The League of Nations came into being after the end of World War 1. The organizations of the League of Nations were to be based in Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland was chosen as the base because this country was neutral and had not fought in the World War 1.
The League of Nations was founded on the principles of collective security and preservation of peace through the arbitration of international disputes. American president Woodrow Wilson had an important part in the foundation of the League though US never joined the League. 63 states were eventually members.
Aims of the League:
President Wilson wanted League of Nations more than anything else. He wanted the league to be a kind of “world parliament”, where nations would sort out their arguments. He wanted League of Nations to be set up because he thought this would stop wars. He wanted the league to do things to improve people’s lives and jobs. He wanted to improve public health and end slavery. Wilson also hoped that the league would persuade the nations to argue to disarmament to put weapons down and make war impossible. He also thought that this league would enforce the treaty of Versailles and persuade countries to keep the promises they had made.
The main strength of the league was that it had been set up by the treaty of Versailles and agreed by everyone at the conference. When later people started to criticize, this became a weakness.
Britain and France were the main members helped by Italy and Japan. But the weakness was that the most powerful countries in the world were not members. USA did not join the league.
The league hoped that it could influence countries to do the right thing by: collective security, community of power and moral persuasion.
“League of Nations”. History Learning Site. Web.14.Mar.2011. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/ league of nations.htm. [continues]
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