History Revision Notes Igcse League of Nations

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Mr. Hinds Brief Revision Booklet:
How Successful was the League of Nations?

1 What were the main aims of the League of Nations when it was set up in 1920?

* To maintain peace.
* To discourage aggression from any nation.
* To encourage countries to co-operate, especially in trade. * To encourage nations to disarm.
* To improve living and working conditions in all parts of the world. * To encourage international co-operation.
* To encourage collective security.

2 What part did (i) the Council and (ii) the Permanent Court of Justice play in the organisation of the League of Nations?

* The Council was set up to deal with any dispute which arose between members by discussion before matters got out of hand. The Council had a range of powers including moral condemnation, economic and financial sanctions and military force. It met around five times a year and in cases of emergency. * The Permanent Court of Justice was a key part of the League’s role of settling disputes peacefully. It gave decisions on border disputes, and legal advice to the Assembly or Council. It did not have the power to enforce its rulings.

3. Describe the work of the Agencies of the League of Nations.

* The Mandates Commission made sure that Britain and France acted in the interests of the people of that territory, not their own interests. * The Refugees Committee helped to return refugees to their original homes after the end of the war. * The Slavery Commission worked to abolish slavery around the world. * The Health Committee attempted to deal with the problem of dangerous diseases and to educate people about health and sanitation. * The ILO met once a year. Its aim was to improve working conditions throughout the world trying to get member countries to adopt its suggestions.

4. How did the League of Nations hope to prevent future wars between nations? . What methods were available to the League of Nations to settle disputes between countries?

* The League was responsible for the operation of the Treaty. * Through the International Court of Justice.
* By encouraging co-operation through business and trade. * By encouraging nations to disarm.
* Improving living and working conditions throughout the world.’ * The League could put pressure on the guilty country, bringing world opinion against it. * Members could refuse to trade with the guilty country (economic sanctions). * The armed forces of member countries could be joined together and used against the aggressor (military force). * Collective security. As a last resort, military action could be used against an aggressive nation (if member countries contributed from their armed forces)

5: What were the main weaknesses in the structure and organisation of the League of Nations?

* Not all nations were members of the League. The USA never joined and this deprived the League of the support of the most powerful nation in the world. * The defeated nations, like Germany, were not members at first. Other nations, such as Japan, left when they got into disputes with the League. * The League had no armed forces of its own. It relied on collective security. Too often this meant nations looking to the League to take action when they weren’t willing to act themselves. It was unrealistic to expect nations to obey a toothless body. * The League was dominated by Britain and France but they never agreed on how it should be run: how powerful it should be or how it should operate. * The League was too slow to take action. All decisions, in the Assembly and Council, had to be taken unanimously. * The League was too idealistic. It was unrealistic to expect nations to obey the League without giving it the power to enforce its will. * All member states had equal voting rights. All decisions in Assembly and Council had to be unanimous. This was fine when members agreed with each other, but not when they...
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