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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.
The League of Nations Society (1915),
The world League for Peace (1917), and
The League of free nations Association
the League of Nations Union.(1920)
LEAGUE OF NATIONS- Symbol
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
The following were the fundamental
principles of the League of Nations.
It should improve the unity among nations
and keep peace and security in the world.
The member nations of the League should
respect and safeguard the frontiers of the neighboring nations without indulging
in acts of aggression.
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.
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.
All treaties contrary to the principles of
the League of Nations should be given up.
Organs of the League of Nations
The General Assembly
An International Court of Justice
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
It settled a problem between Finland and
Sweden regarding the ownership of Aaland Island in Baltic.
It solved a boundary dispute in Silesia
and prevented a war between Poland and Germany.
It settled a dispute between Greece and
Italy over the island of Corfu.
It avoided a war between Greece and
Bulgaria over the border disputes.
In 1926 Germany was admitted as a member
of the League of Nations followed by Soviet Russia in 1934.
It solved a border issue between Peru and
Through its other organs the League
prevented the spread of many diseases.
It extended its helping hand in solving
the problems of refugees and lepors. It whole heartedly promoted cultural
co-operation among the nations.
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
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.
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.
Whenever the member nations
were not happy with the attitude of t h e
League, they were permitted to g o
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.
The League of Nations did not have a
permanent force or army of i t s own to implement its policies.
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".