Our aims this term• Learn the aims of the League of Nations, andexplain how the League was founded• Explain how the League of Nations operated• Identify some key weaknesses in the Leagueof Nations“Why was the League of Nationsunable to ensure world peace?”
Important Facts• League of Nations was founded January 10, 1920with 42 founding members (incl. Peru)• The League Covenant was part of the Treaty ofVersailles and other 5 Peace Treaties after theGreat War. The League on Nations began at thesame moment that the Great War ended• Germany, Austria, Hungary and Russia were notallowed to join the League. The US chose not tojoin• All decisions in the League were made not by allLeague members, but the League Council
Covenant of the League of Nations“THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,In order to promote international co-operation and to achieveinternational peace and securityby the acceptance of 1obligations not to resort to war,by the prescription of 2open, just and honorable relationsbetween nations,by the firm establishment of the understandings of3international law as the actual rule of conduct amonggovernments, andby the 4maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect forall treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peopleswith one another, agree to this Covenant of the League ofNations…”http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/leagcov.asp
Collective Security• Article 10, Covenant of the League of Nations:“The Members of the League undertake torespect and preserve as against externalaggression the territorial integrity and existingpolitical independence of all Members of theLeague”• How is collective security different from analliance?http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/leagcov.asp
What were LoN responsibilities?• Permanent Court of International Justice• International Labor Organization (ILO)• Colonial “Mandates” – Mandates Commission• Global Disarmament - Disarmament Commission• Health Organization• Permanent Central Opium Board• Commission for Refugees• Slavery Commission• International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation
How did the League of Nations work?• The League Council – made of permanentmembers (Great Britain, France, Italy, andJapan), and non-permanent members• The Assembly – made of all participatingcountries• The League Council decided what issues wereto be voted on by the League Assembly• The League Council and Assembly almostalways had to vote unanimously
…and the US?• Isolationism – the US intended to stay out of anyproblems in Europe, as they were for Europeancountries to solve.• This idea had existed before WWI, but only the sinkingof the Lusitania and the fear of war with Germany andMexico convinced Americans to fight in Europe.• After the war, a new president in 1920 – WarrenHarding – promised to “return to normalcy”, meaningback to isolationism in the US• The League of Nations was never ratified in the US, andthe First World War technically ended in 1927 in the US
5 important questions about theLeague of Nations1. Was the League really just a “European club”?2. How important were the missing countries in the League?3. How did Britain and France see the League differently?4. How did the League utilize the 4 weapons of “CollectiveSecurity”?5. What did critics of the League say, and were they correct?REMEMBER –– Be organized– Be creative– Are you IDEALISTIC or REALISTIC?– Did you ANSWER THE QUESTION?