December 8, 2015

LEAGUE OF NATIONS - Achievements and Causes for Failure

In the flames of World War I, Europe was consumed. It made the western countries to realize some international organization must be set up to prevent war in future.
On the initiative of Woodrow Wilson, the President of USA, in January, 1919 a Peace Conference was held in Paris and the representatives of forty two countries took part in it. A council of ten with two representatives each from America, Britain, France, Italy and Japan was formed. They worked hard to make the council function well. But Francis Clemenceau of France, Lloyd George of England, Woodrow Wilson of America and Orlando of Italy, played a major role in the conference. The League of Nations was founded on the basis of their ideas.
In the Paris Peace Conference a suggestion was given for the establishment of an organization of nations. It was thought that only such an organization could prevent any future wars in the world. Before the foundation of such an organization, other institutions also came up. They were:-
The League of Nations Society (1915), 
The world League for Peace (1917), and 
The League of free nations Association (1918) and 
the League of Nations Union.(1920)
LEAGUE OF NATIONS for appsc history material
On the 14th February, 1919 the Peace Conference examined a note on maintaining peace in the world. According to it on January, 20th 1920, the League of Nations was officially founded with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Fundamental Principles of the League of Nations
The following were the fundamental principles of the League of Nations.
a.            It should improve the unity among nations and keep peace and security in the world.
b.            The member nations of the League should respect and safeguard the frontiers of the neighboring nations without indulging in acts of aggression.
c.            The member nations should solve the problems arising among themselves only through the League of Nations. They should wait atleast for three months to hearfrom the League of Nations.
d.            If any of the member nations would indulge in war violating the conditions of the League, the affected nations would be saved, even by resorting to the weapons of war.
e.            All treaties contrary to the principles of the League of Nations should be given up.
Organs of the League of Nations
i.              The General Assembly
ii.             The Council
iii.            The Secretariat
iv.           An International Court of Justice
v.            International Labour Organization.
Achievements of the League of Nations
The League of Nations succeeded in solving various problems during its existence for about 20 years which deserve appreciation.
1)            It settled a problem between Finland and Sweden regarding the ownership of Aaland Island in Baltic.
2)            It solved a boundary dispute in Silesia and prevented a war between Poland and Germany.
3)            It settled a dispute between Greece and Italy over the island of Corfu.
4)            It avoided a war between Greece and Bulgaria over the border disputes.
5)            In 1926 Germany was admitted as a member of the League of Nations followed by Soviet Russia in 1934.
6)            It solved a border issue between Peru and Columbia.
7)            Through its other organs the League prevented the spread of many diseases.
8)            It extended its helping hand in solving the problems of refugees and lepors. It whole heartedly promoted cultural co-operation among the nations.
9)            It attempted to raise the standard of Education in various states.
10) The international Court of Justice handled more than thirty cases. It delivered judgments in some cases and in some others gave advisory opinions.
Causes for the failure of the League of Nations
The League of Nations did not succeed in its prime aim of settling disputes among nations through peaceful means. Its failure was not its fault. It was indeed the failure of the member nations because they were responsible for it.
1)            The United States of America, whose President was responsible for founding the League of Nations, could not become a member. Hence the league looked like a building without deep foundation.
2)            Whenever the member nations
were not happy with the attitude of t h e League, they were permitted to  g o
3)            In 1931 Japan captured Manchuria and renamed it Manchuko and made it a puppet state. When the League protested against this, Japan resigned from the League. It weakened the League.
4)            The League of Nations did not have a permanent force or army of i t s own to implement its policies.
5)            The rise of dictatorship in Italy, Japan and Germany weakened t h e chances of success of the League.
The statesmen who dominated the League lacked practical wisdom. Their approach remained somewhat Utopian and it began to be called by some as Geneva Conference of Fools".


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