both major powers

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