The Search for Security The League of Nations and International Security
Wilson’s Collective Security
At the Paris Peace Conference, Wilson persuaded the delegates to accept the notion of collective security to create a new world order.
A community of nations which would guarantee one another’s safety.
An attack on one country is an attack on all
The last of Wilson’s 14 Points stated that…
“ 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.”
Not a totally new idea, but Wilson made it popular = founder of the League.
League’s Main Objective
To preserve the peace of the world!
International Co-operation (through an international association)
Arbitration (disputes must first be arbitrated before going to war!)
Collective Security (an attack on one is an attack on all!)
The League’s Covenant
Constitution of the organization (rules).
Each member solemnly promised to this set of rules… hence “covenant”
The following are the important rules…
Members will respect and preserve political independence and territorial integrity against external aggression.
Any disputes between members will be submitted to arbitration, and members will not go to war for three months after the arbitrator’s ruling.
Open to “any fully self-governing state, dominion or colony.”
Separate membership for British Dominions and India.
At first Assembly (Geneva 1920), 43 states were members.
19 more states joined over the years.
6 countries left (Japan, Germany and Italy left, the Soviet Union was kicked out).
The United States never joined!!
Former colonies of Germany and non-Turkish areas of Ottoman Empire were to be “administered” by various Allied powers (under control of the League).
Some mandates wanted help, powers didn’t want to give it. (French in Syria)
Other powers wanted to “help,” but the mandates didn’t want it. (Britain in Mesopotamia/Iraq)
International Labour Office
Founded to work in conjunction with League.
Mandate was to help mankind and serve the cause of peace by improving working conditions and raising the standard of living.
Response to the Communist Revolution in Russia (now the Soviet Union).
The World Court
15 Judges located at The Hague in Holland.
Not very successful for two reasons:
No teeth (power to enforce decisions)
Option out clause (only members who opted in had to submit their disputes)