Aims of the League of Nations:
- Discourage aggression (Keep peace by collective security)
- Encourage co-operation (Particuarly in business and trade)
- Improve living/working conditions for people around the world
- Encourage disarmament
Wilsons plan for the League:
- All major nations were to join the League, they would disarm, if there was a dispute they would take it to the League, promise to accept the decisions made by the League, promise to protect one another if invaded.
America was not able to join the League, as the Congress refused to sign into it. Other reasons why the US did not join:
- Linked to the ToV, some Americans (and recent immigrants) hated the Treaty itself, and did not approve of America joining the war, and now believed that by joining it would be assisting the collection of reparations from Germany, which German immigrants were against.
- They wanted USA to stay out of disputes, as they were appalled by the carnage of WW1.
- Worried about the econmic cost of joining. They wanted to remain a powerful country by isolationism and minding their own business.
- Other Americans opposed the League because they were either anti-british/french. Thought Britain/France would control the LEague, and why should US get dragged into fighting for anothers empire, and opposed the idea of colonies and empires as a whole, believed in 'freedom'.
These points were used to defeat WIlson, as his democratic party had run the US for 8 troubled years, and this was an ideal oppurtunity.
In future years, Wilson was too ill to keep campaigning and his successor made membership of the League a large part in his campaign. However, the Republican candidate campaigned for isolaitonism, 'return to normalcy' meaning life before war. Republicans had a landslide victory.
America not joining was a body blow to the League.
Other non-members were USSR, (suspicious of communism, not trusted) and Germany (pnushed by ToV, not trusted).
First meeting had 42 members.
- Based on a covenant. Set of 26 Articles which all members must follow.
- Article 10 was important, and it basically covered 'collective security', how the members could act together to prevent war by defending lands and interests of all nations.
- One of the job of the League was to uphold the ToV.
- 42 countries were in the League at the start, by 1930s there were 59.
- Permanent members stayed permanently, these being Britain, France, Japan and Italy. Could veto any decision.
- Temporary members were elected by Assembly on three-year terms.
Length membership of the League: Britain, France, Italy and Japan were the most powerful countries.
- France: 1919 - 1945
- Britain: 1919 - 1945
- Italy: 1919 - 1937
- Japan: 1919 - 1933
- Germany: 1926 - 1933
- USSR: 1934 - 1939
- USA: Never joined.
Structure of the League
- The Leagues parliament
- Each country sent in a representative to the Assembly
- It could recommend action to the Council
- Could vote on: admitting new members, appointing temporary members, budget of the League, other ideas put forawrd by council.
- Met once a…