League of Nations - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC & IAS Study Material

League of Nations

by Devender

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The League of Nations was there in the aims of allied powers during the war and Woodrow Wilson also mentioned creating an International agency that works for the maintenance of world peace.

The League of Nations aimed to stop international disputes to prevent any future war. It was to be achieved through collective security. All the members of the league needed to stand up against any nation that wages war.

The members had to do anything in their power to stop the aggressor nation. So, the main aim of the League of Nations was to maintain international peace and security.

League of Nations also did socio-economic development work around the world. It helped in providing rehabilitation to refugees of World War I. The International Labour Organization worked for the welfare of workers which was very beneficial.

However despite all this, League of Nations still failed at its aim of keeping world peace.

League of Nations Success

  • International Labour Organization:
  • The ILO was able to fix maximum working days and minimum wages for labor. It also helped in starting old age pension and took many actions for the welfare of the workers.

  • The Refugee Organization:
  • This organization helped prisoners of war who were captured in Russia return homes and also helped Jews in 1933, who escaped Nazi persecution to settle in parts where they would be safe.

  • Health organization:
  • It found the causes of many epidemics and also stopped one major epidemic Typhus which had the potential to spread all over Europe.

  • Mandates Commission:
  • Its main objective was to monitor the territories of Germany which were given to different Victor parties.

  • Resolution of Minor disputes:

It helped in solving many small disputes between countries like Poland, Finland, etc. None of these disputes could erupt world peace. It favored major power whenever one of those was involved in any of these disputes.

League of Nations Failures

The League of Nations lacked rights that could be enforceable and it didn't have an army of its own. Some other points were:

  • Russia and Germany were not part of it and America who planted the idea of the League did not join it
  • India which was not even an Independent country was made part of it
  • It did not come forward when Japan attacked China and Italy attacked Ethiopia
  • It was defied and ignored after sometime
  • It recognized the division of colonies which were made Mandates that was totally against its ideals
  • The Soviet Government exposed many secret treaties of countries for dividing these territories

League of Nations Overview

The league was not able to implement its decision whenever a major power was in dispute. Moreover, Britain and France didn't do much for League so aggressive nations like Germany, Japan, and Italy didn't listen to League.

  • The Economic crisis of 1929 also played its part
  • The conference of Ambassadors undermined the league
  • Powers like Germany, US, and USSR were not part of the League
  • The League was weak and it didn't provide the collective security it promised
  • League was not a true representative Organization
  • The league had very limited membership and also not enough funds for its works. It basically became an organization of the French and Britain while lacking the legitimacy of being a world organization.

    Germany was admitted in 1926 while USSR in 1934 whereas US never became a member of it. After the end of World War, US public rejected Woodrow's 14 points and reverted back to the policy of isolation. They viewed the League as a thereat for American sovereignty and freedom. US didn't want to get involved in any European affairs or military conflicts.

    Japan left the League in 1933 and so did Hitler's Germany. So, at the brink of World War II the league was already in ruins and became a failure.

  • Impact of Failure of League
  • Small states lost all its faith in League because it couldn't do anything against major powers
  • Hitler became confident to violate terms of Treaty of Versailles
  • World War II was inevitable

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