Bmc hist unit 2_(the league of nations)


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The League of Nations has often been described by Historians and other social commentators as a failure of diplomacy. This set of slides will (hopefully) provide a balanced view of the League and what it hoped to achieve.

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Bmc hist unit 2_(the league of nations)

  1. 1.  Brilliant Idea or Failed Vision
  2. 2.  By the end of the lesson, you would be able to : o Identify and explain the ideas behind the League of Nations o Appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the League. o Analyse its success stories and its failures
  3. 3.  World War 1 convinced many leaders that there was a need for a better system to maintain peace in the future. Before WWI = Balance of Power through secret treaties . Peace based on fear of conflict through treaty obligations. After WW1 = new system of maintaining peace – “collective security” o (Countries could agree not to attack each other and would also defend each other in the event of an attack)
  4. 4. o Provide a way of settling international disputes by not waging war. o Reduce and control armaments o Establish a system of International Law o Encourage social and economic cooperation in the world o Ensure International treaties were registered & contents made known o Promote open and just relations between nations. P,R,E,E,P
  5. 5.  The League was involved in the following areas: o Mandates • Supervise Germany‟s former colonies. • Allied powers governed these territories on behalf of the League • Until they could be given self-government. o Collective Security • Meant that if one state attacked another – all members would act collectively to stop the aggressor • Instead of resorting to military alliances or war, the League of Nations would allow for open discussion
  6. 6. League of Nations
  7. 7.  Strength 1: Helped solve International labour disputes and improved labour conditions. Strength 2: Set up commissions to improve hygiene and combat diseases o Diseases like leprosy reduced o Living and working conditions improved
  8. 8.  Strength 3: Human rights Commission o helped refugees & o abolished slavery. Strength 4: Collective security - settled disputes bet. nations: o (1921) The Aaland Islands – resolved a dispute between Sweden and Finland. Both countries accepted the decision of the League. o (1923) Albania – The League successfully made Yugoslavia withdraw from Albania when it tried to take over Albania.
  9. 9.  W1: League did not represent all the countries of the world o USA and Russia not members. US because of Isolationism and Russia because it was a Communist state. o Countries could easily join and leave the league. Leave when the League objected to their actions. o Countries not bound to accept the decisions of the League W2: Attitudes towards the league o Countries that signed the Treaty of Versailles had to accept the League. Treaty unpopular so League grew unpopular. o Public opinion was against the League. Britain and France
  10. 10.  W3: Lack of power o Lacked peace-keeping force to counter attacks against member states. o Worsened with the rise of Communist Russia and Nazi Germany o Imposing economic sanctions harmful to members‟ own economy. o Lost the respect of member states as it could not enforce decisions. W4: White Supremacy o League associated with White domination and Imperialism. o E.g. Japan‟s seat in the Council had little impact on the decisions that were made in the league o League could not claim to represent the nations of the world as some races were not considered as equal.
  11. 11.  W5: Failed to prevent military conflict o It failed to prevent a war between Greece and Turkey. o In 1931, Japan invaded China and Seized Manchuria. When the League raised its protest Japan refused to comply instead withdrew from the League. o In 1935 Mussolini, invaded Abyssinia and annexed it in 1936. o The aggressive activities of Hitler went on unchecked - annexed Austria, Czechoslovakia and Memel. o The league was a helpless observer to all these acts - The League was too weak an organ to solve international peace.
  12. 12.  The League lacked authority o No military power to coerce aggressor nations o No economic power to enforce sanctions effectively • Trade sanctions not be enforced – members trading with the aggressor outside the League. • States more interested in solving their own economic problems. • Unwilling to impose trade sanctions as it would harm their economies o Without military and economic power, League could only use moral persuasion against armed aggression. This proved
  13. 13.  „Big Powers‟ interests dominated League: o These Powers wanted to advance their own interest at the expense of others. This made Germany call it a „Victor‟s club‟. o Selfish motives prevailed and there was no sincerity among the members. They talked highly but acted meanly. o Eventually lead to the breakdown in trust that affected collective security.
  14. 14.  The need for unanimity: o Actions taken required unanimity i.e. all permanent members to agree. o If dispute - between permanent members, either one could not support the decision – action could not be carried out. o Some decisions required the support of all members – virtually impossible to come to a unanimous decision.
  15. 15.  Absence of the US o League was dealt with a serious blow when USA did not join – isolationism. o Absence of US meant that league was deprived of a powerful member. o Its presence would have been a great psychological and financial benefit for Europe. o Many countries felt that if the US did not take the League seriously, there was no point that they should.
  16. 16.  What were the objectives of the League of Nations What is Collective Security? Explain (using F,E,E,L) one of the weaknesses of the League