League Of Nations
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League Of Nations

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the whole history of the league of nations beginning from the president of United States Wilson Wodrow till its collapse after the world war II

the whole history of the league of nations beginning from the president of United States Wilson Wodrow till its collapse after the world war II

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League Of Nations League Of Nations Document Transcript

  • The League of Nations
    Name: Karim Ashrarf Gamal Abo El Azayem
    Introduction
    World War I had shocked all nations in the world. As there was no one thought to see a global war between the whole world and in this time it was considered as the bloodiest war happened in the memory of the history. For the first time the old way of diplomacy seemed to fail in solving this huge dispute by its rival alliances and balances of power. Lots of attempts done to stop this international anarchy but all of them failed. After that there was a man called Sir James Bryce who was appointed by the British government to be in the court of arbitrates international disputes, and he had some proposals related to his position which he mentioned in 1914 to enforce a peace by establishing a league or association and he assumed that this league will not achieve its goals except when all of the nations in the world are enrolled in this league. So in this way the league could achieve its aims in submitting the disputes in the world among the states and have a role in arbitration or mediation and have the right and ability to maintain sanctions or penalties on those who are breaking out the wars. As Bryce said " The League shall under-take to defend any one of its members who may be attacked by any other State who has refused to accept Arbitration or Conciliation."
    Wilson's role:
    During this enthusiastic that spread among the world to establish a global organization to end the anarchy which happened in WWI, the British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey presented for the first time the idea of the League Of Nations which considered the best idea to end this bloodshed. United States President Woodrow Wilson and his advisor Colonel Edward M. House were very enthusiastically for this idea and they adopted it. This idea was considered one of the fourteen points for peace that Wilson presented in one of his speeches, specifically it was the last point in his speech " A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike." Wilson created a team led by a Colonel House to deal with the geo-political situation in Europe in attempt to solve the dispute before putting the terms of the league.
    On July 8, 1919, Wilson made a huge campaign to persuade the American people to support the League of Nations to success. Then he went to the senate trying also to gain their support, one of his famous quotation in this speech was “a new role and a new responsibility have come to this great nation that we honor and which we would all wish to lift to yet higher levels of service and achievement.”
    Unfortunately, after this hard effort which Wilson done for establishing the league of nations which leaded him to be awarded by the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States didn't join the League of Nations due to the votes of the oppositions in the senate who were opposing the notion that the United States would join the league, on the head of these oppositions was the republicans.
    League's Aims:
    " All the world has come to look upon it as a sort of mythological monster which, if left to itself, will periodically re-emerge from hell, to devour the whole youth and the whole wealth of civilized mankind. It is useless to dream of clipping the wings or paring the claws of the dragon. It must be slain outright if it is not to play unthinkable havoc with civilization; and to that end the intelligence and the moral enthusiasm of the world are now, as we see, addressing themselves." This passage is considered one of the most famous parts in The Idea of a League Of Nations that trying to change the trend of the people in the world from a bloody and war notions to a peaceful one. It was well known that this peaceful life which those people were aiming to achieve will not be done except when all the disputes in the whole world were over by any solution peace or arbitration or sanctions or any way that could end the disputes from its roots, so it would not give this conflict any way to emerge again, this was the first aim for the league " Peace in The World" . As soon as the first aim achieved successfully the turn will be on the disarmament. As the armies will not have a role in the world except securing their borders from any enemy not for offending other states. After disarmament the world from any illegal weapons that might have a bad effect on the humanity. After achieving this part successfully the world could not follow this disarmament for a long period of time unless if there is another thing that could fulfill their time like strengthen the cooperation between the states and encourage it like exchanging goods (exporting and importing products), peaceful technologies, education, cultures and other things which could encourage the cooperation between the states in the world without excluding any state in the world because it could be the reason of beginning a bloody war again. When the whole world turn to be in cooperation with each other and peaceful world, it will be the time to turn to the fourth aim which is known as the " Improving Social Conditions" and this will come automatically if the world succeeded in maintaining cooperation as the citizen income in the world will increase due to focusing in the trading and inventing a new products with new technologies. This will considered as one of the most important point which could maintain peace as no one will hope to waive his good life and return to threatened him to death and to lose his company or his money or position.
    League's Strength and Weakness:
    The first steps of establishing the league seemed that the world would face a new phase which completely filled with peaceful life. As the league had gained a lot of strengthen which made those people who were establishing the league feel that all of their aims which they put to be achieved will be maintained nearly. Some examples for these strength which the league witnessed was a lots of states had involved and joined the league in the beginning, as the founding countries of the league were 42 countries which seemed as a good beginning after a world war, and the hope increased as there were 21 country joined the league between 1920 to 1937. There was also another thing that seemed to the establishers that the league was going in the right path and it was achieving the goals which established for it. As there were some cases give the league hope when it succeeded to end the border disputes which happened between some neighboring states like Bulgaria & Greece in 1925, Iraq and Turkey from 1925 to 1926, also the conflict between Poland and Lithuania in 1927. The success of the league wasn't achieved only on solving conflicts but it also succeeded in achieving social improvements like the problems of the refugees and famine relief, and it also helped to save the people health by controlling a lot of drugs areas.
    But all of these strengthen points didn't accompanied with the success of the league because the weakness points had covered all the good points that the league achieved. One of the most important points was the absence of the powerful countries in the league like the absence of the United States which gives a very negative impact for the league, despite the notion of the league was coming and encouraged by the US president Woodrow Wilson, but after all of this effort which he made, he failed to join his country in the league, the other powerful country was The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which didn't join until 18 September 1934 in the beginning it seemed that it was a good point which will strengthen the role of the league, but when the Soviet Union invaded Finland in 30 October 1937 and it refused to withdraw from it the league of nations expelled USSR, this expelling was considered a bad decision because the Soviet union was a powerful country and after expelling it, it expelled the league's last breath.
    There was another weakness point in the league that it had no army to support its decisions, so when the league wants to make sanctions on a country they have to send the Britain and French army to fight. Also they are not always ready to fight either they were already involved in another conflict or the country which they want to make sanction on was very far like when Japan invaded Manchuria, in this case there was no near army to end this conflict and it was very hard and costly to travel to fight there. Also when Italy invaded Ethiopia, Britain and France threatened Italy to withdraw from Ethiopia as they were considered the supporting armies for the league but Italy said to them that it will be against them so they let her do what it wants without interfering.
    Third big reason for the weakness of the League of Nations which derived it to failure was the unrealistic armament as most of the world states were already armed and there were a lot of conflicts and invasions happened between the states which the League of Nations failed to disarmament them or even to end these conflicts.
    From all of these weaknesses the failure of the league of nations came and not only these weakness were considered the whole weakness points but there were another points like the unfair treaties when the league of nations gives some states authorities and prevent to give it to other countries due the ideology which it was following and the others who it prevented to give them are following the contrast one, this unfairness lead it to fail. This also considered the reason for the failure of the 1931 conference which was calling for the disarmament when the League of Nations gave some states powers and prevented to give it to Germany, so Hitler demanded equality with the other countries. Other thing lead to the failure of the league that reaching the decision in the league was to slowly because the decision must be taken by consensus which considered a very bad type of taking decisions that slow the decision to be taken while most of the other leagues or the unions are taking by majority rather than consensus to take the decisions more faster.
    Conclusion:
    The World War I has the biggest role for establishing this league, because this league was made particular to prevent breaking out a new global war. After the end of the World War I the whole world and in particular both sides of the war was aiming to have an international organization which could end the war peacefully by arbitration or any way rather than the bloody war. After the notion of the league born to the first time the US president Woodrow Wilson and his advisor were very enthusiastic for this idea and they encouraged and supported it, until they won the Noble Peace Prize for establishing it. But when the US senate refused to let the US to join the league it served as the first shock for the league before coming to life but it continued without the US until the end. The league had put some aims for it like peace in the world, disarmament, encourage cooperation between states and improve social conditions, and succeeded to achieve all of these aims at the beginning which considered as a good beginning, but unfortunately this success didn't continue for a long time because the weakness points in the league were more than the strength one. Not only that but the weakness covered all strength points and vanish it, as if they didn't achieved. Some examples for this weakness were the absence of the powerful countries, the lake of the league army and disarmament wasn't realistic. Which lead to the emerge of some conflicts in the surface of the world again like when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and the League of Nations failed to send a force to end this conflict, because it was so far from the league's supporting army (British and French armies). There was another conflict that the league failed to solve it, when Italy invaded Abyssinia (called Ethiopia now) and the league failed to have Italy withdraw because Italy threatened Britain and France that it will be against them if they interfered in this dispute.
    After all of these conflicts the league failed to prevent the main thing which was established for it which was the breaking out of another global war when the World War II began.
    Reference:
    • Bassett, John Spencer. The League of Nations: A Chapter in World Politics 1930
    • Talbott, Strobe . The Great Experiment. Simon & Schuster. 2008. Print.
    • Herbert George Wells, Edward Grey Of Fallodon, Lionel Curtis, Henry Wickham steed, William Archer, Alfred Eckard Zimmern, John Alfred Spender, James Bryce,Gilbert Murray, The Idea of a League of Nations . University of California: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1919. Print.
    • Spencer Tucker, Priscilla Mary Roberts, World War I . ABC-CLIO, 2005. Print.
    • Cooper, John Milton. Breaking the Heart of the World. London: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Print.