The League of Nations

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Created by María Jesús Campos, teacher of Social Studies, Geography and History in a bilingual section in Spain

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The League of Nations

  1. 1. The League of Nations 1919-1939
  2. 2. The birth of the League In 1918 nobody wanted to repeat the mass slaugther of the war. The First World War should be “the war that ended all wars” Countries needed to find a place to meet and collaborate to find peaceful soutions
  3. 3. But leaders disagreed about the type of organisation that was needed: The LoN should be like a world parliament in which representatives of all nations would met regularly to reach agreements The LoN should only meet when an emergency arose The LoN should be a strong organisation with its own army
  4. 4. The LoN CovenantMainly followed president Wilson’s ideas All major nations would be members. Nations would disarm Disputes among nations would be solved on the LoN They would protect each other whenever an invasion may occur Any nation breaking the Convenant would suffer an economic blockade
  5. 5. Although the LoN was president Wilson’s idea the USA’s Senate rejected it:Some AmericanAmericans did Some businessmennot like the Americans did were worriedterms of the not want to be about theTreaty of involved again costs ofVersailles in in European’s mantainingwhich the LoN disputes or the LeagueCovenant was wars and itsincluded decissions
  6. 6. Some thoughtthat the USAwould becontrolled byother nationsthrought theLoN
  7. 7. The LoN’s Weaknesses USA’s rejection discouraged many other nations about the power of the LoN to take action Great Britain’s priority was to strengthen its Empire and trade France was still concerned about Germany and thought that the L0N was useless without an army which could apply its decissions
  8. 8. Membership of the League 42 countries joined the League at the start and in 1930 it had 59 members. Great Britain and France were the major powers that guided the LoN policy. Italy and Japan were also members of the Council.
  9. 9. The Aims of the League To discourage agression To encourage disarmament To increase cooperation among nations, specially in trade an business To improve the living conditions of people
  10. 10. How did the League of Nations work? THE COUNCIL THE THE MANDATES ASSEMBLY COMMISION THE PERMANET THE THE REFUGEES COURT OF SECRETARIAT COMMITTEE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE THE INTERNATIONAL THE SLAVERY LABOUR COMMISSION ORGANISATION (ILO) THE HEALTH COMMITTEE
  11. 11. The LoN’s main bodies The Council The The Assembly Secretariat• Small group with • Parliament with all the • Record the League’s permanent members that members. meetings had a veto plus • Recomended actions to • Prepare reports for the temporary members the Council agencies• Discuss problems in case • Met once a year of emergency and • Its decissions had to be establish moral unanimous condemnation, economic sanctions and/or military actions if needed
  12. 12. Border disputes in the 1920’s • Poland occupied Vilna, capital of LithuaniaVilna, 1920 • The LoN could not solve it Upper • Germany and Poland disputed the regionSilesia, 1921 • It was divided in two by the LoN • Sweeden and Finland disputed the islands Aaland • The LoN decided that the islands wouldIslands, 1921 belong to Finland. Sweeden accepted the decision.
  13. 13. Border disputes in the 1920’s • Greece and Albania disputed the island. Italians supervised it. • The Italian general was killed and Corfu, 1923 Mussolini, Italy prime minister, bombarded Corfu. • Greece had to apologise and pay compensation to Italy. • Great Britain and France designed the Protocol to avoid the League to be undermined by one ofThe Geneval its members as in Corfu. Protocol • It stated that the members of the League would have to acept the League’s decission. • The British Parliament rejected it. • Greece invaded Bulgaria. • The LoN forced Greece to apologize and pay compensations to Bulgaria.Bulgaria, 1925 • It showed the members that there seemed to be a different rule for the large states (Italy) and for the smaller ones (Greece)
  14. 14. Failure of disarmament No major agreements were made apart from the Washington Conference (1923) in which USA, Japan, Great Britain and France accepted to reduce the size of their navies. This damaged the reputation of the League (particularly in Germany)
  15. 15. International AgreementsThe Locarno The Kellogg-BriandTreaties, 1925 Pact, 1928 Germany accepted the  Renounced war as a terms of the Treaty of Versailles related to its way to solve disputes Western borders: but it made no  Borders with France and Belgium provisions for  Demilitarisation of Rhineland sanctions if any  Disputes with other nations would be solved at the LoN member broke the pact. In exchange, Germany was accepted as a member of the LoN in 1926
  16. 16. The mood by the end of the 1920’s The LoN has not been succesful in some territorial disputes or in disarmament but international relations were at its high point with all nations willing to collaborate and avoid war. At the same time the economies of European nations were recovering.
  17. 17. EconomyRecovers- The Dawes Planestablished a way tocollect war reparationsfrom Germany, thusgetting British andFrench economiesmoving again.- Trading relationshipsamong nations reducedtensions.- But USA’s loans wouldbe a burden to Europe’seconomy in the 1930’s
  18. 18. During the 1920’s the League of Nations tried toincrease international cooperation to avoid war.Nevertheless, in the 1930’s the LoN failed.

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